GENDER (SEX) SELECTION
Gender selection services are carried out for intended parents who desire to have a child of a certain gender (sex) due to various reasons, such as: family balancing, preventing sex linked genetic disease, etc. Advanced technologies make it possible to select the gender before the baby is born.
Sex selection can be controversial and there are ethical concerns debated widely. Many countries permit sex selection only for medical reasons, whereas others allow sex selection for nonmedical reasons.
There are various types of procedures used for gender selection. Most of them involve separating X and Y chromosome from sperm or selecting embryos with female or male DNA. At New Life Mexico we use Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) for gender selection, as well as for medical screening.
PREIMPLANTATION GENETIC SCREENING (PGD)
Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) is one of the methods used for gender selection. PGD enables professionals to assess early stage embryos (produced through in-vitro fertilization) before transferring them to the uterus. PGD allows doctors to determine the sex of each embryo. The specialist procedure is done by skilled professionals under a powerful microscope, using a hollow glass needle to penetrate the embryo’s outer covering and remove a single cell. Genetic selection services are carried out on this removed cell. Embryos of the desired sex are selected and implanted into the mother. PGD is 99% accurate, making it popular among intended parents who wish to select the gender of their baby.
It’s worth mentioning that PGD is used to screen various genetic anomalies. This makes PGD priceless to intended parents who may be at risk of passing on certain genetic conditions. PGD can also be used to understand the problem of recurrent and early miscarriages better. This can help to increase the chance of carrying a healthy pregnancy to term. The conditions tested with PGD are: aneuploidy, single gene disorders, and translocations.
At New Life Mexico we offer several PGD services you can choose from::
- PGD with Gender Selection testing up to 5 embryos for chromosomes 13, 18, 21, X and Y
- PGD with Aneuploidy , testing up to 5 embryos for chromosomes X, Y, 13, 15, 16, 17, 18, 21, 22 and gender selection
- PGD for Gender Selection and Complete Chromosome Screening [CCS] , testing up to 5 embryos for all 24 types of chromosomes
Please note that since many embryos may show chromosomal inconsistencies from cell to cell, PGD still has known risks of false negative or false positive results and not full accuracy cannot be assured. Besides, PGD procedures can also diminish the overall success rate of IVF and may not be recommended to everyone, especially if there is limited the number of embryos available is limited.
Discussing your request for PGD with the follow up manager from the start of the program is highly recommended. We usually support the idea of making the final decision about PGD once egg retrieval results are known, the number of developing embryos is suitable and the doctor gives the green light for the PGD. There are cases when the gender selection is unavoidable and in this case the intended parents are informed about the pros and cons of the procedure in advance, so that they can make an informed decision.
Gender selection is a scientific method that increases the chance of a couple having a child of a particular gender. It is quite a unique method as it can be used before conception to separate sperm into those that either mostly produces girls or those that mostly produces boys. The gender selection process begins with a sperm sample that is treated with a fluorescent dye. The dye is able to attach itself to either the male (Y chromosome) or female (X chromosome) sperm. The flow cytometry (a technique for analyzing and sorting microscopic particles) is applied to the sample. Sperm is analyzed by a flow cytometer for the DNA content. The flow cytometer distinguishes between an X-bearing chromosome and Y-bearing chromosome. Cells with certain characteristics are sent into a collection container. The flow cytometer is a machine used in many labs to identify cell types based on their physical characteristics and the presence of specific stains to cell components. The sorted sperm sample can be used with simple intrauterine insemination (IUI), In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) or Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI). Normally 50% of semen contains X bearing sperm and 50% Y bearing sperm. Through technology one can obtain a sample that contains 88% X bearing sperm or 73% Y bearing sperm as determined by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). It is considered the most accurate, reliable method for detecting X and Y sperm – although a child of the desired gender cannot be fully guaranteed. Using Microsort can be used for family balancing or for preventing sex-linked genetic disorders. Information about risks is still developing.
Gender selection can be controversial and has raised ethical concerns which are debated widely. Many countries permit gender selection only for medical reasons, whereas others allow gender selection also for non-medical reasons, such as family balancing.