How Does PGD Testing Prevent Disease in Infants?

Preimplantation genetic testing (PGD) is used to screen for chromosomal abnormalities and genetic diseases during IVF. PGD can reduce the risk of disease in infants, especially for couples who have a history of miscarriage or a family history of genetic disorders.

How PGD Works

After eggs are fertilized during IVF, the embryos are allowed to mature in the laboratory for several days before being transferred to the uterus at the blastocyst stage, when there are about 100 cells. At several points during this process, the embryologist can take a biopsy of the embryo and test the cells for chromosomal or genetic abnormalities.

PGD can screen for chromosomal abnormalities, such as having too many or too few chromosomes. It can also look for translocation, a structural abnormality that occurs between two chromosomes. Finally, PGD testing can be used to identify specific genes associated with certain genetic disorders, such as sickle cell disease or cystic fibrosis.

When PGD Should Be Used

It is recommended that all older couples going through IVF undergo preimplantation genetic screening (PGS), which evaluates the embryos to ensure that they have the correct number of chromosomes. However, not all couples need PGD testing. PGD testing can be very valuable for couples with a family history of serious genetic disorders for which genetic testing is available. It can also be helpful if the woman has a history of unexplained miscarriage, because translocation can be a cause.

How PGD Testing Prevents Disease in Infants

PGD with PGS can identify both chromosomal abnormalities and specific genetic disorders at the same time. As a result, it is much more likely that embryos that undergo PGD / PGS testing will be healthy enough to implant in the uterine lining, and the risk of miscarriage is reduced. The chances that the infant has a genetic or chromosomal disease are also reduced.

Although PGD can prevent disease in infants, it cannot eliminate the risk of disease in infants. It is impossible to screen for every possible genetic disorder – only specific disorders for which an increased risk exists can be tested. Some infant disorders arise due to conditions in the uterus or complications of childbirth, or they may develop after the baby is born. However, PGD is a valuable tool for minimizing the risk of disease in infants for many couples.

If you are interested in IVF, Dr. Randy Morris would be happy to hear from you. To schedule your consultation today, please click below and enter your information or call IVF1 at (630) 357-6540.

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