Thursday, July 14, 2011

PGD




Continuing on from here, we are suitable for PGD or pre-implantation genetic diagnosis as we have a 1 in 4 chance of having a child with a specific genetic or chromosome disorder. That is to say, IF we decide to go on and try for another baby we have a 25% chance that that baby will have SMA.


 

a 3 day old embryo


 
PGD involves IVF and the use of assisted reproductive technology to obtain and fertilise a number of eggs. Once fertilised, the embryos develop for three days and then one or two cells are removed from each embryo. The genetic material within each cell is then tested for, in our case the SMA "abnormality". Then, fingers crossed, an unaffected embryo would be transferred back into the uterus to hopefully (and there has to be a lot of hope!) implant and grow into a normal and healthy pregnancy. The bouncing baby born as a result should not be affected by SMA - but it could be a carrier.

PGD is a lengthy and complex process. It is also costly at approximately £8000 per cycle. The Glasgow Centre for Reproductive Medicine is beginning to offer this service but by far the most "experienced" unit is Guy's and St Thomas' in London.  If you would like more information on Guy's & St Thomas' or on PGD please follow the link to Guys & St Thomas' PGD Page.  A PDF can be downloaded here .

For a more personal story of PGD I would highly recommend Shona's heartfelt and honest blog "A PGD Blog".  Shona has myotonic dystrophy and her blog follows her story through IVF and PGD to conceive Dexter and she is currently pregnant again. 

Here's a quote from her blog:

"The purpose of my blog, first and foremost is to help raise awareness of PGD so that other people may benefit.  I also want people doing IVF on its own or IVF with PGD to be able to read about someone else’s experiences, including the many hospital appointments.  Hopefully this will help relieve some of the anxiety that one feels, when entering into the unknown."


So we have options, options, options... but first we need to decide the fundamentals - should we add to our beautiful family of 4?