Preimplantation genetic diagnosis is a unique treatment available to couples who have an inherited genetic defect and are at an increased risk of having a child with a specific genetic condition that could cause serious health risks.
Pre-implantation genetic testing (PGT) has been offered at Guy’s Hospital since 1997, our clinical team are leaders in genetic diagnosis and testing. We are the largest PGT centre in the UK and one of the most successful in Europe, performing more than 60% of the PGT cycles in the country.
As of 2018, we have had over 1,000 babies born following successful PGT, and currently test for more than 300 genetic disorders, including cystic fibrosis, sickle cell disease, and Huntington disease.
Assisted Reproductive Techniques (ART) such as IVF or ICSI (normally offered to patients with fertility problems) are used 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 from three to five days, before a single cell is removed from each embryo to test if the condition affects that embryo.
Only unaffected embryos are replaced in the uterus. The process of PGT does not change the genes of the embryos. Up to two unaffected embryos are then transferred into the uterus. If successful, the pregnancy should be unaffected.
The team’s strategy helps eliminate the risk of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome and multiple pregnancy – two of the biggest causes of patient illnesses associated with PGD.