Pros and Cons of Embryo Screening


The popularity of embryo research has led to the possibility of performing preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) to its subjects. This is the method that will allow embryo testing for embryos being produced via in vitro fertilization (IVF). It is intended to check for the existence of some genetic disorders or imperfections. This is otherwise known as the early form of the prenatal diagnosis procedure.

Naturally, before the embryos are injected into the womb of the mother, it undergoes PGD. So if the analyses can determine a range of characteristics from its genes, such as existence of sex chromosomes, extra genetic materials like those in Down syndrome, and genetic variants associated with any form of cancer, the embryo will not be inserted to the parent. Otherwise, a decision will then be made to reinsert one or more unaffected embryos instead.

For this reason, there are medical concerns regarding the reliability of this process when sustaining the embryo until the mother will have viable pregnancy through IVF. Perhaps the list of pros and cons of embryo screening will be able to shed some light into this issue.

List of Pros of Embryo Screening

1. Allows Parents to Decide.
The procedure of embryo screening can help parents seeking to find a baby based on their requirements. This process will allow them to decide how they would like their infant to look like, including the traits they want it to have.

2. Enable Selection of Unaffected Embryos.
It is crucial to sustain a baby in its embryotic state. So experts believe it is essential to conduct an embryo screening process to detect the existence of sickness or disease. This will allow them to inject the one that is unaffected with any afflictions. This will also put an end to the family history of diseases by employing some medicines into it or discard the affected ones accordingly.

3. Select the Best Embryo Possible.
Undergoing PGD will enable parents to choose from the pool of embryos having potential for greatness. This is suitable for those couples seeking to make their child live up to their expectations.

List of Cons of Embryo Screening

1. Discarding Embryos.
If an embryo from a woman has been screened to have the potential of being disabled, the doctor will have to freeze that embryo and discard it. So even if the process has acquired a huge amount of money, there is nothing that can be done about it but be discarded.

2. Improper Handling Issues.
The screening process for embryos can be done to check potential diseases or imperfections. However, if the doctor messes up with the procedure and damage the embryo, the parents will not be aware and could just be discarded as well, just like those with real sickness or disease.

3. Single Gene Testing Only.
Based from the limitations of the embryo screening process, it can only apply the single gene testing. So it will be capable of detecting single gene disorders only. For this reason, it can’t screen multiple genes that have inherited tendency, including eczema and asthma, which can’t be identified currently by PGD.