Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis: Advanced Maternal Age

PGD, or preimplantation genetic diagnosis, is a procedure that can give information on the genetic and chromosomal composition of the embryo that is obtained through the in vitro fertilization technique. PGD is a relatively new procedure that can prevent the implantation of an embryo that carries genetic defects and may result in a baby with a genetic disease. PGD is recommended in several instances, including advanced maternal age.

Advanced Maternal Age and Genetic Diseases in Babies

Advanced maternal age is a term used for mothers that are over the age of 40. After this age, women are less fertile and the quality of the eggs may be diminished. This is due to the fact that a woman is born with a fixed number of eggs and the best quality eggs are released first, leaving the eggs that are less eligible for older years. Some of these eggs may carry genetic defects.

By determining the chromosomal information of the embryos, PGD can also detect the embryos that are likely to be aborted or that will fail to be implanted.

PGD for Advanced Maternal Age

Preimplantation genetic diagnosis will be carried out in mothers that are over the age of 40. However, given the fact that the PGD techniques are still new, they are not available at all fertility clinics. Studies in women over 40 that have opted for PGD have shown that the chances of birth defects and genetic diseases are decreased when compared to women with advanced maternal age that haven't benefited from PGD.