PGD and PGS both are types of genetic testing performed on cells from embryos in the embryology lab. However, they have different purposes and different screen for different genetic problems. PGD or PGS is not required for every infertile couple to achieve fertility. These are applied in some cases to help the reproductive endocrinologist to find healthy embryos to be implanted in the uterus during IVF treatment.
What Is PGS and When Is It Used?
PGS (Preimplantation genetic screening) is a type of genetic screening to determine whether embryo cells have the correct number of chromosomes. As a matter of fact, humans have 23 pairs of chromosomes. Any chromosomal abnormalities like too many or too few chromosomes cause the failure of embryos to implant and lead to miscarriage even. This happens usually to women at an older age. It is important to know that PGS does not test for a specific disease. However, this test can detect Down syndrome that is caused due to the presence of an extra chromosome 21 in the embryo cell.
Women after the age of 35 usually experience fertility issues and find it difficult to get pregnant with their own eggs. They often experience recurrent miscarriages that sometimes lead to depression and a broken heart. Fertility experts recommend PGS in such situations to increase the chances of transferring a healthy embryo. This is a game-changer procedure that enables the reproductive endocrinologist to transfer only the healthiest embryos. This increases the chances of successful IVF. PGS requires 5 or 6 embryos for older women with decreased ovarian reserve. This extra step enhances the quality of the healthy embryo and increases the chance of a healthy pregnancy.
What Is PGD and When Is It Used?
PGD (Preimplantation genetic diagnosis) is another type of genetic screening to detect the presence of genes for specific diseases in the embryo cells. This test is recommended to couples if the male partner has a history of genetic diseases in his family and does not want it to pass on to his child. As a matter of fact, in some cases, a person may be a carrier for a disease without having the disease himself. PGD tests are done for:
- Translocations of genes
- Exchange of chromosomal materials or other structural rearrangements causing birth defects, mental retardation, or even chances of miscarriage
- Marfan syndrome
- Huntington disease
- Genetic diseases carried on the X chromosome, such as hemophilia or Duchenne muscular dystrophy
- Recessive genetic diseases such as cystic fibrosis or Tay-Sachs disease
- To avoid an X-linked genetic disease (mostly male partners have those), or balance the family
- Abnormalities in the number of chromosomes
Fertility treatment has come a long way ever since the introduction of IVF. Of with procedures like PGS and PGD, IVF programs can be utilized to be more effective and successful in minimum attempts and trials. There are a number of issues that hampers the success of an IVF cycle and becomes the cause of grief for the intended parents. At NewLife, we highly recommend PGS and PGD procedures for couples who have had an experience of failed IVF cycle before. This could help us to understand the reasons for infertility better and serve you better.
The procedure of IVF not only requires your financial investment but also ask for your emotional engagement. Hence, we always recommend to be sure of the fertility issue first and then go for any remedial action. This not only saves time and money for the couple but also gives them a happy IVF journey.