Becoming pregnant via embryo selection to avoid severe genetic disorders: thanks to the rapid developments in genetics, the number of individuals taking this option has doubled in the University Hospitals Leuven. How does this work?
Knowing that you might get cancer because there is a genetic variant in your family, is a tough nut to crack. But sometimes it's even worse knowing that your might pass on the disease to your children.
Some twenty years ago, people who knew they were carrier of a genetic disease, had to either remain childless or take the risk when they became pregnant.
Today we can help those people with pre-implantation diagnostics (PGD), a complicated word for embryo selection: with the help of in-vitro fertilisation, the hospital creates embryos that are genetically tested.
Only the embryos free of the genetic disorder are implanted in the womb. In the University Hospitals Leuven, PGD has been possible since 2002, but the last couple of years the number of individuals wanting to become pregnant through PGD has increased exponentially.