Parents now have the clinical option to select the sex of their future kids’ thanks to recent developments in pre-pregnancy and preimplantation technology. This study focuses on the use of gender selection technology for non-medical purposes, even if it can be a useful method to avoid having a child with a sex-related genetic condition. (1)
What is gender selection with IVF?
This procedure involves analyzing IVF-created embryos before placing them in the womb to determine the genetic sex of a boy or girl, a couple, or an individual. IVF embryos are the only ones that allow for gender choice.
The phrase gender selection as opposed to historical gender selection is favored. A person’s sexual identity is increasingly understood to depend on their gender. While a child’s sex is determined genetically by whether they inherited a pair of male XY chromosomes or a pair of female XX chromosomes. (2)
How to choose gender?
The technique of identifying each in vitro fertilized embryo’s genetic gender also referred to as sex selection or family balance, is known as gender selection. Preimplantation genetic testing (PGT), which includes collecting a few cells from a growing embryo in a lab and determining the male or female sex of the embryos through genetic analysis, is used to gender-identify embryos. During an embryo transfer technique, only healthy embryos of the desired sex are placed in the womb after testing. People choose the sex of their children for a range of medical and non-medical reasons.
What is PGT?
Preimplantation genetic testing (PGT) is a genetic method that enables the determination of the embryos’ sex before the embryo transfer procedure. PGT also allows medical professionals to ascertain the sex of each embryo tested, even though this technique is most frequently used to prevent the transmission of hereditary diseases to the offspring and to identify embryos with genetic abnormalities that adversely affect implantation and pregnancy success.
How does the process work?
The same IVF procedures in Turkey and treatments will be used for those who want to determine the baby’s sex. That is, a woman’s eggs are extracted and fertilized with her partner’s or a donor’s sperm to make an embryo. Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), in which sperm is injected directly into the eggs, is occasionally used to achieve this.
Two chromosomes, one from the mother and one from the father, determine the sex of each embryo. The baby’s sex is determined by the kind of inherited chromosomes (X or Y).
A fertilized egg’s (embryo’s) cells can be tested to reveal their chromosomal structure. The uterus is then exclusively given the embryo of the selected sex.
Any healthy embryos that are still present but not used for transfer can be cryopreserved (frozen and kept for later use). Additionally, they could be given to another couple, used in scientific research, or destroyed, regarding the legislation of the country where the procedure is done.
How accurate is PGT for selecting the sex of an embryo?
Even though it is very accurate, no medical test can ever be guaranteed to be 100% correct.
Gender selection can be done at no additional cost if testing is already included in the treatment plan, however, PGT is an additional expense for IVF.
What is the success rate of IVF for gender selection?
Searching for gender selection options online can lead to many unproven and unreliable methods, often scams or old wives’ tales. Gender selection is a medical procedure that should only be guided by a fertility specialist.
The only reliable method for sex selection is IVF with Preimplantation Genetic Testing or Diagnosis (PGT or PGD). Previous options, such as sperm separation, are no longer available as they have not been proven to be successful. IVF with PGT has a 99% success rate for selecting any gender.
Preimplantation genetic testing is a procedure that allows parents to determine the sex of their embryos before trying to get pregnant. During the procedure, the mother’s eggs are collected and fertilized with her partner’s or donor’s sperm.
A cell is then removed from the embryo for genetic testing, which does not harm the embryo in any way. This test can also check for chromosomal abnormalities and viability. The sex of the embryo is also revealed in this process.
After the test is complete, parents can choose which healthy embryo they want to implant. With this method, the success rate in determining the gender is around 99-100%, and the success rate in determining the gender when pregnancy occurs is close to 100%. However, you should check the specific regulations of the country you have chosen for your IVF Journey, as not all countries authorize gender selection for non-medical reasons.
Tarín, J. J., Bernabeu, R., Baviera, A., Bonada, M., & Cano, A. (1995). Sex selection may be inadvertently performed in in-vitro fertilization—embryo transfer programmes. Human Reproduction, 10(11), 2992-2998.