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Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) is a form of genetic testing that can be used with in-vitro fertilization to test embryos for known disease prior to placing them back into the uterus.
This technique has been commonly used with couples where one or both of the parents carries a known disease that can be passed on to their children such as cystic fibrosis, sickle cell disease, hemophilia, Huntington’s disease, muscular dystrophy and many more.
While many parents worry about passing these genes on to their children, several forms of genetic testing have evolved which allow us to test an embryo before even placing it in the uterus.
The most common way to test for these conditions is to biopsy the embryo on day three of development. This will not affect any aspect of the in-vitro fertilization process leading up to that day.
When the embryos are at the 6-10 cell stage, one or two cells can be safely removed for genetic testing without compromising the embryo. Testing at this stage yields a diagnostic accuracy of 95-98%.
After the embryos are tested, they will be separated into those free of disease, embryos carrying the gene for the disease and embryos that will develop the disease.
This will help guide you and your physician in determining which embryos are safe to transfer back to the uterus on day five of development and achieve a healthy pregnancy.