Why and how to go for sex selection and gender selection?


Gender or sex selection is a fertility treatment exercise made in an attempt to decide the sex of the baby yet to be born. Sex selection has the following features:
– This fertility treatment procedure is not permitted in every country due to legal restrictions.  Hence, the intending parents in search for gender selection will have to travel a lot and move on to clinics in countries where there is no social, legal or religious taboo against gender selection.
– More importantly, the clinical infrastructure and manpower talents available in these countries should meet the customer’s demand. They should be capable enough to accurately pin point the right methods and execute them successfully to bring about the birth of a baby belonging to a gender that the intending parents desire to have.
– Gender selection quest among intending parents have given rise to a boom in fertility tourism bringing in tourists’ money to the national exchequer of these countries in one hand and satisfying the intending parents needs and desires on the other. There is an immense scope for mutual benefits arising out of fertility tourism inspired by the desire of gender screening.
– The motives behind gender selection can be more than one but the most significant factor seems to be the need to eradicate sex related genetic diseases or family balancing.

-Sex selection and gender selection even if allowed in certain countries are highly expensive with a high degree of uncertainty in the outcome. Therefore, it is strongly advocated that unless there are serious medical reasons, one should not opt for gender selection.

Having finished exploring the reason behind sex selection we go about how this target could be achieved and this requires a detailed synopsis of the major methods employed for selection which are briefly outlined hereunder:

  1. a) Pre-implantation method:
    There are two methods of Pre-implantation based upon screening the second sex chromosomes to be either a Y chromosome giving birth to a male child or an X chromosome resulting in a female child.
  2. b) The Ericsson method:

This method employs a larger concentration of the sperms of the coveted sex to enhance the probability of conceiving a baby belonging to that sex. The success rate ranges from 70% to 72 % for having a male baby and 69 % to 75 % for females. In the US, almost half of the gender selection depends upon the Ericsson method.  The X and Y bearing sperms are separated by centrifugal method of sperm sorting where the X- bearing sperms (producing female child) settles at the bottom of the test tube and the Y-bearing sperms (producing male child) remains as the top layer in the test tube.

  1. c) IVF / PGD technology:

Post ovarian stimulation, multiple eggs are extracted from the mother and fertilized in the laboratory using male sperms by the IVF technique. When the embryos develop by mitosis they are separated by sex determination and the embryos of the coveted sex are implanted back into the mother’s uterus.
 Benefits of gender selection:

– The power to be able to choose the gender of the baby to avoid passing on a gender specific disease.
– Gender selection often enables parents to control the family size by conceiving the baby of desired sex at the first shot without having to try again. This helps achieve family balancing. Ideally a parent would want a boy and a girl in the family.
– Gender selection helps planning the sequence as well as the spacing between births in order to have babies of desired sex according to their choice.