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IVF and Gender Selection: Success Rates and Outcomes

PFCLA
11 May 2019

Thanks to modern screening and testing of embryos during in vitro fertilization (IVF), a fertility doctor can determine the gender of a child before the implantation process via preimplantation genetic testing.

Reproductive technologies have advanced significantly, and now lab tests can identify the gender of an embryo in the earliest stages of development. In conjunction with IVF, preimplantation genetic screening and diagnosis tests allow patients the option of gender selection. 

Curious to learn more about the role IVF plays in gender selection? We’ll cover the entire process of gender selection, how it works, and how accurate and successful it has proven to be. 

Reasons for Gender Selection During IVF

There are many reasons why a couple or individual would opt for gender selection. However, many Intended Parents often chose to use gender selection for 'Family Balancing.'

Simply put, family balancing means that if the Intended Parent(s) always wanted a girl, but only had sons, they can select gender during IVF to ensure a balanced family. 

Additionally, intended parents opt for gender selection if they're at risk to pass on a gender-based genetically transmitted disease. In this scenario, gender selection gives the intended parents the chance to have a girl or boy, depending on the type of disorder they can avoid during the IVF procedure. 

Other cases may include a couple that has lost a child and wish to have another of the same sex, or the intended parents might simply feel more psychologically equipped to parent one gender over the other.

Gender selection is an incredible service made possible by science and can help Intended Parents feel more prepared to raise their future children. However, this decision does require careful consideration as it requires a higher cost and may eventually lead to regret if a parent later would have preferred to learn of their child’s gender naturally.

The PGD and PGS/PGT-A testing process for gender selection

After the egg and sperm have been combined and fertilization has occurred, then fertility doctors can examine the embryos. 

This is conducted through a process called preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD), or preimplantation genetic screening (PGS/PGT-A). By conducting PGD/PGS/PGT-A testing on embryos, fertility doctors can determine if an embryo has any chromosomal abnormalities that could result in a birth defect or developmental issue.

In addition to identifying genetic issues and potential birth defects, PGD/PGS/PGT-A tests can also be used to determine the gender of your child. Fertility doctors can identify if an embryo carries two X chromosomes (female) or an X and a Y chromosome (male). From this, the gender of a baby is accurately determined.

Gender selection success rates with PGS/PGT-A/PGD

Intended Parents can determine gender through PGD/PGS/PGT-A during an IVF journey. Given a fertility doctor’s ability to identify XX or XY chromosomes in the embryo with PGD tests, the gender selection process is almost 100% accurate.

However, not all patients can produce healthy embryos of the desired gender because of factors related to age, egg supply, and sperm quality. In these cases, sperm or egg donation is a possibility for Intended Parent(s) who wish to pursue gender selection. 

Whether the reason for gender selection is medical or elective, the success rates for gender selection are extremely high using preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) or preimplantation genetic screening (PGS/PGT-A). We're experienced in all techniques used for gender selection, including sperm spinning (the act of separating sperm into X and Y chromosomes), but combining IVF with genetic testing is the only truly reliable approach to ensure that your gender selection is 100% accurate. 

Next steps for unused embryos

If an embryo is not the preferred gender, we can discuss the options moving forward. This embryo may still be viable, which means that if the Intended Parent(s) would prefer not to dispose of it, the embryo could be donated to an infertile couple or individual. 

The embryo can also be donated to medical research, to facilitate a better understanding of fertility and development. Alternatively, it’s also possible to freeze the embryo to be used at a later time. In fact, a baby has been born from an embryo that was frozen for 27 years.

Discuss gender selection with your IVF clinic 

There are many factors to consider when it comes to gender selection and IVF. Our fertility experts guide Intended Parent(s) through the process with compassionate support. We review the pros and cons of the process, and what Inteded Parent(s) should consider per their situation.

If you would like to learn more about gender selection during IVF and why it may be a good option to consider, we encourage you to contact our team of fertility doctors. You can also reach Pacific Fertility Center by calling (310) 853-1440.

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Note: This is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Information provided is for general educational purposes only and is subject to change without notice. Speak to your doctor directly with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Any information contained herein does not replace any care plan as determined by a physician. 

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