So you have a pink nursery and are surrounded by dolls and dresses but you really want a boost of testosterone in your house, or maybe you want to break the rough and tumble life and stop having to buy band aids in bulk. OK, so maybe that was a little stereotyped, but you get my point – you want to mix up your kids a little and really don’t want to keep taking the risk that nature might not be on your side.
There have been so many old wives tales over the years about the best way to guarantee the gender of your baby – from diets, to sexual positions to who climaxes first but now we really can help you get the gender that you want to balance out your family if you wish.
Gender selection here is actually Family Balancing and is not easy, and neither is it cheap, but for some patients it is definitely the right decision to make. We will be able to help you make that decision during your consultation with the medical staff here.
To be eligible for family balancing, you must already have one child of the opposite gender.
How Gender Selection Works
Patients who are eligible, and desire family balancing will need to undergo an IVF cycle. Then on day 5/6 when the embryos have turning into fully formed blastocysts, we will carry out a biopsy (PGT-A), where a small group of cells are removed from each embryo. These cells are then sent out to an outside lab for analysis, which include the gender determination of each embryo. It is then possible for us to select the required gender for transfer, provided you have a choice of healthy embryos.
The gender of any particular embryo is determined by the sperm – all normal eggs will contain a single copy of an X chromosome and then a normal sperm will contain either a Y chromosome or an X chromosome. To make a female embryo then the sperm that fertilizes the eggs needs to contain an X chromosome and to make it male it will have a Y chromosome.
Statistically speaking, when sperm are created, the distribution of X and Y chromosomes is evenly spread and there should also be an even distribution of male and female embryos created. That being said, during an IVF cycle we cannot guarantee that this will be reflected in what we see. A good example of this is the fact that when you toss a coin, you will get heads 50% of the time, and tails 50% of the time, but it is possible to get 10 heads in a row on the way to getting that equal distribution.
There are a lot of hurdles during an IVF cycle for anyone, but when we are doing PGT-A for family balancing purposes they can be magnified in some cases. In a regular cycle, there is always a drop off from the number of follicles to the number of eggs retrieved, to the number fertilized, and finally, to how many make good quality embryos. As far as PGT-A is concerned, there is also the fact that the embryos have to reach the blastocyst stage to be appropriate for biopsy.
[2016 update: We now routinely biopsy all embryos obtained from a fresh IVF retrieval. This shift in procedure was brought on by advancements in both medical best practices, and genetic screening technology. This means that all appropriate embryos undergo genetic screening and the gender information is available to any patients who are eligible for family balancing. However, we are unable to provide the gender information to patients who are not eligible.]
Remember, the embryos that look most appropriate for transfer may not be of the desired gender or it’s possible that the only embryos that we obtain may be of the non-preferred gender. In these cases, you will have to decide if you want to transfer the embryos or not. Those who do not want to transfer embryos of the opposite gender have several options. They can keep the embryos in storage and delay the decision, they can donate the embryos, or they can elect to have the embryos discarded.
That all being said, we have had many successful cases where the desired gender is obtained and the couple achieves a pregnancy. For more details please make an appointment for a new patient consultation and also check out the other information on the website regarding IVF and PGT-A treatments.