Pre-implantation genetics diagnosis (PGD) is a technique used to diagnose couples who have a family history of genetic condition or who had unsuccessful treatments to have a healthy baby by in vitro fertilization (IVF). This technique involves checking the genes of the embryos of the couple one by one, separating the healthy ones from abnormal ones, and, the healthy ones are, then, transferred to the mother-to-be.
PGD is mainly used in three circumstances. The first case involves women who want to have a baby by an advanced maternal age. Especially after the age of 37 the rate of eggs with deficient chromosomes dramatically increases and through the fertilization of these eggs, the chance of abnormal embryos increase. Women getting pregnant by IVF, have higher chances of pregnancy and lower chances of miscarriages when they have a PGD embryo scan before embryos are transferred into the uterus.
The second circumstance is regarding couples who cannot have any pregnancy after repeated IVF treatments. One possibility in IVF failure can be due to abnormal embryos. In such cases, screening abnormal and normal embryos and transferring genetically healthy ones increases the posibility of success.
The third circumstance is regarding women having recurrent miscarriages. If the reason behind the miscarriages is abnormal embryos, then, PGD might be useful.
Additionally, prior to pregnancy, genetic diseases such as Mediterranean anemia (thalassemia) and sickle-cell (crescent cell) anemia, which are common on the island, can be diagnosed via PGD.