Understanding PGD and the Role of Genetics, Environment

Pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) is the process used in reproductive science to profile the genetic makeup of embryos before they are selected and implanted as part of the in vitro fertilization (IVF) process.

Most often, couples carrying – or who are at a higher risk of being the carriers of – a genetic disorder use PGD so as not to pass on a specific genetic abnormality to their offspring. Cystic fibrosis, sickle-cell disease, Huntington’s disease, Duchenne muscular dystrophy, fragile X syndrome and a host of other life-threatening conditions can be detected through PGD.

PGD allows us to avoid devastation from these diseases, as we can select embryos that will have the best chance of avoiding genetically inherited abnormalities.

As a reproductive endocrinologist, it’s my obligation to provide information and guidance to my patients considering the PGD embryo biopsy. Ultimately, each patient must decide whether to use genetic testing based on his/her unique social, religious and environmental circumstances.

Great strides in the field of genetics have been made since PGD’s beginnings in 1989. While we are able avoid some diseases with the use of PGD, less is known about how to control diseases that may be linked both by genetics and environmental factors.

Understanding your genes

More than 10 years have passed since the Human Genome Project successfully mapped the properties of approximately 25,000 genes, which comprises a majority of all human genetic information. This feat has equipped scientists with a “blueprint” to better understand the physical and functional properties of single genes.

Defining the properties of human genes was an important first step of understanding biological codes and how they dictate development from an embryo to a human.

The major challenge, now, is to discover the sources of what exactly makes that coding go awry. Scientists are looking at what triggers a gene – which may exist as seemingly normal for many years – to malfunction and manifest in the body as cancer, for example.

A common misconception about genes is that they dictate who and what you are: that’s only part of the story. Genes only tell you what your capacity for being is. In actuality, it’s the environment – and influencers within the environment – that humans are exposed to that activate or turn off genes.

It may not necessarily be the case that you have an abnormal gene by inheritance, rather it’s that you have a gene that is inadvertently shut off or turned on at a point in time that triggers disease.

While some people are genetically predisposed to illnesses like cancer, environmental and behavioral factors play a much more significant role in the presence of a disease in the body.
Consider the environments that we live in

While PGD has given scientists the ability to screen for genetic abnormalities – and select embryos that will not carry a genetic mutation – we know very little as to the environmental conditions that make genes mutate into a disease such as breast cancer.

Research has shown that smoking can cause lung cancer and heart disease can be the result poor diet and lack of exercise. There are very clear behavioral modifications that individuals can control that will help them prevent the development of these diseases, entirely separate from their genetic profiles.

We know that the environments that we live in greatly alter our personal health, but will science help us to better understand the necessary steps to live a healthy, fulfilling life? Time will tell. For now, PGD has a proven value in alleviating human suffering that can be highly beneficial to appropriate candidates.

Bad Genes End with Me

Dr. Jesse Hade was interviewed on HuffPostLive by host Nancy Redd about pre-implantation genetic diagnosis, and how this and other genetic screening tests could help men and women who are carriers of genetic diseases to start families without passing on problem genes to their children

NEWAY FERTILITY ANNOUNCES FIRST IVM BABIES BORN IN NEW YORK

Three Babies Born This Fall in the Tri-State Area Thanks To Groundbreaking, Low-Cost Fertility Treatment – Natural Alternative to Traditional IVF

New York City – October 21, 2013 – Neway Fertility, a leading NYC fertility clinic specializing in natural fertility treatments, today announced that three healthy babies have been born in the tri-state area thanks to IVM – a groundbreaking fertility treatment that requires little to no drugs and is a fraction of the cost of traditional IVF. This includes the first-ever IVM babies (twins) reported to be born in New York.

IVM (in vitro maturation) is an alternative to traditional IVF that offers a virtually drug-free, minimally invasive, and low-cost treatment for infertility. IVM is ideal for women with hormone-sensitive issues like PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome), who cannot tolerate the high doses of ovarian stimulation drugs required by IVF. It’s also an option for anyone interested in pursuing a more natural course of treatment for infertility.

The recent births are the result of a research study that Neway is conducting for women with PCOS and infertility, offering free IVM treatments to up to 20 women. A total of five out of seven women have become pregnant through the study so far, with three babies born to date, and three due in 2014. The first two couples to give birth to healthy IVM babies include:

  • Cecilia and Talya, a same-sex couple from Brooklyn, NY, who welcomed twin girls on October 11. Cecilia, who carried the twins, has PCOS, and was unable to conceive through other methods. She underwent 5 failed IUIs before trying IVM. The IVM treatment was successful on the first round.
  • Manpreet and Sarbdeep, from Carteret, NJ, welcomed a baby girl on September 25. Manpreet was so pleased with her IVM experience that she called Neway from the delivery room to tell them she was almost ready to schedule her next treatment!

Neway is one of only a handful of US clinics pioneering successful IVM treatments. IVM has already seen great success around the globe, with more than 4,000 live births worldwide – more than 1/4 of them under the direction of Neway’s founder and technical director, fertility pioneer Dr. Jin-Ho Lim. Dr. Lim brought this innovative technique to Neway Fertility and trained an expert staff, led by top fertility specialist Dr. Jesse Hade, to help women in NYC and across the country realize their dreams of having a baby.

