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PGD (Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis)
The preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) is a technique used to test embryos for genetic or chromosomal disorders before it implants in the uterus and can be combined with an IVF cycle.
It involves a biopsy where a cell is removed from an embryo at an early stage of development, generally on day three after the fertilization. The cell is then analyzed to determine the presence of specific genetic or chromosome features. During the study the embryos are kept in a culture medium in the laboratory until the results are back.
Once the genetic or chromosome diagnosis is back we will select the normal embryos to transfer or freeze them and will discard the abnormal ones.
PGD is a useful tool to avoid the transmission of genetic abnormalities or hereditary diseases to the offspring, eliminate the risk of spontaneous miscarriages in some particular cases and improve the success rates of IVF treatments.
In IVF treatments with PGD the embryos will be selected bases on their morphology and chromosomes. This increases the chances of getting pregnant as we minimize the risk of transferring abnormal embryos which generally do not implant or produce spontaneous miscarriages.
Despite being a technique that allows an accurate diagnosis, PGD has some limitations that make question its effectiveness in some cases.
For this reason PGD should not exclude prenatal testing.