PGD is conducted during an in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycle. The female undergoes ovulation induction with follicle stimulating hormone medications (FSH) to recruit numerous eggs. The mature eggs are withdrawn transvaginally and combined with the partner's sperm as in a typical IVF cycle. The resulting embryos are cultured from 3-5 days during which time the PGD procedure is conducted. Only embryos without the genetic defect and with the correct number of chromosomes, are transferred to the mother.
HRC's Southern California infertility clinic was one of the first clinics to perform PGD using a laser, and one of very few using a laser to date. The laser affords the embryos less exposure to handling and general outside conditions while undergoing PGD.
The PGD methods used to examine the chromosomes include fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) and/or the polymerase chain reaction (PCR). FISH involves labeling the chromosomes with a fluorescent tag allowing them to be examined by the embryologist. PCR enables making multiple copies of the DNA segments.