Preimplantation genetic diagnosis is a specialised treatment for couples who carry an inherited genetic defect that could cause serious health risks for their children, such as cystic fibrosis, sickle cell disease or Huntington’s disease.
PGD involves the use of Assisted Reproductive Techniques (ART) such as IVF or ICSI to stimulate the ovaries to produce multiple eggs. The aim is to obtain and fertilise a number of eggs. The resulting embryos are allowed to develop for three (or sometimes five) days, before a single cell is removed from each embryo and the genetic material (DNA and chromosomes) tested for the disorder.
Up to two unaffected embryos are then transferred into the uterus. If successful, the pregnancy should be unaffected.