In Nature’s news feature article, “China’s embrace of embryo selection raises thorny questions”, the author, David Cyranoski, juxtaposes East versus West in the lens of fertility practices. Specifically, Mr. Cryanoski explores China’s rapid development of Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD), a technique used in the In Vitro Fertilization, also known as IVF, process to prevent genetic mutations that cause disease or disability from passing to the next generation.
China does not nearly have the history and experience in PGD that the Western countries have. Although they are late in playing the fertility game, they are quickly becoming a major player. With the Chinese government lifting the restriction on family size, and the general stigmatism placed on diseases and disabilities in Chinese society, these factors provided the perfect catalyst to have the interest in PGD spread. Throughout the country, many are wanting genetic screening during pregnancy to look for possible chromosomal abnormalities that are linked to maternal age. Chinese researchers are aggressively trying to develop a comprehensive database of mutations that can be screened by PGD. China is also trying to develop improvements to technology and lessen medical costs. They are creating PGD techniques that allow for all necessary sequencing to be done without removing any cells. Chinese scientists have also created a buzz of using PGD to help give birth to China’s first “cancer-free baby”.
With an estimated growth of 60-70% per year in PGD use, it is entirely reasonable that China will eclipse the United States in the next few years. However, the USA is still considered the most technologically advanced. Please contact CACRM for an IVF / PGD consultation.