Latest update: 17/03/2016

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.


Who is it for?

Only people who are at increased risk of having a child with a genetic abnormality are eligible for PGD.'Increased risk' may mean being a carrier of a specific genetic disorder or even having developed the condition.
Unfortunately not all genetic disorders are eligible, though quite a lot are.

It is important for us to have enough information about the disorder to allow us to know where in the embryo's cells to search for the genetic defect.

  • We therefore ask for the original report from a genetics centre that has clearly described the genetic defect.
  • In many cases we also need samples from family members and then we also need the original genetics reports for (affected) family members.

A PGD test is developed specifically for a single couple in their own family context and therefore takes a considerable amount of time. This can be frustrating, since time is of the essence for a couple who are trying for a baby.
If we have already developed a PGD test for a condition in the past, we can usually keep the preparatory phase reasonably short. This is not possible for new and often rare conditions. In these cases there is unfortunately a waiting list that determines when we can actually start developing the test.

To find out how the treatment is progressing, click on Preliminary process and read from there.