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Preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD)

If you have an inherited genetic defect such as cystic fibrosis that you’re worried could be passed on to your children, a preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) test can be carried out. It will screen for the condition, so babies can be born without it.

The Assisted Conception Unit works closely with the genetics department to offer a new treatment strategy designed by the PGD team at Guy’s and St Thomas’.

Our team was the first in the world to apply their PGD strategy to couples undergoing treatment. They proved it’s possible to achieve a high pregnancy rate while maintaining an excellent safety profile and we are now the largest and most successful unit in the UK for PGD, with more than 600 babies born as a result of this treatment.

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.

How it works

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 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.

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