Latest update: 10/05/2017

PGD: what: why and for whom?

If you want children and also have a genetic disorder, you can approach UZ Brussel for special treatment: PGD or pre-implantation genetic diagnosis.

PGD means that embryos obtained via in vitro fertilisation (IVF) are diagnosed genetically first and only then transfered to the uterus.

UZ Brussel Expertise in PGD

The very first PGD was performed in 1990 in Great Britain. Since then PGD has been used in specialised centres around the world.
Since 1993 it has also been performed at UZ Brussel.
In the meantime our PGD clinic has expanded to become one of the leading centres in Europe.

Regarding scientific research into children born of PGD treatment, UZ Brussel is also at the absolute top: as one of the few centres in the world we have consistently monitored all babies that we have helped set foot in the world via this treatment. For the PGD clinic this postnatal follow-up is an indissoluble part of the treatment.



In PGD we very carefully remove one or sometimes two or even several cells from an eight- or multi-cell embryo. As a rule the embryo remains unharmed and continues to develop normally after the procedure.

As of 2013 between 20,000 and 30,000 children worldwide have been born following IVF/ICSI combined with PGD.

  • From the postnatal monitoring of the first 1,000 babies who were born in UZ Brussel following PGD treatment, it appears that at birth the great majority are healthy. As a rule they are at least as healthy as babies born after the ‘usual’ IVF, with or without ICSI.
    In the CRG we have seen three hundred of these babies at the age of two.
    In comparison with the same number of ICSI babies and babies born following natural conception they are equally healthy and display comparable development.
  • Data from the PGD consortium and ESHRE confirm that the health of newly born PGD children is comparable to that of ICSI and IVF children. So performing an embryo biopsy does not seem to constitute an increased risk of miscarriage.


Further follow-up studies remain necessary however, certainly in the long term. Hence all couples who become pregnant through PGD treatment are asked to take part with their baby(ies) in the CMG follow-up program.