What is Pre-Genetic Diagnosis and why the controversy??


Pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) enables people with an inheritable condition in their family to avoid passing it on to their children. It involves checking the genes and/or chromosomes of embryos created through IVF.

Is PGD for me?

Your specialist may recommend PGD if:

  • you have ended previous pregnancies because of a serious genetic condition such as Sickel Cell.
  • you already have a child with a serious genetic condition
  • you have a family history of a serious genetic condition, or
  • you have a family history of chromosome problems.
PGD will be helpful to couples who both carry the AS Genotype. In Nigeria, many people opt to inquire about gentotype at the onset of meeting someone they might intend to date. Knowing early on will enable a person with AS gentoype to opt not to date anyone with the same Genotype.

I have read and heard questions such as these stated below:

* "isnt it better to call off the relationship/marriage if you discover your spouse is genotype AS just like you?"

* " Isnt it wicked to willingly bring a child into this world knowing they will be sick for as long as they live?living on drugs and medications?"

* " Are you in relationship that you know you should call off?"

* "why would you as a person all in the name of love bring a child to this world that the child might die? Or what joy do you derive from burying your kids?"
All the questions above were raised because of the belief that when you know better, you do better...!!! But is this really so clear cut???
What if the couple only found out much later that they were both AS? Should they they break up knowing fully well that the change of having a child with SS is 25%. Aren't there couples with AA genotype that end up having children with other genetic problems that could equally lead to death???
What about new medical breakthroughs like PGD that could be used with IVF to help prevent having a baby with Sickel Cell.

PGD  involves eggs from the mother to be fertilized by the sperm and the embryos are then tested to confirm if they are free of Sickel Cell...If they are free of Sickel Cell, they are inserted back in the mother's womb, but if they are Sickel Cell positive, the embryos are disposed....And here comes the controversy.....
Some people regard the disposed embryos as abortion...Is this a fair conclusion?
To be further discussed next time.....Till then Baby Dust to all my fellow women trying to conceive.....

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