For patients who have a genetic disease or are potential carriers of a genetic disease, testing is warranted. Certain genetic diseases, most notably recessive disorders, have a higher prevalence in specific ethnic groups. For example, cystic fibrosis is more common in Caucasians, Tay-Sachs is more common in Jewish individuals, and sickle cell disease is more common in African Americans. Some genetic diseases, most notably Cystic Fibrosis, are far more prevalent than people think. Cystic fibrosis is the most common lethal genetic disease among Caucasians and affects one in 650 people. One in 29 Caucasians are carriers of Cystic Fibrosis. If an individual is a ‘carrier’ for a recessive disorder, they do not have the disease. But, if they marry someone who is also a carrier for the same disorder, there is a 25% chance that one of their offspring can have the full disease and a 50% probability that the offspring will also be a carrier. Determining if a patient has a genetic disease or is a carrier of one is important for both counseling and treatment options.
For couples who do not have difficulty conceiving, but suffer from recurrent pregnancy losses, genetic testing is recommended on both the man and woman, to determine if they have a genetic abnormality that may explain why the losses are occurring.
Our physicians at Dallas IVF will take the time to explain these complex genetic analyses and offer therapies such as donor eggs, donor sperm, or PGD (preimplantation genetic diagnosis) to decrease or eliminate the risk of having an affected child with the disease.