Technological Advances in IVF pave way for prevention of Genetic Diseases

Technological Advances in IVF pave way for prevention of Genetic Diseases

Jalandhar, December 2020: In vitro fertilization has helped millions of couples step into the joyful journey of parenthood for over three decades now. Over the years, Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) has proved to be a boon for people desiring parenthood. There have been many technological advances paving the way ever since and the field has witnessed exponential growth over the past couple of years. Though In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) and Intrauterine insemination (IUI) are the most common forms of ART known to people, however, over the years the industry has evolved; and developed more specific techniques like Pre-implantation Genetic Screening (PGS), Pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD), ERA Testing, Magnetic activated cell sorting (MACS), Embryoscope to increase the success rates in case of criticality. 

Infertility is a generic disease affecting most couples falling in the age group of 30-40 years in India, however, sometimes it becomes more complex due to the interrelation of parents’ gamete with critical genetic diseases. According to the GUARDIAN Consortium, the prevalence rate of birth defects in India is 64.4 per 1000 live births. Scarcity of proper technological infrastructure to pre-screen for any genetic abnormality and lack of national newborn screening program until recently has led to a distending proportion of the Indian population ailing with genetic diseases, like sickle cell anaemia, thalassemia. These conditions pose a significant burden in India, and are known to be predominant in specific sub-regions of Northern & Western India. Down syndrome is another genetic disorder, which is the major cause of mental retardation, with a frequency of approximately 1 in 1000 births.

In this scenario, technological advancements like PGS & PGD in Assisted Reproduction play a crucial role in helping couples reach their parenthood goal by pre-curing any genetic disorders in newborn babies. Pre-implantation Genetic Screening (PGS) is a definitive screening process used to determine any abnormality in the chromosomal number of an embryo for couples, recurrent abortions, recurrent implantation failure or severe male factor infertility. Whereas, Pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) helps assess the embryos for any genetic disorder and reduces the risk of passing on any genetic condition of parents to the baby. After this diagnosis, only the unaffected embryos are implanted during the IVF cycle for a safe and assured pregnancy.

Speaking about the process, Dr. Jasmine Kaur, Nova IVF Fertility, Jalandhar, said, “Genetic disorders in newborn babies are critical to cure. Here, parents can be the carriers of any genetic disease and it can therefore get passed on to their children, either affecting them directly, being a carrier or not effecting at all. Therefore, there is no particular way to detect any genetic abnormality through normal conception. However, we can pre-diagnose this with PGD & PGS and assure a healthy child without any criticality, where we can check for chromosomal abnormalities in the DNA of the embryo cells. These identified embryos without any chromosomal abnormalities are picked to be placed in the womb of the mother to ensure a successful conception.”

Recalling a unique case study done at Nova IVF Fertility, Dr Jasmine commented, “At Nova IVF Fertility, we have witnessed wonders where a Thalassemia affected child from Gujarat was cured by creating a ‘Saviour Sibling’ through IVF using PGT technology to detect and remove the genetic disorder. Earlier, PGS was used to screen for Down Syndrome, and PGD was used to screen for any other genetic disease. But now both these tests fall under the larger umbrella of PGT (Preimplantation Genetic Testing), that covers both PGS & PGD. Thalassemia is quite predominant in Northern India as well, and therefore, we aim to create awareness on the possible permanent cure with the clinical and technological advances available at Nova IVF Fertility”.

About Nova IVF Fertility: 

Nova IVF Fertility (NIF) is one of the largest service providers of fertility treatment across India. With an average IVF experience of over a decade our highly experienced IVF specialists and well –trained embryologists, Nova IVF Fertility has successfully achieved over 35,000 clinical pregnancies in the country. With vast international expertise, NIF brings exceptional and ethical standards of processes, protocols, and policies to India. Through personalised treatment plans of medical management, basic ART and advanced ART – all procedures aim to significantly improve the chances of a positive pregnancy. NIF currently operates 25+ fertility centres across 18+ cities in India (Ahmedabad (2), Bengaluru (3), Chennai, Coimbatore, Hisar, Hyderabad, Indore, Jalandhar, Lucknow, Mumbai (2), New Delhi (2), Kolkata (3), Pune, Surat, Vijayawada, Raipur, Patna, Ranchi, and Siliguri.

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