400th baby born free from genetic conditions using PGD

Posted on Thursday 20 September 2012

400th baby born free from genetic conditions using PGD

The Guy’s and St Thomas’ Centre for Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD), which enables couples to give birth to a child free from a serious inherited genetic condition,  has celebrated the birth of its 400th baby.

PGD is a treatment for people who know they have, or carry, a serious genetic condition that they do not want to pass onto their children. Their embryos are tested to ensure they are unaffected by the condition before they are implanted in the womb.

The treatment, available at Guy’s and St Thomas’ since 1997, is now the largest centre in the UK and one of the most successful in Europe with a  pregnancy rate of one in two if the couple have a healthy embryo implanted.

The centre now tests for more than 280 inherited genetic disorders ranging from relatively common conditions such as cystic fibrosis and sickle cell disease to rarer disorders that affect fewer than one in a million people. 

Commenting on the milestone, consultant genetic counsellor Alison Lashwood said:

“This is a fantastic achievement. I am proud that the team has been able to help so many couples who may have lost hope of ever having a healthy baby to conceive a pregnancy that is free from a genetic condition.

“Our success is very much a team effort and down to their attention to detail and understanding of the difficult experiences of couples who have lost pregnancies or children in the past.

“It is not an easy choice for the couples as PGD is complex and can be stressful. We see couples from all over the UK who have reached a point in their lives where they believe PGD offers them their best – or possibly only – chance of having a healthy baby.”

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