With the study of modern-day genetics, we now know that certain genes carry a genetic code that can cause a genetic disease. Often times, a parent will only be a carrier of the disease meaning they themselves are not affected by the disease. However, if their partner also happens to be a carrier of that recessive genetic disease, then their child could very well be affected.
Fortunately, remarkable technological advances have been made to the point where it is now possible to screen for a variety of genetic mutations known to carry the disease.
Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) is a genetic test that provides our clients with the opportunity to screen your embryos prior to transfer for a disease you or a member of your family know to be present in your families gene pool.
PGD is used in conjunction with In Vitro Fertilization (IVF). After the embryos have been fertilized and reached the blastocyst stage (day 5 or 6), an embryologist in our laboratory will take a biopsy from a group of placental cells (at the blastocyst stage there are two main groups of cells – those that will become the baby and those that will become the placenta) so that no harm is done to the actual growing fetus.
At this time, your embryos are frozen to await the results from the biopsied cells which are sent to an outside laboratory for testing.
Once the results are obtained, the normal embryos (those with no genetic mutations detected) can be thawed and transferred into the female’s uterus with a Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET)