Worrying about the health of your unborn child is a common and normal part of pregnancy. Those feelings can be intensified when your family has a history of serious illness or if you’re having difficulty conceiving.
Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis is a test that can screen embryos created through in vitro fertilization (IVF) to see whether they will suffer from a condition or are carriers of a genetic abnormalities that will cause a serious illness. If you or your partner have a family history of serious illness and you are undergoing IVF, your doctor may recommend preimplantation genetic diagnosis.
Preimplantation genetic diagnosis is done by taking some cells from fertilized embryos and analyzing the genes. Once the embryos without genetic abnormalities are cleared, they are then placed in the mother’s uterus.
Preimplantation genetic screening is similar, but this test checks the embryos for common chromosomal abnormalities that could lead to a miscarriage or a disorder like Down’s syndrome. Your doctor may suggest preimplantation genetic screening if you or your partner have history of chromosomal issues, or if you’re over the age of 35 or have had repeated miscarriages.
Once you have the results of your preimplantation genetic diagnosis or screening, you’ll be able to consult with your doctor about which embryos to implant during IVF. Preimplantation genetic diagnosis or screening can’t guarantee a healthy baby, but it can significantly lessen the chances that your baby will be born with a genetic condition.
As your baby develops, you’ll want to talk to your doctor about what kind of prenatal care and testing you should have. Monitoring your baby’s health remains important even with preimplantation genetic diagnosis or screening.