Stopping genetic illness with PGD
Finding out you are pregnant will bring you great joy. But what if you find out, while you are pregnant, that your baby has a devastating, life-threatening genetic disease? At Texas Fertility Center, we can offer future parents peace of mind. All we need is a simple blood (or saliva) test or embryo biopsy prior to IVF. An IVF lab technique called PGD enables us to find the single gene that can cause inheritable genetic disease.
Taking IVF to the next level
Today, we have many options that remove the guesswork from whether or not we will pass on a genetic disease; why we can’t get pregnant; and what went wrong when we miscarry. Thanks to advances in DNA mapping, our reproductive endocrinologists with their state of the art Austin IVF have access to life-changing data about a cell’s blueprint.
Genes (a body’s instructional code): Preconception blood or saliva testing provides helpful answers about potential genetic problems. With the relatively affordable cost, and non-invasive nature of the test, more and more couples are pursuing preconception genetic testing. At TFC, we work with labs that conduct ‘responsible carrier screening.’ That means your report will only include results for life-threatening disorders. Far-reaching DNA tests that examine hundreds of genetic issues that would otherwise remain undetected can cause unnecessary alarm.
Chromosomes (which contain genes): Your fertility doctor may recommend preimplantation genetic screening if you have certain risk factors: advanced maternal age, recurrent miscarriage, IVF cycles that have not resulted in having a baby, sperm disorders, or a family history of genetic or chromosomal disorders. Preimplantation genetic screening usually takes place after egg retrieval and fertilization on Day 5, in an IVF cycle. In our partner genetics reference labs, scientists can screen for aneuploidy (the wrong number of chromosomes) and chromosomal translocations. With this technique, unaffected, chromosomally sound embryos are transferred to the uterus.
Exploring PGD and embryos
Embryos (holding genetic code from mom and dad): When we know what we are looking for, TFC embryologists can develop a genetic probe to search for the single affected gene in the embryo’s cells. Or, we can cast a wider net and FISH for all potential problems. Either way, your embryo will have been screened to make it more likely that your IVF cycle will result in having a healthy baby.
Products of Conception: We can gain invaluable information about the cause for miscarriage by examining the chromosomal make-up after a pregnancy loss.
The options available to you can seem overwhelming, but the TFC clinical care staff will walk beside you as you make decisions. We also recommend genetic counseling for some of our patients. If you would like to know more about PGD and preconception testing, contact us here.
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