Preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) is available to couples who are carriers of an abnormal gene and therefore at risk of passing this fault onto a child.
PGD prevents the birth of an affected child by testing a growing embryo before it is implanted into the womb. The process involves the use of Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART), which in other situations is offered to couples that have trouble conceiving.
The aim is to obtain and fertilise multiple eggs. Once fertilised, the embryos develop for three days and then one cell is removed from each embryo. The genetic material within each cell is then tested for the faulty gene. Up to two unaffected embryos are transferred into the womb with the hope that they will implant and form a pregnancy. If successful, a pregnancy should be unaffected.
To learn more about PGD, you may be able to ask for a referral to a fertility specialist.