Don’t discard. Donate.
You can make a difference in understanding disease causes and discovering new treatments through the donation of Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) and Preimplantation Genetic Screening (PGS) -tested and -affected embryos to stem cell research.
For those with a family history of a specific inherited disease, in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment with Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) makes it possible to build a family without the risk of passing on the known disease to children.
Also, many prospective parents today opt for Preimplantation Genetic Screening (PGS, also known as aneuploidy screening) to alleviate the potential of transferring embryos with the incorrect number of chromosomes and thus increasing the opportunity to conceive.
Inherent in both processes is the production of embryos that test positive for genetic defects. Typically, these disease-affected and abnormal embryos are deemed “not suitable for implantation” and are discarded.
Donating these otherwise discarded embryos to the human embryonic stem cell (hESC) research being conducted at the University of Michigan is a meaningful way to contribute to the understanding of genetic diseases.
Embryos carrying any single-gene disease for which PGD testing is available, chromosomally abnormal embryos, and embryos with translocations may be donated to our Institutional Review Board approved study.
The embryos will help researchers create disease-specific / genetically abnormal stem cell lines. Once accepted for the National Institutes of Health registry, this precious resource will be available to scientists worldwide, and can support amazing discoveries that alleviate suffering and improve quality of life.
Is donation a complicated process?
Not at all. Prior to beginning their IVF cycle, those interested in donation of PGD/PGS-tested and affected embryos review and sign an informed-consent document provided by the University of Michigan.
During the consent review, our study coordinator will speak with those interested in embryo donation to answer any questions they may have. Our coordinator also works directly with each couple’s fertility health care provider to facilitate the embryo donation process.