What Are The Risks Associated With

PGD does carry with it a few risks and limitations that you should be aware of and understand. These are generally considered rare. One such risk involves the rare but controversial subject of mosaic embryos. In a mosaic embryo, not all of the cells within the embryo are genetically identical; some cells may carry the disease and others do not. Because the PGD technique selects one or two cells at random, the disease may not be diagnosed if the embryo is a mosaic embryo. Even so, most people believe that the benefits from PGD outweigh the risks.

Damage to the Embryo

Every cell of the embryo at the six- or eight-cell stage is genetically identical to every other cell. Any and all of these cells will have the genetic potential to develop into a normal embryo. Because one or two cells can be safely removed and the embryo can go on to develop normally, the risk of accidental damage to an embryo during the embryo biopsy is very low, about 0.6 percent.

Implantation Rates

How PGD affects embryo implantation rates remains an area of controversy. A report from the Kentucky Center for Reproductive Medicine & IVF suggests that the implantation rate may be slightly lowered as a result of the embryo biopsy. This means that embryos that have been biopsied may not be as likely to properly implant within your uterus. Therefore, early miscarriage may be more likely.

However, a Spanish study done in 2003 and published by Reproductive Biomedi-cine Online concluded that implantation rates may actually increase when PGD is used in IVF patients that have experienced implantation failures in the past. This improvement is thought to be caused by transferring only tested and proven genetically normal embryos into the IVF patient's uterus.

Delay in Embryo Development

PGD may cause the biopsied embryos to slow their growth and development for a few hours. After this time, the embryo appears to recover and continues to develop normally. While PGD may delay the embryo development for a short time, this is merely a temporary delay and does not harm the embryo in the long run.

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