The news that your eggs have been successfully fertilized during IVF and that you now have viable embryos makes you eager to move on to implantation as soon as possible. However, your fertility doctor recommends PGD testing to determine if your fetus has chromosomal disorders or genetic defects.
You’ve waited so long for a child, and you wonder if these tests are really necessary or even effective. Does PGD testing guarantee you’ll have a healthy baby?
What PGD does
A PGD test diagnoses the presence or absence of a chromosomal or genetic abnormality. Here at our office, fertility expert Dr. Vicken Sepilian conducts PGD tests to look for:
Monosomy is a condition in which your fetus is missing a chromosome from one of its pairs. For instance, babies are usually born with a pair of chromosomes that determine sex. But a baby with Turner syndrome is born with only the X chromosome rather than an XX pair (female), or an XY pair (male).
Trisomy is a condition in which your fetus has an extra chromosome. Conditions caused by trisomy include Down syndrome.
Other chromosomal rearrangements
Other changes in the structure or arrangement of chromosomes may affect your child’s health, including an increased risk for noncancerous or cancerous tumors.
Inherited disorders — such as cystic fibrosis, sickle-cell disease, and Tay-sachs disease — are caused by changes in your genes called mutations. Most of the time, you and your partner must both have and pass on the mutated gene to affect your child.
PGD testing checks for more than 100 genetic and chromosomal abnormalities.
How PGD testing is performed
After your embryos have developed for about five days, your doctor removes a few cells for PGD testing. The embryos are then carefully frozen until the tests have been completed.
The lab examines the DNA of each embryo, looking for chromosomal changes or mutations. The tests take 7-14 days.
Based on the results, Dr. Sepilian selects several embryos that are free from genetic or chromosomal defects for implantation. Other healthy embryos are preserved for your future implantations or donation. Abnormal embryos are destroyed.
PGD increases the chance of successful implantation
Your body is more likely to spontaneously abort an embryo that has genetic disorders. The chance for a misdiagnosis during PGD is less than 1%. By only implanting embryos that are free from mutations and chromosomal misarrangements, Dr. Sepilian increases the chances that your embryos can successfully implant in your uterus.
By testing for abnormalities, your chances for an uneventful pregnancy and healthy baby are also increased. Dr. Sepilian still recommends prenatal testing in most instances once your pregnancy is viable.
While no test can give a definitive answer about your baby’s health and future, PGD increases your chance for successful implantation and a healthy baby. To learn more about PGD testing or to schedule a fertility consultation, call our helpful teams in Glendale and Santa Monica, California. You can also reach us with the online booking form.