Finding out that you, or your partner, are carriers of a serious genetic disease can be a terrible blow. Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) with IVF can enable people at risk of passing on a serious genetic condition to have a healthy baby.
What is PGD?
PGD is a technique that can help you avoid passing on an inherited condition to your children. Embryos created through IVF are tested for specific genetic conditions that a child would be at risk of developing due to one, or both, parents carrying a mutation for that disease. If you have a family history of a serious genetic condition, then PGD may be recommended even if you have no fertility issues.
Conventional PGD requires knowledge of the exact mutation to develop a specific test for its identification in an embryo. This can lead to a wait of many months for a test to be developed before IVF can be started. Scientists and clinicians at the Bridge Center have pioneered a faster version of PGD called ‘karyomappying’ that can test for conditions in a much shorter time-frame than conventional PGD. Karyomapping compares DNA from different family members to develop the test to determine whether the embryo is free of the genetic mutation.
An additional benefit of karyomapping is that can be used to check that only embryos with healthy and genetically balanced chromosomes are transferred - greatly reducing the chance of a miscarriage due to chromosomal abnormalities.
How does PGD with IVF work?
Similarly to standard IVF, the ovaries are stimulated and oocytes collected. The embryo is grown outside the body until it is around 100 cells. At this stage one or two cells are removed and tested to check whether the embryo has the abnormality. The test does not harm the embryo and enables embryos that are free from the disease, or in certain cases carriers of the disease, to be selected and be transferred to the womb and allowed to develop. Remaining embryos that are found to be free of the condition can then optionally be frozen for use in later IVF cycles.
Who is PGD suitable for?
People who have a serious genetic condition themselves, or who are carriers of condition that is currently licensed by HFEA for PGD. The list of PGD conditions can be found on www.hfea.gov.uk
PGD with IVF may also be recommended for women with a history of miscarriage, failed IVF or increased maternal age.
If you’d like to find out more about our screening services at the Bridge Centre, please phone us on 020 3819 3282 or use the contact form.
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