Selecting the Sex of Your Baby

Do you want a boy, or a girl? This is the question that you have been asking yourself for years, and surely has come up in conversation from time to time. Until recently, none of us had a choice in the matter because we had to leave it up to chance, only to know months conception has occurred. With modern science, our ivf specialists have taken the guess work out of knowing the sex of your baby. This is also known as family balancing.

What Is Family Balancing?

Family balancing is the process one undergoes to selecting the gender of your child since there is a 50/50 chance you will end up with a boy or a girl. Many parents feel a strong desire to want a specific sex of their future child. Through technologies that exist today, our doctors can determine the specific gender of the embryo prior to implantation or pregnancy.

How Is Gender Selection Achieved?

First, several eggs are extracted from the woman. Sperm from the father is then used fertilized the eggs from the mother in our reproductive lab by the reproductive team on premises. After a few days, there will be several  eight cell embryos will have been developed. At this stage, our doctors can examine the genetic makeup to screen for both genetic testing and the gender. With the desired gender separated, they can be implanted into the mother for gestation, or cryogenically frozen to be used at a later date.

What Is The Science Behind Gender Selection?

As with all biological traits, gender is genetically based. Females are characterized by the possession of two X chromosomes (XX), while males have one X and one Y chromosome (XY). Every cell in the body contains these chromosomes, and these two chromosome complements plus 22 other pairs are theoretically present in all the cells of a normal pre-implantation embryo. One of each chromosome pair is of maternal origin (from the egg) while the other is of paternal origin (from the sperm).

Theoretically, sex determination can be accomplished in one of two ways:

a) separating the X- and Y-sperm and using either fraction for assisted conception, or

b) genetic analysis of embryos prior to implantation (called PGD), followed by transfer of either XX or XY embryos.

Separation of X- and Y-bearing sperm prior to assisted conception has met with limited success, with no guarantee of the desired sex being obtained. On the other hand, genetic analysis has proven to be much more accurate, and application of genetic testing to identify XX (female) and XY (male) embryos is the method of choice for gender selection at New York Fertility Institute. During this analysis, the normality of other chromosomes can also be checked, thus helping to ensure that healthy embryos of the desired sex are transferred.