Preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) is an assisted reproductive procedure used to determine whether an egg or an embryo has a specific genetic mutation or unbalanced chromosome before an embryo is transferred during IVF. PGD is sometimes used by couples in which one or both partners are known to carry a gene mutation or other abnormality, and wish to avoid passing it on to their children. Below, we will take a look at the basics of this procedure, as well as what you can expect in terms of preimplantation genetic diagnosis costs.
How PGD Works
PGD is used as an additional step in IVF. First, the woman receives drugs that cause her to develop multiple eggs in the ovaries; once the follicles are mature, the eggs are removed from the ovaries. They can be inspected under a microscope, so that only mature, normal-looking eggs are used during the procedure. Then, each of the mature eggs is injected with a single sperm in a process called intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI).
The following day, the eggs are examined under a microscope to determine whether or not they have been fertilized properly. Genetic information in the form of polar bodies may be removed from the embryo at this point if desired. Two days later, fertilized eggs are again removed from the incubator and inspected.
Normally, each of the embryos should have 8 identical cells called blastomeres, each of which should have identical chromosomal information. Genetic information can also be removed at this point, by removing a single cell in a procedure known as a blastomere biopsy. At five or six days after fertilization, the embryo will be at the blastocyst stage of development and have about 100 cells, divided into two groups, one of which will develop into the fetus (inner cell mass) and the other of which will develop into the placenta or amniotic sac (trophoblast). At this time, a trophoblast biopsy may be performed.
For any of these procedures, the genetic information collected can be tested for a number of abnormalities. This information is used to select healthy embryos to be transferred into the uterus. The most basic form of embryo testing simply looks at whether or not each embryo has the correct number and type of chromosomes present. This is known as preimplantation genetic screening or PGS. PGS commonly uses a process called comparative genomic hybridization (CGH), a special computer can analyze genetic material for abnormalities. True PGD tests for specific diseases that are passed on in the genes, such as cystic fibrosis or genetic cancers, and utilizes a variety of other advanced laboratory techniques.
Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis Costs
Dr. Randy Morris’s preimplantation genetic screening costs are $1800 for testing 1-2 embryos. For each additional embryo tested at that time, there will be a charge of $300. PGD costs may be higher since many couples will require additional genetic tests ahead of time.
Because the cost of PGD can be significant, the majority of couples only opt for this procedure if they are at a high risk of genetic abnormalities being present. For example, in women who have recurrent miscarriages, it is possible that chromosomal abnormalities are present in many of the embryos, and only transferring chromosomally normal embryos can boost the chances of a healthy pregnancy. PGD is an especially strong option for people who are known carriers of serious genetic disorders, which have the potential to cause early death or greatly reduce the quality of life for the child. Choosing to undergo this procedure is a highly personal decision that each couple must make for themselves.
Dr. Randy Morris would be happy to meet with you about whether or not PGD is right for you. To schedule your consultation today, please click below and enter your information or call (630) 357-6540.