Preimplementation Genetic Screening

Although no single test can predict all the risks of defect in a child, genetic screening may help identify potential parents who have an increased risk of age-related or familial genetic disorders and birth defects.

Screening for genetic diseases that may affect offspring depends upon the racial or ethnic background of the parents, family and medical history, and associated conditions. If there is a family history of a disorder, or a potential parent belongs to an at-risk racial or ethnic group, he or she may opt for genetic testing.

Preimplantation genetic diagnosis refers to a procedure that evaluates embryos before implantation. PGD involves screening the chromosomes of a single cell, obtained from an early developing embryo, for gene defects and chromosomal abnormalities before the embryo is implanted during an IVF procedure.

Preimplantation screening uses PGD techniques to identify embryos at risk and allows physicians to identify various genetic diseases in the embryo before the pregnancy is established. Screening is of special value for those who are at risk of having children with serious genetic problems.