“With IVM, the eggs are retrieved and matured outside the body. IVM is a different technology from the traditional Natural cycle IVF, which uses only one or two oocytes matured in the body. This allows us to achieve a high success rate without subjecting women to high doses of infertility drugs, extensive blood tests, or constant ultrasounds. The eggs can be immediately implanted, or frozen for later use,” explained Dr. Lim. “This is truly a breakthrough for women who are looking for more natural options, or simply don’t have the option of using a conventional IVF approach.”

“The first time Dr. Hade and Dr. Lim told us about IVM, we were hooked. No weeks of heavy meds? No risk of hyper-stimulation? No need to take a second mortgage to cover the cost? IVM was the answer we had been looking for,” said new mom Talya. “The Neway staff gave us unparalleled support and encouragement, giving us back the hope we had lost after a year of trying to conceive. We are so grateful for this magical experience.”

New moms Cecilia, Talya, and Manpreet are available to share their experiences with IVM, along with Dr. Lim and Dr. Hade, who can describe the procedure and how it’s changing the practice of treating infertility.

About Neway Fertility
Neway Fertility is a leading NYC fertility clinic offering the full range of fertility treatments, with an emphasis on natural approaches. Neway was founded by Dr. Jin-Ho Lim, a pioneer in natural fertility and founder of the groundbreaking Maria Fertility Network in Asia. Dr. Lim established a world-class facility in Manhattan to bring his innovative treatments to the US, training an expert team led by top fertility specialist Dr. Jesse Hade, MD, F.A.C.O.G. Neway leverages innovative techniques and a personalized approach to deliver some of the highest success rates in the country for everything from traditional IVF, to natural alternatives like IVM, mild IVF, Natural cycle IVF, and Natural cycle IVF/M, to IUI, genetic testing, embryo screening, egg freezing, egg donation, and more. Visit www.newayfertility.com for more.

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WE ANNOUNCE FIVE SUCCESSFUL IVM PREGNANCIES AS RESEARCH STUDY CONTINUES

Neway Fertility Still Accepting Participants to Participate in IVM Study

New York City – August 16, 2013 – Neway Fertility, a leading NYC fertility clinic specializing in natural fertility treatments, today announced its first five successful pregnancies as a result of its ongoing research study for IVM (in vitro maturation), a natural alternative to conventional IVF that requires little to no fertility drugs.

The participants in the research study are young women who suffer from PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome), a hormonal imbalance affecting the ovaries. PCOS precludes women with infertility from doing conventional IVF, which requires high doses of fertility drugs. IVM is a promising alternative, with over 4,000 babies born using the technique worldwide. Yet it is still relatively untested in the US, due in part to the lack of fertility doctors experienced in this technique. Neway’s founder, Dr. Jin-Ho Lim, is a global fertility pioneer who has overseen more than 1/4 of the world’s IVM births. He established Neway as a world-class facility to bring this innovative treatment to the US, and trained an expert team led by fertility specialist Dr. Jesse Hade, who performed all five successful IVM procedures to date.

“IVM is less invasive and less stressful to the body, and is also a fraction of the cost of conventional IVF,” explained Dr. Lim. “It is an ideal procedure for women who have had trouble getting pregnant, but also have hormone-sensitive conditions like PCOS. With our success to date, Neway is positioned to take on more complex infertility cases like these, that many of the larger clinics cannot accommodate.”

Neway is continuing its IVM research study and there are still slots available for qualified women to receive free fertility treatments. To participate, you must be under the age of 35 and suffer from PCOS and infertility. All study participants must have active health insurance to qualify. Please contact Kelly at (212) 750-3330 (M-F 9:30 AM to 3:00 PM) or click here to see if you qualify.

About Neway Fertility

Neway Fertility is a leading NYC fertility clinic offering the full range of fertility treatments, with an emphasis on natural approaches. Neway was founded by Dr. Jin-Ho Lim, a pioneer in natural fertility and founder of the groundbreaking Maria Fertility Network in Asia. Dr. Lim established a world-class facility in Manhattan to bring his innovative treatments to the US, training an expert team led by top fertility specialist Dr. Jesse Hade, MD, F.A.C.O.G. Neway leverages innovative techniques and a personalized approach to deliver some of the highest success rates in the country for everything from traditional IVF, to natural alternatives like IVM, mild IVF, Natural cycle IVF, and Natural cycle IVF/M, to IUI, genetic testing, embryo screening, egg freezing, egg donation, and more. Visit www.newayfertility.com for more.

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Korean Doctor-Entrepreneur Aims for His First U.S. Drug-free Fertility Success

Forerunner in IVM Treatment Readies New York & Beijing Clinics for Alternative to IVF

NEW YORK, April 11, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — In his native South Korea, Dr. Jin-Ho Lim is a giant among fertility doctors, founder of a network of nine in vitro fertilization (IVF) clinics responsible for more than 50,000 births in a nation with one-sixth the population of the U.S. Now, after years of intensive preparation, he has his sights set on two of the world’s most influential societies, hoping to bring a new, drug-free fertilization process to thousands of infertile American and Chinese women.

Read More on the Globe Newswire Site>>