Preimplementation Genetic Diagnosis in Nigeria: An Option for AS Genotype Couples

Following my hit post on options for AS genotype couples, I’ve got a lot of questions and comments demanding information, medical options, alternatives or strategies for AS couples in Nigeria to have Sickle-Cell-Free children. So I’ve been making inquiries at fertility clinics.

I haven’t got all the information I would like, however since I’ve been on about love and marriage this month, I’ll share what I’ve learnt so far about the process, duration and financial implications of Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) in Nigeria.

If you don’t already know, PGD refers to the process of screening embryos for genetic diseases prior to implantation. Grab your partner, get comfortable and watch this video to give you a clearer picture of what PGD really is.

The information I’m about to share is from inquiries at the Bridge Clinic. They were very responsive, and if you fill the inquiry form on their website, they will certainly call you.


The Good News

  1. PGD is now available in Nigeria, well somewhat. The Bridge Clinic partners with a foreign clinic/lab to achieve this.
  2. At this point I will suggest that if you haven’t watched the video I included above, please go back and do so. The culture is prepared here in Nigeria and sent to the foreign clinic for testing.
  3. NOTE: Your embryo is not sent out of the country, just the culture consisting of cells of what will make up the placenta.
  4. The results are sent back to the Bridge clinic to tell the medical professional which embryos are sickle cell free, ensuring that you have a healthy baby. This testing is 98% accurate, which means that if they say the embryo is sickle-cell-free, they are probably right.
  5. This partnership, I assume shelf cost of visas, flights, accommodation and other inconveniences associated with travelling abroad to get the procedure done.
  6. Finally, everything (Invitro fertilization and PGD) takes only about 6 – 8 weeks.

Related: Your Options as an AS Couple- Pre-Implantation Genetic Diagnosis


The Not-So-Good News

  1. I’m a firm believer in saving up for anything you want to acquire in life, nothing is out of reach. However, this procedure is not cheap and may take many a while to afford. Before any kind of medical assistance there’s Consultation fee. To see the doctor, talk about your circumstances and medical options costs N20,000. You’ll find a list of the Bridge Clinic fees here
  2. Next, the PGD is paid for in Euros and cost about €9,600, (a little over 4 million naira). IVF itself cost some where a little over 900,000 naira, excluding medication. This brings the total cost to over 5 million naira. To be safe on a project, I always factor in 30% extra for unforeseen contingencies. This brings our total budget to roughly 6.5million naira.
  3. After spending all this money, there are still risks you can’t mitigate. While women under 35 have higher chances of IVF success, an older woman’s success rate may be affected by fewer and lower quality eggs. IVF success rate for women less than 35 is 40%. This is low, but I will assume that some women taking the IVF route are doing so because of pre-existing fertility issues. (You, reading this probably do not. You are only here because of your genotype. I want to assume that your eggs, his sperm and your uterus are all fine so your chances might be higher. I’m not a doctor, it’s just probability and some common sense.)
  4. Next, the results of the diagnosis may come in and you have no sickle-cell-free embryo. It’s not common but it is a possibility. At this point, the money is gone and there’s no baby.
  5. Finally, PGD and IVF does not prevent complications that may arise during pregnancy or other unfortunate circumstances. So again, the money is gone and there may be no baby.

Conclusion
To be honest, I was excited beginning this post. I was hoping to slide in here with good news of great joy. However, the more research I did and inquiries I made, the more disappointed I ended up. PGD is so much effort put into something people otherwise get effortlessly.

Regardless, if you can afford this, and your love is worth it, it’s an option you might want to look into. If you don’t try, you’ll never know.

If you choose the PGD route, I wish you the very best of luck and pray that God blesses your effort.

If you are considering PGD or have done it, please leave a comment below. We can all learn from each other.
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Disclaimer: I’m not a medical profession. This is based on personal research and inquiries. This post is not sponsored.

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5 replies


  1. https://polldaddy.com/js/rating/rating.jsHi Red,
    Thank you for doing this. The struggle to find information on birth options for AS couples is real. For Bridge clinic to partner with a hospital to carry out PGD that costs almost $10,000 isn’t it preferable to actually just travel for the procedure? Is the cost difference significant?
    Secondly, is 40% really the success rate for women less that 35 years?. Awaiting your response.

    Liked by 1 person

    • My thoughts exactly. It may be cheaper to just travel out and get it done but I can’t say for certain because the cost difference will be in transportation and accommodation cost in the country.

      The issue of success rate is still questionable in my opinion because so many factors affect the success rate of IVF. I haven’t been able to secure an interview with an embryologist to clarify this but as soon as I do, I’ll be sure to put up a post about it.

      Thank you so much for reading Madam YHP. Please remember to share. We sickle cell carriers need to know that there’s hope out there.

      Hugs.

      Like

  2. Hello,i’m a new reader here..thanks for the article and the insight. I’ve been doing research on PGD throughout the week and surely I’ve seen almost everything you put out…. But interestingly our case is still unique (My partner and i) and i hope our genes don’t fail us… A partner Born SSA (sickle cell anemic) and having a partner who is only a carrier (AS).
    What do you think our chances are? Would PGD and PGS come through for us,aside the risks and chances you have already listed above.
    Life is after all a game of chance but what are the odds this would work for us??

    Liked by 1 person

    • Welcome Amber and thank you for reading.

      Indeed, I haven’t written anything on a case like this.

      Here’s the truth, SS and AS is a tough one because the odds are very very low.
      It is impossible for you both to have an AA child. The best you both can hope for together is a carrier (AS like yourself) and the chances of that is only 25%.

      This means that in 4 random tries, you will be lucky to have a carrier. Most of your tries would end up having sickle cell anaemia because you are a carrier and so is your partner.

      With IVF, I’m not a medical professional but I will think the odds are still low. You’ll need a lot of embryos to find the lucky one, and a lot of embryos may mean a lot of cycles, and a lot of cycles means a lot of time and money and no guarantees.

      I’m not sure of all the details. I recommend you and your partner visit a medical facility for proper information.

      Whatever the outcome, I wish you both happiness.
      Hugs

      Like

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