PGD stands for Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis. It is a laboratory process whereby tiny amounts of genetic materials are removed from the oocytes or embryos in vitro for further screening or testing. PGD is most commonly used to avoid the transmission of a genetic abnormality or congenital disease inherited from the parents.
What is the history of PGD?
Professors Allan Handyside and Lord Robert Winston pioneered PGD. First human application of this technique was used for sex determination* of embryos to allow patients carrying X-linked recessive diseases to have unaffected offsprings. First live birth of a normal baby girl using PGD was in 1990.
New application of PGD: Preimplantation Genetic Screening (PGS)
As a woman gets older, her risk to miscarriage or to have a pregnancy with abnormal chromosome increases. Rather than looking for an inherited specific disease, Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis can be used to screen embryos and identify those at risk. This procedure may sometimes be used for women with repeated pregnancy failures.
Sex determination for non-medical indications such as family balancing are prohibited by law in Canada.