The wish of every parent is to give birth to a child that is healthy and capable of leading a life free of medical complications or diseases. And while that is not entirely possible in the natural order of things, most parents would like the option of knowing at least what to expect as far as their child’s future health is concerned.
This is more apparent with couples who conceive through IVF. Questions about the IVF success rate in India notwithstanding, concerns about the child’s birth, health and overall development can also be a source of anxiety for prospective parents. It’s also the reason why quite a few couples opting for test tube baby treatment also choose to go for PGS (preimplantation genetic screening) and PGD (preimplantation genetic diagnosis). Similar to prenatal diagnosis in principle, these twin tests can tell you a lot of things about an embryo that is created through IVF and before it’s transferred to the uterus. Owing to a rationalization of the IVF cost in India, more and more parents are opting for these two tests to ensure the child that is born is free of debilitating genetic conditions.
Preimplantation genetic screening is a genetic screening procedure that is used to confirm if an embryo’s cells have the necessary number of chromosomes. Human beings have 23 pairs of chromosomes. A too high or too low chromosomal count is an example of chromosomal abnormalities and is among the most prominent causes of miscarriages and failed embryo implantation. The likelihood of these abnormalities manifesting also increases as the woman’s eggs get older. PGS IVF itself doesn’t test for specific diseases. However, the presence of an extra chromosome 21 leads to Down syndrome and PGS is capable of detecting that.
PGS testing is recommended under the following situations,
PGS increases the chances of success for an IVF cycle as it allows the embryologist to transfer only the healthiest embryos. However, the test requires at least 5 to 6 embryos, which can be a challenging ask for women over 36 years. PGS itself is an extra step in the IVF process and is performed before the embryos are placed inside the uterus. IVF with PGS success rates are notably higher than an IVF procedure without PGS.
Preimplantation genetic diagnosis is a kind of genetic screening procedure that detects the presence of certain disease-causing genes. PGD testing is ideal for couples who have a family history of genetic diseases(s) and want to avoid passing on the same to their future child. In certain cases, either one or both parents might just be carrying the disease-causing genes while not suffering from the disease itself.
PGD genetic testing is used to test for,
Just like PGS, PGD too is performed as an additional step in the IVF treatment. It is done right before the embryo is transferred into the womb of the mother. PGD success rates are more visible among women over the age of 36 years and who have opted for IVF treatment. Moreover, PGD IVF is notably more complex than PGS IVF as it tests for individual genes.
Anyone can choose to undergo these twin tests. However, if one or both partners in a couple have a family history of active genetic diseases, undergoing these tests is strongly recommended. PGS treatment in India is fairly common and wide available. Although more complicated in nature than PGS, PGD in India is becoming quite popular with couples who want their future child to be free from genetic abnormalities. The diagnoses are also popular with those going the surrogate route. Any reputed and legally accredited surrogacy center in India offers these tests before implanting the embryo into the womb of the surrogate.
While the cost of both tests is over and above the IVF treatment cost, they are invaluable in the larger scheme of things.