Can We Choose the Sex of Our Child Through IVF Treatment?
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Can We Choose the Sex of Our Child Through IVF Treatment?

Many people would like to give birth to either girls or boys and because of that, they are interested in whether it's possible to choose the sex of their child. According to the latest research in this field, it seems that it is quite possible for parents to do so and there are a few techniques that can be used in this regard. This article will focus on some of them.

Preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD)

PGD is an IVF or in vitro technique in which embryos are tested for gender and genetic disorders. While initially this method was used to help individual or couples suffering from serious genetic disorders and minimize the risk of giving birth to a child with the same condition, nowadays it's also used to screen for embryos with regular chromosomes in women who have a family history of miscarriage or are at least thirty five years old. Some clinics seem to also offer this solution for nonmedical reasons, like gender balancing or sex selection. It has a 100% effectiveness.

                            

                                                                 Image via: drmichaelflynn.com.au

Pros

When women get pregnant, PGC guarantees they'll have a baby of their desired gender.

Remaining embryos of both genders can be frozen and used in case of miscarriage or if individuals want to have more children.

Cons

One round of PGD cost around 20 thousand dollars.

It's an invasive and possibly painful procedure.

Side effects like blurred vision, swelling, bloating and weight gain might occur.

MicroSort

This is basically a dye technique attempting to separate boy producing sperm from the girl producing variety. However, the method was closed in 2012 and will be available again if approved by the FDA. Efficiency rate is 74% for choosing boys and 88% for choosing girls.

Pros

Risk free and cheaper than IVF treatment.

Because it uses AI and not IVF, individuals don't have to stress over what to do with the leftover embryos.

Can be used for prevention the transmission of X-linked disorders.

Cons

Not yet FDA approved.

Pregnancy rate stacked at 17%, while IVF treatment on Gold Coast boasts a 35% success rate.

Specific gender guarantee not offered.

Little info on possible risks.

Ericsson

This technique focuses on separating slower swimming girl producing sperm from faster swimming sperm that produces boys. Using the AI, the sperm of the desired gender will then be placed into the woman's uterus. In terms of effectiveness, it ranges from 78% to 85% for boys and from 73% to 75% for girls.

Pros

Relatively safe

Non-invasive

Affordable compared to other methods.

Cons

Success not guaranteed.

Effectiveness not on par with that of IVF treatment.

The bottom line: What do the experts say?

This is actually a subject that has been debated quite a lot and while one side thinks that it's a normal practice and should be considered as one, others think it's heading down a slippery slope. Experts like Mark Sauer (a fertility specialist) believe that sex selection for family balancing has no place in fertility treatments because it's unethical. Regardless of what many think about it, it's obvious that it will remain a debatable topic for some time until it will be finally accepted or who knows, banned as being illegal.

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