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Assisted Reproduction

Risks Involving Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) Not Being Adequately Disclosed

Researchers at Columbia University have published a report critical of IVF clinics for failing to disclose the risks inherent in Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis. According to the report published in the October edition of Fertility and Sterility:

Fertility clinic websites aren’t doing a great job of explaining the risks of testing an embryo for genetic disorders before it’s implanted in the womb, researchers found.

The procedure, known as pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD), can be used to test for 5,000 different genetic disorders and, more controversially, choose the sex of an infant. But it’s not 100-percent reliable, and could, in rare cases, cause harm to the embryo or even destroy it.

According to the research, only 35% of the fertility clinic websites surveyed mentioned the fallibility of PGD, while less than 20% disclosed the risk that the genetic testing could destroy the embryo. While I have been a major proponent of PGD for years, it is not for everyone and before proceeding with the testing, patients should become fully informed of the risks and benefits.


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