Worried about passing on incurable genetic conditions? PGD might help.

Midwest Fertility Center-baby, stethoscope

Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD)

You are understandably worried about passing on an incurable genetic condition to your unborn child. You can request preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD). At Midwest Fertility Center, we can help prospective parents detect congenital birth defects in an embryo before it develops. This procedure allows our Chicago and Northwest Indiana doctors to identify affected embryos before they are implanted in the uterus through In Vitro Fertilization (IVF).

PGD is a state-of-the-art genetic screening procedure that can detect a number of congenital conditions, including Tay-Sachs disease and Down syndrome. Depending on the specific concerns of the couple, our infertility specialists will screen either one or both parents to determine if a debilitating genetic trait is carried.

The Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis Procedure

The first portion of the Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) process is similar to In Vitro Fertilization (IVF). Fertility drugs are used to enhance ovulation in the woman; then the eggs are collected and fertilized with donated sperm (usually provided by the woman’s partner) in our laboratory. Three days later, the embryo often divides to the eight-cell level.

In a traditional IVF treatment, implantation would take place at this point. However, when PGD is being performed during the IVF process, one or two of the cells are removed from the embryo and an experienced specialist performs a molecular analysis of the DNA to detect any genetic defects. If a genetic defect is detected, the embryo will be destroyed. If the tested embryos are free from abnormalities, they will be placed in the woman’s womb. As in the traditional IVF process, the patient is carefully monitored for 10 to 12 days following the transplantation procedure, and then a follow-up pregnancy test is performed to assess the results of the implantation.

Results of Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis

As we continue to make advances in the field of PGD, the list of conditions and diseases that we can detect through the procedure continues to grow. Huntington’s disease, Tay-Sachs disease, Down syndrome, cystic fibrosis, sickle-cell anemia, and muscular dystrophy are just some of the many conditions we can currently test for in embryos.

Because every couple’s needs are different, our fertility specialists will create a custom PGD treatment for each patient. During your consultation at our office, we can further discuss how PGD can be used in your unique case.

For more information or to schedule a preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) consultation in the Chicago or Northwest Indiana area, please contact Midwest Fertility Center today.

Family Balancing

In order to help families that have more boys or girls and desire to balance the numbers, we offer our patients a specialized procedure called PGD for gender determination.

PGD can be done as part of an in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycle.  Couples must undergo IVF to allow for the formation of early embryos in the laboratory.  Usually when embryos are three days old, PGD is performed.

PGD is the analysis of genetic makeup of early embryos.  PGD for gender(sex) determination can be used to detect which embryos are male or female.  Some couples wish to undergo IVF will not choose an embryo based on sex.  However, some couples wish to undergo IVF to determine the sex of the embryo if, for example, they have two girls and wish to have a boy.  The desired embryos can be placed into the female’s uterus to achieve a pregnancy and the couple can be assured the sex of the child.

Midwest Fertility Center will perform family balancing in certain circumstances.  Please contact us to find out more.


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