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Gangaram hospital’s first: IVF from parents with translocation defects

New Delhi: A hospital here has emerged as the first medical institution in India to successfully perform in vitro fertilization (IVF) from parents with ‘translocation defects’.

A translocation defect is a genetic defect in the structural arrangements of chromosomes, which interferes in the production of normal eggs and sperms, leading to repeated abortions.

Under the procedure — performed successfully at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital here — a couple with translocation defects are usually taken for the IVF and then embryos are generated by fertilizing the women’s egg with the husbands sperms.

It’s called Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD).

“At least three embryos are created and then a biopsy is performed on each of them and then one single cell is taken from all of them. Each cell is subjected to genetic analysis to detect the translocation defect,” said Gaurav Majumdar, chief embryologist at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, which is celebrating 25 years of performing IVF on Saturday.

After the test, whichever embryo is found normal is transferred into the patient’s womb resulting in a normal pregnancy, he said.

The idea is to predetermine which embryo has to be implanted after screening for the defect, said Dr Abha Majumdar, the head of the IVF facility at the hospital.

“Usually, the screening happens after a woman is pregnant. A couple will conceive. They will come in the third or fourth month, get an ultrasound done and find that this is defective. They will then get an abortion done which is painful for the mother,” she said.

The hospital has also performed PGD cycles for couples with single gene defects such as beta thalassaemia, citrullinaemia, spinal muscular atrophy, and muscular dystrophy.

“PGD is a ray of hope for couples with single gene defects who otherwise are left with no option but to repeatedly abort an affected foetus. PGD helps couples who are either carriers of genetic mutations to conceive babies free from an inherited disease,” said Dr D S Rana, chairman of the hospital.

The hospital has also claimed to have become the first hospital in northern India to have the egg freezing facility which allows women to defer child bearing.

“There are women who are not ready to have a baby. They can come to IVF centre and ask for their eggs to be frozen,” said Gaurav Majumdar.

“So we stimulate them in a similar manner that a IVF couple will be stimulated with drugs to make multiple eggs and they will be retrieved through a small invasive procedure and the eggs are frozen.”


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