IVF with Gender Selection
Gender selection or sex selection is a process of controlling the sex of the offspring. This is also known as family balancing. The ethical and moral issues associated with gender selection are widely debated across the world and still there are many countries which prohibit the gender selection of any sort, some only allowing for medical reasons. India, China, UK and Canada are few countries where it is illegal to opt for gender selection for family balancing. On other hand, few countries like USA, Mexico and Thailand are more liberal in views of gender selection for family balancing and for other medical genetic conditions, hence are favorable medical tourism destination for Intended Parents who want to opt for gender selection for family balancing ivf with gender selection.
Besides family balancing, gender selection is also useful for couples who have higher risks of sex related chromosomal abnormalities and would like to avoid passing on faulty genes to their offspring. The transmission of X-linked disorders (diseases that women carry and can transfer to boy babies but not girls), such as hemophilia and Duchenne’s muscular dystrophy.
The two most common methods used are :-
Pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD): It is in-vitro fertilization (IVF) technique in which the embryos are tested for genetic disorders and gender before implantation into the recipients. First time, PGD was introduced back in 1989; it was initially used to help couples with serious genetic disorders to reduce their risk of having a child with the same condition.
Nowadays, PGD is still used for this reason, but it is also used to screen for embryos of elderly women for chromosomal abnormality, who are at least 35 or have a history of recurrent miscarriage. There are also a few clinics that provide this technique for non-medical reasons, such as sex selection or gender balancing. This technique is almost 100% effective in eliminating the embryos with faulty genes or in choosing embryos of desire gender.
During an IVF cycle, eggs are fertilized with sperm in laboratory condition. After fertilization, a single cell or cells are removed from each of the resulting 3- to 5-day-old embryos and tested for chromosomal studies. In a regular IVF cycle, scientists try to determine which embryos have the best chance by looking at them under a microscope, however, in PGD; the embryos are tested thoroughly for genetic abnormalities and sex selection.
In case of confirm pregnancy, PGD guarantees almost 100 percent certainty that you’ll have a baby of your desired gender. Following a PGD cycle, remaining embryos of both genders can be frozen for another attempt, if required.
MicroSort, It is a technique in which sperms containing Y chromosome and X chromosome can be identified and separated from the semen sample. Gender of a child is determined by the specific sperm cell fertilizing the egg at the time of conception. The sperm cells carrying an X chromosome result in a female baby and those carrying a Y chromosome result in a male baby. Semen sample contains approximately 50% female and 50% male sperm cells, as per the requirement of the Intended Parents micro sorted sperm sample is used for artificial insemination or IVF, although it does not guarantee of desired gender but increases the probability of same.
MicroSort was introduced in 1995 and was used in a clinical trial that ended in 2012. This method is effective about 88 percent successful in choosing girls and about 74 percent successful in choosing boys. In case of Micro sort with IVF, increase the likelihood of a pregnancy but is also more invasive and expensive process as compare to AI.
Currently, many couples who seek PGD for gender selection select USA for their fertility treatments. Thailand is also a popular destination for PGD due to low cost as compare to USA.