What is preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD)?

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What is preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) and how can it help parents undergoing IVF? Keep reading as Dr. Ann Tan answers our questions about this.

For some parents-to be, getting pregnant isn’t always an easy journey. If yours is a journey that has been particularly trying, you might even be prepared to consider assisted reproduction treatments such as in vitro fertilization (IVF).

When preparing to undergo IVF treatments, your fertility specialist will talk about preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD),  a procedure used before implantation of the embryo. It assists in identifying various genetic defects within embryos created through IVF.

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IVF can be a trying journey not only for mums-to-be, but for their husbands as well.

This procedure helps prevent certain diseases or disorders from being passed on from either parent to the child.

Dr. Ann Tan, an expert in the field of fertility treatment, obstetrics and gynecology, talks extensively talks about PGD.

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preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) can help parents on are undergoing IVF treatment.

The following interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.

What is preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD)?

Preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) only applies to pregnancies achieved through assisted reproduction or IVF.

When the embryos are formed, cells from the embryo are extracted and tested to determine whether they contain any abnormal genetic material that can potentially be passed on to the baby. Thalassemia, a blood disorder, and cystic fibrosis are two  such conditions.

The procedure is done mainly to avoid transferring the affected embryo into the uterus and thus eliminating the need to make the tough decision to use selective termination to avoid an affected child.

How do you know if PGD is the right choice for you? Click on “next.”

How will parents-to-be know that PGD is the right choice for them?

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Preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) only applies to pregnancies achieved through assisted reproduction or IVF.

When potential parents are aware of their family history and have determined that they themselves are carriers of a particular disease, then it might be a good idea to contemplate having PGD done.

There also could be others who most likely have discovered that they have issues following an index affected pregnancy. Examples are couples with translocation carriers.

What is preimplantation genetic screening (PGS) and how does it help potential parents?

Preimplantation genetic screening (PGS) refers to a technique in which embryos from presumably normal parents who do not have any chromosomal issues are screened. It has the potential to improve pregnancy rates as it can help to determine which embryo is “normal” prior to transfer. By transferring a normal embryo, a slightly older woman will now be able to enjoy much higher pregnancy rates than before.

However, PGS is currently not allowed in Singapore, and only PGD is. The downside of PGD, however, is that there is always some element of risk when the procedure is done, as it is an invasive procedure.

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When the embryos are formed, cells from the embryo are extracted and subjected to genetic testing.

PGD also can determine the gender of the embryo, so to avoid there being any risk of gender bias, the gender should merely be reported as being born “normal”.

This would go a long way in reassuring the potential parents that their risk of a miscarriage will be lower and more importantly, there will be less of a risk of needing a dilation and curettage (D&C), which is a procedure to remove tissue from inside your uterus, or even an evacuation of uterus which carried the potential risk of damaging the uterus.

What’s best is that there will be a large emotional benefit and reduction in time “wasted” on a recurrent difficult and unsuccessful pregnancies.

For more information about Mount Elizabeth Fertility Centre, click here or visit the Mount Elizabeth Hospital Facebook page.

We hope this article gave you an insight into the subject of preimplantation genetic diagnosis. Please do share your thoughts on the subject with us by leaving a comment below.  

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