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The IVF Fertility Blog

How PGD Prevents Sickle Cell Anemia

Individuals who have or are carriers of genetic disease often think long and hard about starting a family. Not because they’re unsure if or when the time will be right, but because they are concerned about passing their genetic disease down to their children. Preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) directly addresses this concern and gives doctors the tools they need to identify healthy embryos. The use of PGD and sickle cell anemia carriers has proven to be a successful means of having a healthy baby. 

PGD Explained 

PGD can be done during any In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) Cycle. During the IVF procedure, an embryo is created in a laboratory setting by joining a single sperm and egg. The embryo is then monitored for quality as it develops. PGD is done during these early stages of development by removing a single cell from an embryo. This procedure does not harm the embryo. It simply allows physicians to run tests for the presence of genetic disease, including sickle sell trait.  Should the embryo be found to have a genetic disease, it will not be transferred to the woman's uterus or preseved through cryopreservation. 

Sickle Cell Anemia Explained   pgd.jpg

Sickle cell anemia is a genetic disease affecting the red blood cells. Instead of being round and flexible, the red blood cells of individuals with sickle cell are S shaped and inflexible. This combination means certain parts of the body do not receive sufficient oxygen. Additionally, due to the shape of the red blood cells, it is difficult for them to travel through the body. Instead, the sickle shaped blood cells can become trapped, resulting in pain. 

Individuals may be a carrier for the disease but have no symptoms. However, these individuals can pass the disease down to their children if the other parent is also a carrier for the disease. PGD and sickle cell anemia testing allow carriers to be sure that their sickle cell trait is not passed down to their children. 

PGD and Sickle Cell Anemia Information

For more information on PGD and sickle cell anemia, contact the experts at New Hope Fertility Center today. Please click the link below to enter your information and New Hope will contact you, or simply call 917.525.5496

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