Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD)
Many of New Life’s parents-to-be have a specific gender in mind as they go through their journey to parenthood and others look to balance their families with Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD). For example, some families with two girls may wish to add a boy to their growing family. While Georgia does not legally permit PGD for Gender Selection outside of medical necessity in the case of proven risk or a sex-linked disorder, New Life may refer parents-to-be with gender preference to our clinics in Mexico, South East Asia, Cyprus or Ukraine where PGD may legally be performed.
PGD Success Rate
The success rate of PGD embryos is equal to that of all other embryo transfers. With New Life, this success rate is remarkably high because all Egg Donors in our PGD programs are carefully selected and have proven history of at least one successful donation with 15 or more eggs produced and a current Antral Follicle Count of at least 20. These requirements have been established so our clinics can receive as many embryos as possible to develop them into five day blastocysts, as PGD can only be performed on the fifth day. After PGD, the number of embryos may be halved, and, in very rare cases, the parents-to-be may end up with only undetected gender embryos and/or embryos of the opposite gender.
Because we want you to be completely happy with the outcome of your program, if this happens, you will be given the option to move forward with the embryo transfer or apply for another PGD program until you receive embryos of your desired gender.
PGD can offer our parents-to-be some peace of mind. Aside from gender selection, the technology can also be used to determine the presence of chromosomal translocations and single-gene disorders. There are over 4,000 single-gene disorders, so unfortunately not all genes can be tested by PGD technology; however, while neither PGD nor PGS guarantees 100 percent genetically healthy embryos, they commonly test for gene disorders including Cystic Fibrosis, Tay Sachs, Fragile X, Myotonic Dystrophy and Thalassemia.
Common Instances for PGD Recommendation:
- Sex Selection
- A child previously born with a single-gene disorder
- Screening reveals that both partners are carriers for a single-gene disorder, putting the baby at risk of an inherited genetic disease
What is Preimplantation Genetic Screening (PGS)?
If the parents-to-be have experienced recurrent pregnancy loss or infertility, we may recommend Preimplantation Genetic Screening (PGS) to increase their odds of attaining a successful pregnancy in our programs. At this time there are no PGD/PGD labs in the country of Georgia, so any IVF clinic offering PGS does so through partnership with Turkish IVF clinics. We perform an embryo biopsy and send the biopsied materials to Turkey. Results are reported in approximately two weeks. After the biopsied embryos are frozen and we have received the results from Turkey, we can thaw and transfer the embryos. PGS can diminish some of the risk commonly associated with the IVF process by applying PGD technology for embryo screening. Although not 100 percent accurate, embryo screening can look for missing or extra chromosomes so we can attempt to transfer only chromosomally normal and healthy embryos to help give your baby the best possible start to life.
PGS is commonly recommended for:
- Women aged 39 or older
- Cases of two or more miscarriages
- Cases of two or more IVF failures
- Severe male factor infertility
Risks Associated with PGD and PGS:
Embryo Biopsy and Removal of Cells
The micromanipulation techniques used to perform PGD have been in practice for years. When performed by an experienced embryologist, the risk of accidental damage to an embryo during the removal of cells is very low, at less than one percent. Since New Life employs only the highest qualified professionals, our parents-to-be do not need to feel stressed during this process. Only one or two cells are removed from the embryo two days following fertilization. At this stage, all cells are still immature with the potential to become an embryo, so the procedure does not affect any part of the future fetus, your baby. While the biopsy can delay cell division for a few hours, normal development will continue soon after completion of the procedure. This may result in lower implantation rates, but PGD may also increase overall success rates for our parents-to-be, positively offsetting the potential risk.
PGD is 90 percent accurate; the remaining ten percent results from false negatives or positives and the chance for no result or mosaicism (cells from the same person have different genetic makeup). Since cells originate from the same fertilized egg, they should have the same chromosomal makeup, though in some cases we do see abnormal chromosome counts. In these occasional cases, a misdiagnosis may occur.
No Embryos Are Available for Transfer
In about 15 % of couples we find there are no normal embryos available for transfer. This often occurs when women have a negative response to ovarian stimulation, resulting in a lower number of eggs or embryos. Lower egg and embryo counts can also occur when there are chromosomal abnormalities or lower egg or sperm quality. However, this will not prevent you from becoming parents. If three IVF/PGD cycles fail to produce normal embryos, we may recommend alternative solutions that can help you achieve your dream of parenthood.