Preimplantation Tests

Recently, many intended parents have opted for expensive screening processes known as Preimplantation Genetics Diagnosis (PGD) or Preimplantation Genetics Screening (PGS).

These two methods are similar in that the retrieved eggs must be fertilized with sperm in a dish, and then the resulting embryos must be grown in culture. Once the embryos reach a particular stage of its development (around day three), a small hole is made in the outer membrane of each embryo and a bit of the interior is removed for a biopsy. After biopsy, the IVF laboratory will send the cells to a genetics lab for analysis for PGD or PGS.

PGD is a way to determine whether an embryo is carrying the genetic material associated with a specific genetic disease, such as breast cancer. PGS can tell how many of each chromosome are in the cells of an embryo. Patients with some type of chromosomal problem or ones who are interested in selecting the gender of the child are good candidates for PGS.

There is the potential that none of the embryos may be normal or that the results are inaccurate depending on when the embryos are biopsied. There is also a chance that the procedure itself may have an adverse effect on the embryos. These procedures are also costly and are often not covered by insurance. Biopsy and analysis can cost somewhere in between $5,000 to $6,000 on top of the cost of an IVF cycle.

These screenings could potentially give intended parents an idea of what possible medical issues their children could have. However, if the results aren’t always viable, do you think it is worth the costs?

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