PGD – Preimplantation genetic diagnosis

Gender selection is a more intense process that involves the examination of embryos during the time they are developing in the laboratory dish.

In Spain, gender selection is only allowed for beneficial reasons to avoid a genetic-related disease.

Couples that are carriers of genetic disorders are reluctant to become pregnant because they are at risk of passing the disorder to their children. Preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) is a procedure that can identify genetic defects within an embryo before it is transferred into the uterus.

PGD also offers the opportunity to screen an embryo’s chromosomes for errors prior to implantation. Women who have passed the peak of their fertility have fewer eggs and these often give way to chromosomal abnormalities. Embryos that develop with chromosomal errors almost always result in early miscarriage since few defects involving chromosomes are compatible with life.

In some IVF clinics, follow-up care is rare, and systematic long-term follow-up for PGD is limited, however clinics in Spain offer long-term follow-up care. Spain is the leading receiver of patients within Europe, with around 332 patients treated per year; while only three licensed laboratories offer PGD in France. Clinics offering PGD in France do not have appropriate means to cover all the PGD requirements, so the waiting list for couples is extremely long.

The most frequent types of test offered by laboratories performing PGD included tests for monogenic diseases, cytogenetic testing for chromosomal abnormalities and sex selection for X-linked monogenic diseases. IVF clinics in Spain must be accredited by the Ministry of Health.

Spain offers treatments to couples from abroad mainly due to legal reasons and test availability. Patients come mainly from Italy, Germany, Portugal, the United Kingdom and Turkey.

While infertility treatment can be a challenging time, patients in Spain can feel highly secure that IVF specialists are committed to helping you conceive through successful infertility treatment cycles.

Good Candidates for PGD

IVF clinics in Spain are committed to providing patients optimal support and education. PGD Spain may be best suited for:

  • Women who become pregnant after 35, as the risk of having babies with chromosomal abnormalities is higher
  • Couples at high risk of having children with genetic and chromosomal disorders who want to increase their chance of having a healthy child
  • Women who have had recurrent miscarriages or pregnancy losses that are linked to chromosomal problems with the fetus

Couples who use PGD must undergo the IVF procedure, whether they are infertile or not. In addition, Spain offers counseling to couples using preimplantation genetic diagnosis.

PGD Procedure – Step by Step

PGD is a technically demanding and very complex procedure, which requires special skills. For this reason, it is progressively sought after in the most advanced centers in Spain.

Step 1 – Once an embryo divides into eight cells, one cell is eradicated.

Step 2 – DNA is extracted from the cell. This material in the cell is what’s passed on from the parents to the child.

Step 3 – Through various methods, the DNA is assessed for any identifiable health issues.

Step 4 – If the embryo is found to be healthy and free of genetic disorders, then the IVF cycle may continue and the embryo will be transferred into the uterus.

Step 5 – If a genetic disorder is identified, you and your partner may then choose whether you want to continue and use that embryo to get pregnant.

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