Helping Couples Select Healthy Genes When Planning to Get Pregnant

Part of the joy of marriage is having children. Unfortunately, one or both partners may have fertility issues and require a little help. Fortunately, today’s technology simplifies things and make it easier for infertile couples to have a child. Today’s technology can also help screen and plan for the sex of the child, and ensure that the child will not have problems at birth, such as Down’s Syndrome or Tay-Sachs Disease. Couples who are infertile usually opt for in vitro fertilization (IVF). In such cases, they can take advantage of a process called pre implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD).

What is PGD?

The fertility doctor may suggest PGD for the sake of those couples who might be at risk for passing on a genetic disorder, or who may have had recent miscarriages. PGD is used to determine whether a genetic mutation has been passed on to the mother’s egg or the embryo. The laboratory process screens for single gene defects in either or both of the parents that may carry mutated genes or a balanced chromosomal rearrangement. There is another advantage to using this process.

How is PGD Helpful in the Fertility Process?

When infertile couples need help with the fertility process by using in vitro fertilization, it takes place in a lab with the egg and sperm from the couple (or donor if necessary). Either a single cell is taken from a Day 3 embryo or six to eight cells are taken on a Day 5 or 6 blastocyst. These cells are removed and the chromosomes are examined for genetic issues. A couple of PGD methods that are used to do this are the fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) and the polymerase chain reaction, also called PCR.

Selecting the Clinic that Will Do PGD

Using PGD will screen out over 50 genetic disorders. Should a problem be found with an embryo, the couple can elect to choose only those embryos that have no problem. PGD is also used to help the couple select the gender of the child, which is beneficial for the couple. If any couples are looking for a clinic that can help them with their infertility problems, they can visit the website of the HRC Fertility Clinic at