Assisted reproductive procedures like In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF) are undertaken by a number of couples seeking parenthood across the globe. While these treatments give people a ray of hope, the success of these procedures varies from person to person. Preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) has emerged as a breakthrough procedure to greatly improve the chance of a successful IVF pregnancy in couples who have suffered prior IVF failures due to unexplained reasons.
Studies reveal that over half of all IVF failures cannot be explained by an apparent problem with embryo ‘quality’. However, for several couples, this statistic is quite misleading. Most IVF centers look very closely at the appearance of embryos under the microscope as they attempt to determine a “good” or “high quality” embryo from those of lesser quality.
However, recent advances in IVF show that even the embryos getting the highest ratings from scientists based on their “normal” or “excellent” appearance under the microscope might turn out to be highly abnormal and totally incapable of ever resulting into a pregnancy. This discovery was brought about by the addition of preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) to the IVF tools available to scientists in the laboratory.
For the first time ever, PGD has offered physicians and scientists the ability to look beyond the superficial appearance of an embryo. The procedure enables the lab to examine the most important internal genetic code of the embryo as well. With these new genetic tools, PGD IVF specialists have come to learn that some of the ‘highest’ quality embryos may carry a genetic code that renders them improper for attempting to establish a healthy pregnancy.
Through PGD, IVF practitioners have also learned that other embryos that could have been classified as ineligible based on their appearance, and may not have been selected for return to the mother might have been some of the finest quality. Compared to the embryos selected without the use of PGD, these embryos could have ten or twenty times more chance of producing a healthy pregnancy.
The technique has confirmed that simply observing and grading the appearance of an embryo stands utterly insufficient of providing reliable information to the patients who have failed IVF procedure. Due to the enhanced success, the procedure has enabled, leading centers for IVF in Dubai, UK, and the USA have embraced PGD for IVF procedures.
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