PGD (Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis) refers specifically to when one or both genetic parents has a known genetic abnormality and testing is performed on an embryo to determine if it also carries a genetic abnormality.
The cures for many genetic conditions do not currently exist and are not likely to be found soon, and there are often some substantial risks or adverse effects related to the available treatments. The psychological impact of late onset conditions on those at risk and on their families is significant, even if effective, affordable treatment were available. Hence, it is a better option to prevent the condition versus waiting for a possible cure to eventually become available.
At this point I want to certainly highlight three very important advantages associated with PGD and that solidifies the benefit of conducting a PGD with IVF.
- PGD provides an alternative to prenatal diagnostic testing: Couples can avoid the distress associated with diagnosis, particularly if late in an established pregnancy.
- An alternative to termination of pregnancy: If prenatal testing (through amniocentesis or chorionic villus tests) reveals a genetic abnormality, the options available to parents are to have a child with a genetic condition or to undergo a pregnancy termination. This is a difficult and often traumatic decision. However, PGD is performed before pregnancy begins, thus eliminating this difficult decision.
- The opportunity to conceive a pregnancy that is biologically the parents’ own and yet unaffected by a genetic condition in the family: Couples for whom the option of prenatal testing and termination is not an acceptable choice may not want to take the risk of a child having a genetic condition. In the past, potential parents with a genetic condition or those who know that they are carriers frequently chose adoption, embryo donation, or egg/sperm donation or chose not to have children in order to avoid the risk of passing on the condition. PGD now allows these couples the opportunity to have a child free of the condition.
Read our blog on PGD to know more about the process. https://goralgandhi.com/pre-implantation-genetic-diagnosis-an-overview/
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