Psychological impact of preimplantation genetic diagnosis: a review of the literature

Reprod Biomed Online. 2010 Jan;20(1):83-91. doi: 10.1016/j.rbmo.2009.10.005. Epub 2009 Nov 10.


Preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) was first reported as successful in humans in the early 1990s and nearly two decades later the psychological impact of PGD has not yet been clearly defined. As PGD requires the use of IVF, this paper provides a brief summary of literature related to the various psychological aspects of IVF followed by a review of the literature related to the psychological and broader psychosocial impact of PGD. The current literature includes attitudinal studies of couples for whom PGD may be beneficial and results suggest that those with traumatic reproductive and genetic histories are more likely to find PGD an acceptable treatment option. A small number of studies have used samples of women and couples who have used PGD. Due to a general lack of homogeneity in scope, method and results, these studies have not provided a uniform understanding of the PGD experience. Promisingly, however, two studies on parents of children born after PGD that explored parental stress show no differences between PGD, IVF and natural conception couples. The paper concludes that the missing link in the literature is a prospective study of PGD using validated psychological scales. Suggestions for future research are provided.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Attitude
  • Female
  • Fertilization in Vitro / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care
  • Preimplantation Diagnosis / psychology*
  • Psychology
  • Reproductive Medicine