PGD and PGS techniques: PGD (Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis) and PGS (Pre-Implantation Genetic Screening), through mouthfuls, are revolutionary techniques in the field of IVF. Earlier. Women would go through the process of implantation in IVF, and find out several months later, that their child carried a life-threatening disease. Considering the fact that these women had already been through so much mentally and physically, the decision on whether to undergo an abortion or give birth to a child with zero to the low quality of life would result in an extremely messy situation. With PGD and PGS techniques, this situation is averted, as the cells of the embryos themselves are checked, and only unaffected embryos are considered for transfer. This saves parents a lot of pain in the long run.
What is PGD?
Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis involves testing a few cells from the embryos for single gene disorders (disorders that occur due to a single mutated gene) and chromosomal abnormalities (chromosomes that have rearranged). Thanks to PGD, almost 4000 single gene disorders, like Cystic Fibrosis, Spinal Muscular Atrophy, and Thalassemia, have been avoided. Generally, parents who are carriers of these genes have a high risk of passing them down to their child. PGD testing detects these abnormalities before the embryo is transferred to the uterus and any damage is done.
What is PGS?
Pre-implantation Genetic Screening is more general and covers a larger area than PGD. As opposed to PGD, which only screens for single gene disorders, PGS checks the embryo cells for a large variety of diseases. This is helpful when the parents are not carriers of any particular genetic diseases, but still need to check the embryos for some reason. PGS Testing is also done to detect chromosomal abnormalities, which lead to disorders such as Down Syndrome.
PGD vs PGS
PGD is generally recommended to parents who are carriers of genetic disorders. The technique is used to determine if that specific gene is present in the embryo. PGS, on the other hand, is conducted when parents are not carriers at all.
PGS is a great technique for couples who have gone through multiple miscarriages, and don’t know why. This helps them understand if there are any genetic or chromosomal abnormalities that hinder the pregnancy, and specialists can select the embryo with the best chance of survival.
PGD is helpful for couples who are not infertile but are carriers of genes. Going through IVF with PGD can help them ensure that the genetic disease is not passed on to the child.
There are various couples who have a definite family plan in mind. PGD and PGS can also help in sex selection. Where parents can decide if they want a female or male child, and the corresponding embryo is transferred.
How do PGD and PGS techniques work?
PGD and PGS techniques are conducted in the phase after the eggs are fertilized. And before the embryos are transferred to the uterus. A few cells are collected from the embryos and sent for genetic testing. The results generally take 2-3 days to be generated. Based on the results, the best embryo is selected for transfer. PGS and PGD statistics are high, as they offer a 99% success rate.
PGD and PGS techniques are incredible and could go awry in the wrong hands. So it is necessary to visit an efficient and experienced fertility clinic. PGD and PGS have proven to increase IVF success rates, and ensure that couples do not have to go through the pain of deciding what to do about a disease-ridden baby. Out of all the tough decisions that parents make, compromising their child’s life is not one of them.