As we explained in our last post, industry experts such as David Sable assure us that the future of assisted reproduction lies in discovering as much information as possible about embryos to prevent the transmission of disease and ensure the birth of healthy children.
The human genome project represents an important breakthrough for assisted reproduction as it has led to the development of a technique that allows embryos to be diagnosed before implantation in the womb.
What is preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD)?
Preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) is a method used to study embryos to ascertain whether or not they carry genetic disease before being transferred to the womb. This means that only healthy embryos are transferred.
Preimplantation genetic diagnosis has become a key treatment for people who are affected by hereditary disease and who want to prevent these diseases from being passed on to their children.
PGD is recommended in the following cases:
– People who are carriers of genetic anomalies, for example chromosomal reorganisations or numerical alterations of chromosomes.
– Couples who have experienced pregnancy with a foetus that has a chromosomal alteration.
– People who have, or who are carriers of, monogenic diseases or conditions linked to sexual chromosomes.
– Women who have experienced more than two miscarriages or repeated embryo implantation failure through in vitro cycles.
PGD and the future of fertility clinics
The problem with some of these genetic conditions is that they affect so few people that the cost of conducting research to treat the condition is high. This renders preimplantation genetic diagnosis a valuable alternative. At the same time, this study is increasingly offered to people undertaking treatment, particularly when the embryo quality is conditioned by the age of the person receiving treatment. For fertility clinics like Procreatec, using preimplantation genetic diagnosis ensures embryo quality and positive results. It also minimises the risks associated with multiple pregnancies to ensure healthy babies.
As Paul Dovrey noted when he came to Spain, PGD is a technique that allows completely healthy embryos to be selected that are suitable for transfer and achieving pregnancy.
The future of assisted reproduction lies in ensuring risk free pregnancy and healthy children, which can be achieved through genetic diagnosis and the transfer of single healthy embryos. This in turn will prevent multiple births and hereditary disease.