Skip to content


    Attention All WebMD Community Members:

    These message boards are closed to posting. Please head on over to our new WebMD Message Boards to check out and participate in the great conversations taking place:

    Your new WebMD Message Boards are now open!

    Making the move is as easy as 1-2-3.

    1. Head over to this page:

    2. Choose the tag from the drop-down menu that clicks most with you (and add it to any posts you create so others can easily find and sort through posts)

    3. Start posting

    Have questions? Email us anytime at [email protected]

    IVF Embryo Pre-Screening for Defects...or Gender?
    Andie_WebMD_Staff posted:
    CBS News reports that in a landmark ruling, a high court in Germany has decided to allow pre-screening of IVF embryos before implantation.

    What does this mean? Well, for one it could mean picking up on genetic defects before actually implanting the embryo in the mother's womb. Which, at first thought, seems like a great thing....but, there are critics.

    What happens to the embryos that don't meet up to the health standards? Is this selective breeding?

    The Berlin gynecologist, who had carried out screening on embryos for three different couples, implanted only those that were healthy and those with hereditary genetic defects were left to die off.

    In an article from SpiegelOnline , German commentators bring up other interesting questions. Some worry that although it seems IVF embryo screening for defects may make sense, this procedure may open the door to characteristic screenings -- such as gender, eye or hair color.

    Several questions to ponder:
    • Where should the line be drawn?
    • When does the embryo become "a life" instead of a substance growing in a test tube?
    • Do we have the right to decide which embryo lives or dies?
    • Would this cut back on the amount of miscarriages & abortions due to mother or baby's health risk?
    • Is this the door to creating "designer babies"?
    • Would you like to have the option to choose your baby's gender?

    Please take our poll on IVF Embryo Pre-Screening and leave your thoughts below.

    Take the Poll

    Should IVF embryo pre-screening be allowed?
    • Yes
    • No
    View Poll Results
    kfitz responded:
    For those of us that have genetic defects that would have a chance to be passed down to our children I think we should let technology do its job and give us an opportunity to make sure our children are healthy. I don't think there is anything wrong with ensuring a healthy child, however, I would not want to determine eye color, hair color or gender thru this process. I believe what every parent wants is for a healthy child. This could also help to put a stop to genetic diseases altogether. Why not?
    Me(31) DH(31) DD(10 mos) EDD 8/30/2010 Its a girl!

    Spotlight: Member Stories

    Me: Dee (3), DH: Ken (35), DD: Ava Rose born 3/26/2009 5 lbs 15oz, 19.5 in...we live in NY!

    Helpful Tips

    If you don't vaccinate your child due to fears of autism, read this:
    If you don't vaccinate your child due to fears of autism, read this: I ... More
    Was this Helpful?
    4 of 10 found this helpful

    Helpful Resources

    Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

    FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.