Genetic Disorders: Some couples may be at risk for passing specific genetic illnesses to their offspring. In these cases, the specific gene may be isolated in the man or woman and during an IVF/ ICSI cycle. A special biopsy can be taken of the embryos to determine whether any embryos carry that genetic mutation. This can help prevent transmission of the genetic illness to a child. This is called pre-implantation genetic diagnosis. Almost any genetic disorder can be tested.
Complete Chromosomal Screening: Sometimes genetically abnormal embryos are created from genetically abnormal eggs or sperm. This increases as women get older, with severe sperm abnormalities, in younger women whose ovaries do not work as well, and in women with multiple miscarriages. Embryos can be biopsied and tested to find out if they contain the correct number of chromosomes before using them in an embryo transfer. This is called pre-implantation genetic screening. This information may become useful for both diagnostic and therapeutic reasons (to increase pregnancy rate and to prevent miscarriage).
The information which can be obtained from embryo biopsies continues to expand. Please consult your physician to learn more about this process and to find out if PGD has any potential benefit for you.