Preimplantation Diagnosis

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Catherine Le Nevez
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Please note:

: this article was written in 2022. In the following years there have been new changes to the situation, with further amendments to law 40. To get a current picture, go to the article Preimplantation genetic diagnosis and preimplantation genetic screening: what they are, when get them

If a couple knows that they are at risk of transmitting congenital diseases of genetic origin with a high percentage of probability, they can resort to the so-called preimplantation diagnosis, which involves taking a cell from the embryo obtained with in vitro fertilization techniques. Morphological and genetic tests are carried out on this cell and only embryos that are healthy are implanted in the maternal uterus.

Before law 40 of 2004, Del Paese was considered to be at the forefront in the world for the development of preimplantation diagnosis techniques also due to the spread of some hereditary diseases such as Mediterranean anemia. Law 40 banned the use of this technique and although several couples have since obtained sentences declaring the law illegitimate in the light of our Constitution, many centers continue to refuse to practice it.

It should also be remembered that, since Law 40 limits the reimbursement of assisted reproduction techniques to couples who have a clear diagnosis of infertility, couples who have to resort to preimplantation diagnosis cannot be followed up at the expense of the National Health System.

This is because they would be able to conceive independently but cannot do so due to the risk of giving birth to a seriously ill child. Pending clarity on what is happening around law 40, it is good that the couples concerned are well informed about what the center they are addressing is willing to do for them.

In fact, there is a list of assisted reproduction centers on the website of the Higher Institute of Health but it does not specify whether they are equipped for pre-implantation diagnosis. Having to pay for all the treatments out of their own pocket, they sometimes prefer to go abroad.

Read the entire Fertility and Conception guide, from natural fertilization to assisted reproduction techniques

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  • prenatal diagnosis
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