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Reproductive Options

In addition to commonly known reproductive options, families at risk for genetic prion disease might want to consider the following options.  Genetic counseling is recommended to anyone at risk for genetic prion disease who is considering these options.

Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD)
Genetic diagnosis is performed on embryos created through in vitro fertilization (IVF). PGD allows for genetic testing of these embryos before implantation occurs. This allows an at-risk person, or person who knows they carry a mutation for a genetic prion disease, to conceive a child who does not carry that gene.

Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) with Non-disclosure cycle
Individuals who are at risk of being a carrier may not want to know the results of their own genetic testing. Regardless of their own genetic status, they may still wish to only implant unaffected embryos. If this is the case, a non-disclosure cycle can be performed. No information in reference to testing results is given to the individual. Implantation is only performed using disease free embryos. If no disease free embryos are available after an IVF cycle, then the individual is told that there were no viable embryos that could be used for implantation.

Gamete (egg or sperm) Donation
This option involves the donation of either an egg or sperm, depending on the sex of the affected parent, from an unaffected individual.