Getting PGS And PGD Before IVF Treatment

5 min read

Fertility issues have plagued many couples’ lives. The technological advancement and innovation in fertility treatments have helped many couples start a family of their own. In vitro fertilization (IVF) treatments have changed the lives of many families for the better. If you are planning on getting an IVF treatment, you need to know about Preimplantation Genetic Screening (PGS) and Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD).

couple discussing with doctor

What is Preimplantation Genetic Screening(PGS)?

PGS is a procedure that screens an embryo to check if it has the right number of chromosomes. A total of 23 pairs of chromosomes are required to make a healthy human baby.

IVF treatments are known for multiple pregnancies. This is because multiple embryos are inserted into the uterus to increase the chances of implantation. When the number of chromosomes is less or more than the required 23 pairs, it can lead to miscarriages. In order to avoid this, fertility centers advise couples to do PGS. The PGS normal embryo success rate is quite high since defective embryos are not implanted.

concept of Embryo genetic testing

What is meant by Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis(PGD)?

Unlike PGS, PGD is a procedure that screens the couple’s embryo for any known genetic disease or defective gene that can cause disease. If the male or the female has a family history of certain genetic diseases, they can be carriers of the defective gene. They need not suffer from the disease itself but can have the gene that can pass on the disease to the next generation.

In order to avoid this, PGD is done and the defective gene can also be removed. Some of the diseases the PGD screens are:

  • Hemophilia A
  • BRAC 1 & BRAC 2 can cause breast and ovarian cancers
  • Cystic Fibrosis
  • Sickle Cell Anemia
  • Spinal Muscular Atrophy
  • Huntington’s Disease

 IVF cycle with preimplantation genetic testing

What is the Cost of IVF with PGD?

The PGD cost is not included in the cost of the IVF treatment. Any IVF treatment cost quoted is generally excluding PGD testing cost. Couples undergoing IVF and PGD need to remember, they need to consider the entire IVF with PGD cost when they decide to go in for this treatment. This can be quite expensive and even more so if more than one attempt is required.

If budget is indeed a constraint for you, do find out how much does IVF with PGD costs before you sign up for it. Do remember your expenses do not stop here and the entire pregnancy and the baby after will require you to spend constantly.

How is PGD/PGS Testing Different from Genetic Testing?

  • A genetic test is done on a person to determine if they have any genetic disorders or diseases. On the other hand, PGS and PGD are done on an embryo before it is implanted in the uterus.
  • While genetic testing tests a person or the parent to be, PGS and PGD test the newly fertilized egg.
  • Genetic testing can tell a person if they have any genetic disorders or diseases or even a defective gene they can pass on to their children. This type of testing is done on newborn babies too, to check for any genetic disorders that could have been passed down from the parents.

What are the Reasons for PGD being Prescribed?

Since an IVF is an expensive procedure and is done to help couples who are unable to get pregnant naturally, all IVF treatments recommend a PGD. Embryos that have a defective gene are not used in IVF treatments. This increases the IVF success rate and results in healthy pregnancies and babies.

When an embryo with a genetic defect is implanted, not only can it result in a miscarriage but can also result in a baby being born with genetic disorders or diseases. Science has come a long way and PGD helps couples who are already struggling to conceive, to have a healthy child.

women doing genetic diagnosis testing

Are there any Risks Involved in PGS/PGD Testing?

Any testing or medical procedure comes with its own set of disadvantages. Some of the risks involved in PGS and PGD testing are:

  • The tests do not screen for all genetic disorders and diseases, hence the chances of conceiving a baby with defects are not nil
  • A false-negative test result could lead to implanting the wrong embryo which can then result in a miscarriage or a baby with defects
  • A false-positive test result can show there are no healthy embryos to transfer
  • There is no guarantee the baby will be free of genetic disorders or diseases
  • The IVF PGD process can result in ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome

FAQS:

Here are a few frequently asked questions regarding PGD and PGS testing:

1 .What does PGS Testing tell you?

The PGS helps in determining if the embryo is healthy enough and well-balanced. When a chromosome is missing, it can not only result in a miscarriage but can result in other genetic disorders like Down Syndrome too. With PGS results, IVF treatments can be more successful.

2. Should everyone do PGS Testing?

PGS is not recommended for everyone opting for an IVF. It is recommended only if:

  • The woman is more than 38 years of age
  • You want only a single child and avoid multiple births
  • You are particular about gender (this is still illegal in India)
  • You have had miscarriages earlier
  • You have had failed IVF treatments

3. What is the IVF Success Rate with PGS Testing?

The data on this is not clear as research is being carried out only for women between the age of 39 and 41. Women below 35 are not considered and hence PGS-normal success rate is inconclusive. Also, IVF with miscarriage rate is also unknown.

4. Does PGS/PGD Cost a lot?

Any genetic testing is expensive when compared to other medical tests and treatments. However, with an increase in the number of players in this market, the tests are competitively priced. Do your research and choose what suits your budget and needs.

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