Should I Have PGD Before Starting a Family?

Category: Male Fertility Specialists (MFS) | Posted on Jul 15, 2015
Should I Have PGD Before Starting a Family?

PGD, also known as preimplantation genetic diagnosis is an increasingly common area of screening and treatment in the fertility field. As we learn more about certain diseases and how they are passed from one generation to the next, we are able to test for the existence of these diseases and, in some cases, use PGD to prevent the spread of a disease from the parent(s) to their children.

PGD is a remarkable asset to fertility patients and has made a significant difference in the lives of those individuals who once felt they were unable to have biological children for fear of passing a disease along to them.

What is PGD?
PGD refers to the testing of your DNA to determine if any abnormalities or disorders are present. Certain genetic conditions can cause infertility or cause a women to be unable to maintain a healthy pregnancy. In cases of infertility, genetic testing may be used to determine if there is a cause for infertility. If infertility is due to recurrent miscarriage, this can also be determined. Preimplantation genetic diagnosis, or PGD, on the other hand, is used to test embryos for certain diseases prior to their use during in vitro fertilization (IVF).

What does PGD test for?
When utilizing PGD, doctors are looking for specific types of diseases. If you have a genetic disease or have a family history of a certain genetic disease, then your doctor may advise PGD prior to undergoing IVF treatment. The following is a list of diseases/disorders that PGD can screen for:

  • Tay Sachs disease
  • Canavan disease
  • Gaucher disease
  • Niemann-Pick disease
  • Sickle cell anemia
  • CF-Molecular
  • Alpha thalassemia
  • Beta thalassemia

The above list are diseases that are frequently found in specific ethnicities or heritages, such as Ashkenazi Jewish, Northern European, African, Middle Eastern, Southeast Asian and more.

Should I have PGD before starting a family?
The decision to undergo PGD is between you and your partner. For those who are aware that they carry a certain condition or that their family has a history, PGD is available. The decision is personal, but your doctor can advise whether your specific genetic condition is likely to spread to your offspring, perhaps even offering a percentage as to this possibility.If you are of the above ethnicities or heritages and are curious as to whether a genetic disease is present, we recommend speaking with your doctor to see if a need for testing exists.

What do you think? We'd love to hear what you have to say!