ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF PRE-IMPLANTATION GENETIC DIAGNOSIS (PGD)23 March 2017
PGD (pre-implantation genetic diagnosis) is complicated medical procedure carried out during IVF to detect chromosomal and genetic abnormalities in the embryo prior to transfer to the uterus. It is used to diagnose embryos that may be affected with inherited single gene disorders and to determine the gender of the future baby in case of sex linked genetic disorders or family gender balancing.
The main advantages and disadvantages of PGD are stated below.
- Ensures embryo quality. We are able to select chromosomally normal embryos and exclude those, which would never be capable of leading to the birth of a healthy child, even though their appearance would suggest that they are good quality embryos.
- Improves pregnancy success rates. Some chromosomal abnormalities prevent the embryo from developing during its early stages and thus from implantation to the wall of the uterus, which leads to failure of achieving pregnancy. Thus, using PGD we are not only optimizing the number of embryo transfers, but also save you from possible disappointments.
- Prevents miscarriage, abortion and variety of syndromes. Some chromosomal abnormalities allow embryo to implant, but they do stop the pregnancy from developing correctly and can lead to pregnancy loss or the birth of a child with a number of genetic syndromes, such as Down’s syndrome, Patau’s syndrome or Edwards’ syndrome. PGD helps to avoid that.
- Saves your time. Only strong and healthy embryos pass PGD, thus a full term pregnancy is more likely to occur with a healthy child born at the end. Thus, time is not wasted by transferring embryos that won’t result in pregnancy, will stop in development or won’t lead to the birth of a healthy child. Better quality embryos – less time to success.
- Saves your nerves. PDG definitely reduces physiological stress and the level of uncertainty about future baby’s health you might face during 9 month of waiting
- Invasive procedure. To carry out PGD we need to take a part of the embryo (biopsy of an embryo) to carry out the genetic testing. However, if carrying out the embryo biopsy on day 5 of development, the embryo biopsy does not have a negative impact on embryo viability.
- Less number of embryos after diagnosis. PGD needs to pick only genetically healthy embryos, all embryos will never pass PGD even with young and healthy parents. It can be hard to accept that number of embryos reduces after testing, even harder for patients over 30, when chances for genetic abnormalities rise up.
Cycle with no transfer. In some cases, when patients are at high risk of strong genetic abnormalities, especially with the low number of embryos produced, none of the embryos can appear to be suitable for transfer, which means that embryo transfer will be cancelled.
Having evaluated the advantages and disadvantages of PGD, we can conclude that there is a clear advantage of using PGS since it improves the success rate of treatment. But this is only a recommendation, the final decision is up to you.