In vitro fertilization is an assisted reproductive technology that has the potential to create several embryos from the egg and sperm in a laboratory. Reproductive specialist Andrew L. Loucopoulos, MD, PhD, determines the health of these embryos as well as their potential genetic defects at his practice on Manhattan’s Upper East Side in New York City. He offers preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) to prevent diseases or disorders from being passed on to the child. To learn more about PGD and its benefits, call the office or book an appointment online.
To begin, you undergo the normal process of in vitro fertilization, including egg and sperm retrieval and fertilization in a laboratory. As the embryos divide into multiple cells over the next 3-5 days, a few cells are removed from each one, and then the embryos are frozen for possible future implantation.
The DNA of the embryonic cells is reviewed to determine if any genetic defects exist in one or more of the embryos. The process takes about seven days, or a little longer.
When the embryos are cleared of genetic defects, one can then be implanted to complete the IVF procedure. Other embryos that are also healthy may be kept frozen for future use, such as a later pregnancy or other attempts at IVF should the current effort not result in a pregnancy.
Because PGD involves the whole IVF process of getting your body ready to produce viable eggs, egg retrieval, fertilization, and complex laboratory tests, the process can take several weeks. Dr. Loucopoulos can sit down with you in advance to review the entire process and what to expect, so you’re fully prepared.
If you suspect you’re at risk of passing on a genetic disease or condition, PGD is a valid option. People who may consider it include:
Women who have had multiple pregnancy loss may also consider PGD. Preimplantation genetic diagnostic tests for more than 100 genetic conditions. It can be beneficial to a couple who may otherwise have not had children because of the risk of passing on a health condition.
While PGD does significantly reduce your chance of conceiving a child with a genetic disorder, it cannot make any guarantees of eliminating this risk. PGD also does not replace the importance of prenatal testing for other conditions.
To learn more about preimplantation genetic diagnosis and testing, call the office of Andrew L. Loucopoulos, MD, PhD, or book an appointment online.