Possible Side Effects of Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis

PGD testing, or preimplantation genetic diagnosis, is an advanced form of genetic screening recommended for IVF couples wherein one or both of the partners are carriers of a genetic disorder. PGD testing uses various techniques to identify embryos that are carriers of genetic disorders. Despite the utility of preimplantation genetic diagnosis, some people are apprehensive about it. This is largely because of some possible side effects related to PGD that can make this testing methodology expensive and challenging.

PGD Side Effects

Preimplantation genetic diagnosis needs a certain number of embryos to ensure that the testing is conclusive. However, this puts forth a major issue for couples, after the embryos have been created following an extensive schedule of hormonal supplementation and the use of expensive methods such as artificial insemination.

The need for more embryos essentially means that the IVF female has to undergo repeated cycles of hormonal supplementation and associated procedures like egg extraction. Among many females, this raises the chances of contracting vaginal infections and developing disorders such as ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome.

Preimplantation genetic diagnosis uses various kinds of tests wherein the embryos pass through a systematic form of testing. Diagnostic reports are created, underlining the absence or presence of genetic defects. However, this means that the embryos need to be stored through cryopreservation for a longer period. This might not be suitable for embryos that are already volatile due to the impaired health of the female egg or sperm. Further, cryopreservation itself doesn't guarantee the survival of embryos, and many of them are lost. This is a common problem for most IVF clinics.

During PGD testing itself, embryos can be damaged. Many PGD testing methods are still being developed, and some have recently progressed from being research-based testing measures. This further creates the need for more embryos and raises the overall cost of IVF treatment to an unexpected level.