The Future of PGD
Since PGD is 99.9% effective in determining an embryo’s gender, there’s not much room for improvement here. However, with continued advances in IVF and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), which are used in conjunction with PGD, we will probably see higher pregnancy rates with PGD.
While PGD is a trustworthy method for gender selection/family balancing, it’s been used over the past two decades primarily for genetic disease screening. This is likely to change as public interest in gender selection/ family balancing grows. Very likely, if MicroSort receives Federal Drug Administration (FDA) approval, which is expected in the coming months, public interest in family balancing technologies will grow, and the use of PGD for family balancing will also expand.
PGD technology for genetic screening is likely also to improve. Currently PGD is not an easy process, and not all fertility clinics are qualified to perform it. Laboratory technicians who perform PGD must be highly skilled and familiar with DNA technologies such as fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) for sex determination and chromosomal screening for single-gene diseases. As it stands, PGD can now help couples have healthy babies, and avoid heartbreak and serious health issues of their offspring and select the gender of their offspring. As more medical technicians and fertility doctors become proficient in working with the various intricate technologies of PGD, the methods will become more exacting.
Likewise, as longitudinal studies are completed and verify what has been found to date — that PGD has no long-term ill-effects on embryos — the more confident the public and medical practitioners will feel about using PGD.
And as with many technological advances, the processes involved may become simpler over time, and less invasive or require less medications. Or they could morph into new technologies altogether.