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What does Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis or PGD treatment involve and how much does it cost?

The procedure known as Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis, or PGD for short, is a specialised treatment for couples with an inherited genetic defect that could be passed onto their children causing serious health risks. It was developed as an alternative to prenatal diagnosis and subsequent termination of of an affected fetus.

There are two main types of Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis tests. The first screens for individuals with a risk of genetic diseases such as cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy and chromosomal translocations. The second form of PGD test checks chromosomal irregularities commonly related to issues such as maternal age, repeated miscarriage and multiple IVF cycles.

What does the procedure involve?
Standard IVF or ICSI techniques are used to help create embryos that can then be tested for genetic abnormalities. The test involves removing one or two cells from the embryo at an early stage which can help determine the difference between affected and unaffected embryos. One, or sometimes two, of the unaffected embryos are then transferred to the woman's womb. More information about PGD IVF procedure.

Can I have PGD treatment?
There are many cases where PGD is an appropriate course of action. The main instances are as follows:

- where one or both partners are carrying chromosomal abnormalities
- where a couples has experienced multiple miscarriages
- where a couples has experienced at least three failed attempts of IVF
- where the woman is over the age of 38
- where the male partner has a sufficiently low sperm count.

Genetic Conditions
The treatment can diagnose a great many genetic conditions, the most common of which are listed below:

- cystic fibrosis
- huntingtons disease
- tay sach's disease
- muscular dystrophy
- klienfelters syndrome
- thalassemia marfans syndrome
- sickle cell disease
- spinal muscular dystrophy

More details about preimplantation genetic diagnosis suitability.

NHS treatment
Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis is offered on the NHS but like IVF treatment, there is something of a postcode lottery in existence. Most NHS trusts do provide funding for PGD testing but it's estimated that up to 30% of hospitals don't. Check with your local NHS trust to find out more. However, you can have Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis at a number of private clinics in the UK. More details about PGD in the UK .

Costs of PGD
Prices of Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis treatment at a private clinics can very dramatically. it can cost just over 1,000 in many hospitals but don't be surprised to find prices at twice this amount in others. For PGD combined with IVF expect to pay in the region of 6,000 - 9,000 per treatment cycle.

Success rates
It's very difficult to calculate overall success rates for PGD treatment in the UK or anywhere else for that matter. Each case is very different, and some hospitals or clinics will have significantly higher rates of success than others. But to give you an idea, one prominent clinic states that couples have an average of two cycles of PGD and a 33% chance of success. More details about preimplantation genetic diagnosis IVF success rates.

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