If you are a candidate for in vitro fertilization or IVF, you’re probably learning a LOT of new things. After all, it’s crucial to do your research about what to expect in IVF before making your decision. Two terms you need to learn about (or have already read up on) in IVF is PGD and PGS, pre-implantation genetic tests.
While these are two terms used interchangeably, they are actually different with distinct goals in mind. But how exactly do they differ and will you need both procedures? To answer that, read on! I’ll be answering the questions, “How is PGD or PGS performed and what are the procedures and costs?”
About Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD)
Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis is a technique which offers information about the genetic makeup of cells in the embryo. It’s available not just for those undergoing IVF, but for parents who know they have risks of passing on genetic diseases or chromosomal abnormalities to future children. It can actually identify over 2,000 inherited single gene disorders, having 98% accuracy in identifying unaffected or affected embryos.
For instance, if one or both parents are diagnosed with a genetic disease and has a chance of passing it on to their children, then PGD should be considered. There are also two different types of PGD procedures done:
- Single-gene PGD is for parents who are carriers of genetic diseases. It identifies if there are risks of future children carrying abnormalities and/or diseases from one or both parents.
- Chromosomal PGD is used to identify embryos most likely to develop healthy babies. These are for parents who may have chromosome translocation that can increase chances of abnormal chromosomes in embryos.
PGD is done for patients who are:
- Couples in their 20s who have a genetic disease or have children with a genetic disease. This helps identify that their next child will not have the same condition
- Women who are carriers of chromosome translocations after experiencing four miscarriages or more
- Men who are affected with genetic conditions or gene mutations
- Couples who are carriers or have a family history of genetic diseases to prevent it from happening to their future children
The procedure is done by removing three to eight cells from each day five embryo. These cells will be sent to the lab to test and identify any abnormalities. Afterward, the embryo would be frozen and implanted, depending on the results.
About Preimplantation Genetic Screening (PGS)
On the other hand, Preimplantation Genetic Screening is a preventative measure, which identifies any chromosomal abnormalities in one’s embryo. This is done even if there aren’t evidence of genetic abnormalities from both parents. It can screen for any abnormalities in chromosomal position or disabilities like Trisomy 13, Down Syndrome or Turner syndrome.
PGS is done for patients who are:
- Couples in their 30s who experienced three miscarriages or implantation failures. PGS can help decrease any chances of another miscarriage after IVF.
- Couples in their 40s who need to make sure that there are no abnormalities in their chromosomes before undergoing IVF. This is because the chances of chromosomal abnormalities increase as you age.
- A single woman who will undergo IVF with donor sperm. This can help reduce the chances of a child born with any chromosomal syndromes.
- Same-sex couples using a surrogate for pregnancy. It can maximize the chance of a successful conception after the first IVF procedure.
- The procedure is also suited for those who are interested in single embryo transfers or gender selection.
The procedure is done by removing a few cells from the embryo. These cells are then sent to the genetics lab to analyze its chromosomes. If there are more or fewer than the normal 46 chromosomes, this can identify an abnormality.
PGS’ main goal is to find an embryo most likely to be successful with the IVF procedure. Take note that if there is an imbalance of number of chromosomes, chances are that it can affect the success rates of IVF and conception.
The Main Differences Between PGD and PGS
Now that you know about both procedures, what are the differences between PGD vs PGS Testing?
Both are similar to genetics are tested and screened, though the main goal for both is different.
While PGD has the goal in identifying any chance of genetic disorders that one or both parents experience, PGS determines if the embryo has the correct number of chromosomes.
PGD focuses more on genetics and any risk of passing on diseases to future conceived children. PGS focuses more on the chromosomes and how many there are to ensure normality, also identifying if there are any chromosomal abnormalities (which PGD can also identify).
What about the PGD vs PGS cost? The costs actually depend on a variety of factors, including the clinic you go to.
In general, PGD would cost between $5,000 to $6,000, as this is a more complex process that examines individual genes. As for PGS, it comes at a more affordable price and would usually range between $2,500 to $3,500, depending on how many embryos were tested.
What procedure is best for you? That actually depends on you, from what you need to what you and your partner experience. If you are a couple with genetic diseases, then PGD is highly recommended. However, if your main worry is age and/or failed pregnancies, then PGS is a recommended procedure.
Wrapping It Up
While PGD and PGS have similarities in genetic testing, they are not actually the same. It’s important to learn the different processes that need or can be done so you know what testings to invest in. That way, you save on costs, effort, and time while still getting what’s best for your family.
I hope that this article answers your questions, “How is PGD or PGS performed and what are the procedures and costs?” Now that you learned more about the genetic screenings have taken place, find out more about IVF.
If you have any questions or want to share your experiences with either PGD or PGS, then comment below. Your thoughts are much appreciated!