Embryo selection or PIGD, “Pre-Implantation Genetic Diagnosis”, is a difficult ethical issue for PLN gene carriers. Your girlfriend, wife or partner becomes pregnant or wants to become pregnant but one of you has the PLN gene mutation… would you consider such a PIGD procedure and what could be the possible consequences?
The PIGD process
Please ask first your gynecologist and/or clinical geneticist for advice whether you are eligible as a couple for a PIGD treatment. If you are invited for an intake interview, all medical and family data will be discussed. Based on preliminary examinations (vaginal examination and ECG for the woman, seed examination for the man and taking blood from both), the diagnosis will be discussed with you.
From an embryo (which consists of an average of 8 egg cells after 3 days), 1 or 2 cells are taken for further examination in the laboratory. Within 1 week, the healthy embryo can be placed back into the uterus. An embryo can also be frozen for later placement.
A PIGD biopsy generally has no development risk for the embryo. A small percentage of women may possibly suffer some complications with regard to overstimulation (too many follicles in the ovaries). The woman could then experience abdominal pain, retain moisture and/or get bleedings and infections. In that case, hospitalization is necessary to examine whether the PIGD treatment has to be discontinued.
“… the PLN gene mutation stops with me!…“
Two cases may occur for PLN gene carriers: you have PLN but no complaints, or you have PLN with complaints and are regularly treated by an hospital as a heart patient. In the first case, you maybe would not directly start “doubting” to choose for such an embryo selection. But if you are unfortunate enough to experience complaints, more uncertainty arises for having a child or children, which may have an impact on your health in the long term.
The PLN gene mutation can develop differently in patients. You have no heart failure yet or if you do, your health remains reasonably “stable” or deteriorates. Some PLN patients wonder whether they are able to cope with the fatigue due to irregular nights? And later, whether they will still have the physical strength to engage in, for example, sporting activities with their child… and are able to continue to care for the child as a sick parent?…
PLN, embryo selection and having children or not, are extremely difficult matters with many dilemmas for people with a desire to have children. Some choose to have children… others take the difficult decision not to have them.