Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis Provides Hope

Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis: Lab technician depositing samples in vials next to microscope

Individuals who know they are carriers of high-risk diseases are often concerned about passing on genetic disorders to their children. In the past, genetic screening made it possible to identify chromosomal abnormalities during pregnancy. However, if the developing fetus tested positive for any conditions, the parents were left with the difficult choice of whether or not to continue with the pregnancy. During in vitro fertilization (IVF)preimplantation genetic diagnosis performed at our Omaha office allows us to screen embryos before they are transferred to the mother's uterus. Using this technique, we are able to identify and transfer only healthy embryos, minimizing the risk of passing on inherited conditions. If you have been considering IVF treatment and are concerned about passing on high-risk genetic disorders, please contact our office to make an appointment with one of our doctors.

The Screening Process

Because it involves embryo testing prior to transfer to the uterus, PGD screening is only available to patients who are undergoing IVF treatment. The IVF procedure involves harvesting eggs from the mother, which will be fertilized in a laboratory with the father's or a donor's sperm. After fertilization has occurred, a single cell will be isolated from each embryo for chromosomal analysis. These cells will be tested for genetic markers that could signify the presence of inherited conditions or defects that may inhibit implantation. PGD will reveal healthy embryos which will then be selected for transfer to the mother's uterus.

PGD Treatment Benefits

In addition to the reassurance and peace of mind that PGD screening provides from knowing that your baby is at minimal risk for developing an inherited condition, the ability to test for defects that may inhibit implantation can be a wonderful tool to increase the chances of carrying a pregnancy to full term. PGD testing can dramatically improve the chances of a successful pregnancy for women who have been unable to conceive or have miscarried in the past. By identifying and transferring only healthy embryos, we are able to reduce the number of embryos that we place in the uterus. This reduces the risk of miscarriage and complications associated with multiple pregnancies. 

PGD screening can help identify chromosomal markers for couples who may be at risk of passing on:

  • Achondroplasia
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Down syndrome
  • Hemophilia A
  • Huntington's disease
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Sickle cell anemia
  • Tay-Sachs disease

PGD screening can be used in all types of IVF procedures. It can be used in cases where the sperm and eggs are provided by the biological parents, procedures that involve donated reproductive tissue, and even when surrogate carriers are involved. PGD screening is a safe and effective procedure that does not pose any threat to the mother or the embryo. 

Learn More During a Consultation

The decision to undergo IVF is a highly personal one, and our doctors have all the tools you need to make an informed choice. If you have a family history of an inherited disease, or have had difficulty conceiving naturally, PGD may be right for you. To learn more, please contact our office to schedule a consultation with one of our fertility specialists.

Heartland Center for Reproductive Medicine

Heartland Center for Reproductive Medicine

Dr. Stephanie L.F. Gustin, Dr. Elizabeth Constance, and Dr. Elizabeth Weedin are skilled reproductive endocrinologists who offer state-of-the-art fertility treatments. An open and inclusive environment, the Heartland Center for Reproductive Medicine can address different causes of infertility and help LGBTQ couples build loving families.

Contact our practice online or call us at (402) 717-4200 to schedule a consultation.

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