Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis Makes Sex Selection Easy
on Feb 19, 2014
by Dr. Christine Lee, MD
Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis, or PGD, is a reproductive technology that is changing the way that reproductive methods work, and completely revolutionizing the way that couples are thinking about having babies.
Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis, or PGD, is a reproductive technology that is changing the way that reproductive methods work, and completely revolutionizing the way that couples are thinking about having babies. So, what is PGD, and how is it changing things? Read on to find out more. Claim Your 20 Free Pregnancy Tests – Click Here
Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis is a very technologically advanced procedure that is used in conjunction with IVF therapy. PGD takes the best embryos for implantation into the uterus. With PGD, embryos that are free of chromosomal disorders or genetic defects can be chosen, so the pregnancy is more likely to have a positive outcome. For at risk couples, PGD is a great way to lower some of the risk and help to ensure a healthy pregnancy. But, when has PGD gone too far?
Although PGD was designed to choose only the healthiest and most viable embryos for implantation, some doctors have taken it a step further. It is now possible for embryos to be selected based not only on how healthy they are, but also on their sex. But, is it morally correct? As a matter of fact, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) says that PGD for sex selection should be discouraged. If the woman is not already undergoing IVF for another reason, there will have to be an entire cycle created solely for choosing a gender. Plus, embryos will be related and destroyed only because they are the “wrong” sex, which some argue is unethical.
While many doctors and fertility experts frown upon PGD for solely gender selection purposes, it can be done, and there are facilities that will do it. However, the cost is high, and high profile clinics that do the procedure run anywhere from about $15,000 to $20,000 when they are performed. Some statistics say that upwards of 6000 of these procedures are being performed every year, so it is clear to see that these fertility clinics are bringing in the big bucks if they choose to do these procedures. Like it or not, couples really like the idea of being able to choose their baby’s sex.
While some argue that PGD for gender selection is unethical, it is legal in the United States. In Canada, Australia, and the UK, it is illegal for non medical reasons. However, many couples are interested in choosing their baby’s gender. As many as 60 percent or more of fertility clinics now offer PGD for gender selection, and that might even be a conservative estimate. How do you feel about PGD for gender selection reasons? Would it be something that you would ever consider?
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Dr. Christine Lee earned her Ph.D. in Developmental Biology and Master of Science in Biomolecular Organization. Dr. Lee is Lab Director for ConceiveEasy and is board certified as a High Complexity Laboratory Director (HCLD).