23 Oct Family Balancing and Gender Selection
Family balancing, or gender selection, is an exciting option for individuals and couples pursuing IVF, and who are interested in choosing the boy/girl ratio in their family. This option is especially appealing to parents who already have multiples of a single-sex, and would like to have a child or children of the opposite sex.
Gender selection, sometimes called sex selection, can be one of the “silver linings” of couples who require IVF to build their family. The reality is that IVF is typically a last treatment option, following a challenging and emotionally painful fertility journey,
Why Choose the Sex of Your Child Ahead of Time?
We’ve all seen those families – three girls or boys born in a row. In either case, friends and family smile and joke about the cost of multiple weddings, or the energy required for a pack of rambunctious male siblings. While these gender stereotypes are quickly falling by the wayside, the fact remains that many parents desiring multiple siblings would prefer to have a mix of boys and girls if possible. This is a very reasonable desire.
So, while family balancing, or gender selection, has been a hot topic of debate here in the United States, we strongly feel that it shouldn’t be.
On one hand, your embryos’ sex is automatically identified by embryologists whenever we perform genetic screening – a routine practice used to transfer embryos most likely to implant. This screening process makes good sense to optimize any individual or couple’s chances of IVF success.
Wherever there is genetic testing, there is also the immediate “reveal” for the laboratory regarding which embryo(s) are male, and which embryo(s) are female. As a result, parents have the option of learning the sex of their healthiest embryos. Currently, we can guarantee almost 100% accuracy of the sex of each embryo created via IVF.
How does family balancing and gender selection work?
The answer to, “how does gender selection work?,” takes us back to the beginning of Human Reproduction 101. Every healthy human embryo has 23 pairs of chromosomes – each pair coming from the mother and father. Female eggs each carry an X chromosome, while each male sperm carries either an X or Y chromosome.
Depending on which sperm fertilizes the egg, the resulting embryo will be either XX (female) or XY (male).
When patients opt to test embryos for chromosomal and/or genetic abnormalities, the results show which embryos are XX and which are XY. You can choose to have that information presented to you.
If you are interested in family balancing or gender selection, contact us here at the Fertility Center of Dallas.