PGD (preimplantation genetic diagnosis) Definition: "Preimplantation genetic testing is a technique used to identify genetic defects in embryos created through in vitro fertilization (IVF) before pregnancy. Preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) refers specifically to when one or both genetic parents has a known genetic abnormality and testing is performed on an embryo to determine if it also carries a genetic abnormality"-(Molina B Dayal, MD, MPH)
It can also technically be used to create a particular gender embryo to what the media has dubbed "designer babies" - where people use the method to achieve special characteristics they want to bring out in their to-be child.
For some, this method is immoral, or unethical. In my IP's case....well....it doesn't matter. it is cells from their body after all..and I don't feel I have a say in the matter. And frankly, if it bothered me, I wouldn't be a surro for them. But for some reason- I am able to have an open mind about it. This coming from a person who is strongly against any abortion for any reason.
In this specific case, the IPs are chinese, and not only are they using PGD to ensure that only healthy embryos are implanted, they would also like to have male children. I cannot say for sure that their culture is fueling their decision, but even if it was...my thoughts are that if I am going to be a surrogate for someone, my DNA or not, I would want to do it only for parents that can provide a safe and loving environment. In certain cultures it would be much easier to be a boy. And even safer. So if I know that the male baby I will be carrying is going to be treated with respect and dignity, that will make me have peace. And would RATHER that than giving birth to one or more females that dont get the treatment they should. See my point?
Another thing people are quick to judge about is the choosing gender part...but who is to say they arent just using PGD as a reassurance tool, and only because they CAN- they choose their preferred gender. And to address those that are saying it isnt following the bible. Personally, I believe my christian God created the science and guided the Dr's hands to be able to do this for a reason. These people have been through so much heartache already...why not spare a little agony and give them the best chance at having the child they dreamt of?
FACTS of PGD
- In most cases, results are available within 24 hours.
- During the actual process, PGD embryos may fail, however, after the process is performed there won't be any after effects on the embryo.
- *some* schools of thought suggest that it can increase the chance of the embryo splitting into identical twins.
- PGD can raise likelihood of implantation do to the confirmation chromosomal normality.
- PGD may or may not reduce the quality of an embryo. It highly depends on the skill of the person performing the procedure. Rarely does it take embryo quality down more than one level.
- PGD has more accurate ways of telling embryo quality. Many times "excellent" embryo quality can actually only be poor or fair- b/c unless you perform PGD, you won't know any of the defects it may have...including that of not being able to properly implant.
- PGD can reduce likelihood of needing to abort since you will already know the fetus's general "health".
All of that being said I do feel there can be times where PGD is not necessary nor appropriate. I hope some of this helped you understand a little about PGD, or at least open your mind to the procedure :o)