Alternatives to In-vitro fertilization


Q: I keep reading about PGD. Is it not possible to screen sperm or egg alone for genetic disorders like sickle cell (trait)? I want to know if sperm can be screen for sickle cell so that a woman can inseminate herself as opposed to having to go through in-vitro

Symptoms:  Fertility

A:   Hello,
Thanks for contacting for an opinion.
PGD or preimplantation genetic diagnosis is a technique to evaluate the embyo for presence of any congenital anomalies or defects only after removing genetic material from the fertilized embryo before it is being implanted into the uterus.
However if the concern is to know about trait of sickle cell anemia before fertilization, then of course DNA-PCR studies can be done after DNA extraction following sperm defragmentation to identify the alleles or genes specific for sickle cell trait and hence the parents can be well informed prior to the procedure. This is supplemented with a detailed genetic analysis of generations based on disease history in family of the couple and a pedigree chart is prepared to ascertain the likelihood of the manifestation of the specific gene in the present pregnancy.
The only deterrent to this procedure is the cost effectiveness, but of course there is a possibility to detect sickle cell trait even in sperms before fertilization.
I hope i have answered your query in detail,
wishing you good health,

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