Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD)
Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis, commonly referred to as PGD, is a procedure doctors may use for patients who have suffered miscarriages or who have had unsuccessful ivf/icsi treatments. It is also used for patients who are at risk of passing on genetic disorders such as cystic fibrosis, haemophilia, Huntingdonís disease or thalassemia.
PGD testing is performed when a patient produces a number of eggs as part of an in vitro fertilisation cycle. The eggs are retrieved from the ovaries and then fertilised with the partnerís sperm in a laboratory. After fertilisation has taken place and the eggs have developed for two or three days, one or two cells are removed from each embryo. These cells are then analysed to determine which embryos have a normal chromosomal structure and whether any of them have genetic abnormalities. Once any abnormal embryos have been screened out, doctors select normal embryos to transfer back into the uterus, which they say is more likely to lead to a woman falling pregnant with a healthy baby.
Doctors say this procedure can help patients who have had several unsuccessful ivf/icsi attempts increase their chances of falling pregnant and having a healthy baby, as PGD helps identify embryos that are free of certain genetic disorders.
PGD is a relatively new procedure, but this intervention does not come without risks. Some embryos will not survive PGD, but the general view is that embryos that do survive are more likely to develop into a healthy pregnancy. However, until this procedure has been around for a while, long-term research of the outcome of PGD cannot be carried out so the risks are uncertain.
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