Avoid hereditary illnesses in our children
Nowadays, genetics offer great support to reproductive medicine, because it offers different tests, depending on the reproductive stage that the couple are in. This aims to minimise the risk of passing on hereditary illnesses to their children as much as possible. Once in-vitro fertilisation has taken place, PGD or Pre-implantation genetic diagnosis studies the genetic status of the embryos obtained via IVF. This is done via a biopsy.
Normally, a specialist must approve PGD before it can be carried out.
These indications are:
- One of the future parents is a symptomatic or asymptomatic carrier of a genetic illness or a chromosomal anomaly.
- The woman is carrier of an illness linked to the X sexual chromosome.
- The couple have a gynaecological history of repeated miscarriages, or if the woman is older.
This study can only be carried out on eggs generated by in-vitro fertilisation. Also, it is important to have a good amount of embryos, because following the study, the anomalies will be rejected and only those confirmed as normal will be transferred, for the purpose of the study.
To carry out PGD it is advisable to cultivate the embryos to the blastocyte stage, which is reached around 5 or 6 days after fertilisation. This is the moment when the embryo already has an internal cellular mass that will generate a foetus and another external layer that is called the trophectoderm that will generate the placenta. In this phase, the Embryonic Biopsy is carried out. This technique makes a small hole in the trophectoderm of the embryo, to extract 4 or 5 cells with a micropipette. As these cells will generate the placenta, if the technique is carried out correctly, it should not affect the development of the foetus. Once the biopsy has been carried out, the embryo is vitrified or transferred once the specialist knows the results of the study.
Genetic study of the embryo. This is PGD itself. The biopsy samples of all the embryos are studied in the genetics laboratory according to the indication of the couple. Once the study has been finalised, the laboratory provides a report which indicates which embryos can be transferred and which cannot.
Thanks to PGD we can prevent more commonly known illnesses such as Down’s Syndrome, but also illnesses that are considered rare, or even certain types of hereditary cancer.
Equipo Juana Crespo has a PGD laboratory, with the best professionals and with a specialised and accredited geneticist. For this reason, our clinic is among those with the highest rates of success for this technique.