The main thing is a healthy child, but what if we could choose the gender of the child?
Patients that desire to have a child of a specific sex undergo a process that extracts multiple eggs from the mother and these eggs are fertilized with the father’s sperm. This technique is known as IVF. The joining of sperm and egg will produce embryos. The embryos are then tested to find out the genetic makeup of each embryo. During this genetic testing we can determine the sex of the embryo as well as test for other chromosomal abnormalities or genetic disorders. Once the genetic makeup is known the desired embryo or embryos are transferred back into the mothers uterus.
Common Reasons for Family Balancing with Sex SelectionSome common reasons prospective parents prefer to ‘balance’ their families via gender selection are:
• They have several children of one gender but want their next child or children to be of the opposite one
• They are parents who tragically have lost a child and want their next child to be the same gender
• They are older and know their time to have a baby is limited, so they desire to have control over the preferred gender
The process of IVF works like this: You start taking fertility drugs so your ovaries produce multiple eggs (typically, just one egg is released during ovulation). At about mid-cycle, while the woman is under anesthesia, an ultrasound-guided needle is placed through the vaginal wall to retrieve the eggs. The male partner provides a sperm sample. The eggs are then fertilized with sperm in a petri dish and then reinserted into your uterus.
For the PGD part of the procedure, a few cells are biopsied from the developing embryos. These are sent for genetic evaluation. This is how it’s determined which embryos are XX (girls) and XY (boys).
The couple can then decide which embryos are transferred back into the woman’s uterus. For example, if she only wants a girl, then only XX embryos would be considered.