Choose your baby’s gender
Mumbling, whispering, praying. “Let it be healthy, let it be healthy,” is the mantra of any pregnant woman facing the results of the 20 week sonogram. It’s the one that measures the limbs, checks the vital organs and, very often, reveals the gender. And for all those whose prayers are answered and can report back to family and loved ones in a cloud of joyful relief, the question that tends to follow is, “Do you know what you’re having?”
In fact, most pregnant women have more than one story of being questioned and sometimes even accosted by everyone from their parents to random strangers begging the question, “So, boy or girl?” Some individuals will even go so far as to make their own gender predictions and since more often than not these predictors of the baby’s gender are based on the shape of the belly, the opinions are rarely appreciated. And it seems the only thing that frustrates these fortune-tellers (frustration they may well deserve) more than being told their gender prediction is incorrect is being told that, boy or girl, even the soon-to-be mother doesn’t know.
Every parent has an opinion on whether to discover the gender of their baby in advance, just as every parent who does opt for early discovery then must argue over whether to publicize that information. Along with conversations about the best strollers, infant baths and preschool programs, the best boy or girl ratio in a family and the lengths a parent can and should go to achieve that ratio certainly garners its share of opinions. Obviously, for some, the issue of a baby’s gender goes beyond personal preference. In families where gender-related genetic diseases are a concern, the issue of gender selection intersects with the mantra of health. Regardless, the question of what creates a balanced family, and how far parents can and should go to conceive a boy or conceive a girl, is a hotly debated topic.
For some, personal preference is justification for skewing the odds. A quick internet search will offer tons of DIY suggestions for how to conceive a boy or how to conceive a girl. These suggestions include everything from diet modifications, and ovulation timers, to positioning tips. Depending upon whether you prefer a boy or girl, these methods profess that the gender of the baby can be determined by a variety of environmental, nutritional or biological factors. These gender selection methods for a boy or girl are not without merit and certainly come backed with testimonials lauding their methods for conceiving a boy or girl.
And yet, no gender selection methods that do not specifically implant sperm with the chromosomes for a boy or girl are foolproof. How to conceive a boy or how to conceive a girl may be affected by other factors, but in the end, only the correct combination of X and Y chromosomes can guarantee a baby’s gender. Gender selection methods to conceive a boy or girl be based on timing or diet. In today’s high-tech world, gender selection has entered the realm of science, one that is nearly exact. A little research beyond the DIY will yield an abundance of science-backed information, research studies and medical evidence pointing to safe and effective gender selection methods. Clearly, not every parent will take their preference, no matter how ingrained it is, to the realm of implantation. However, with the new crop of gender selection techniques to conceive a boy or a girl abounding, the new question may not be “What are you having?” but “What do you want?”
Gender selection via Ericsson Sperm Separation combined with IVF/PGD
Over the past several years we have been working very hard on a unique approach to gender selection. We have selected sperm for the desired sex using The Ericsson Method of sperm separation prior to fertilization of eggs obtained via an IVF protocol. The advantage of this combined procedure is to increase the yield of embryos of the desired sex prior to transfer. Once fertilization occurrs the embryos are screened via PGD for the normal chromosome complement as well as the sex chromosomes. In those couples who carry a transmissible chromosome abnormality, one of the cells of the growing embryos is also screened with a genetic probe for the specific defect. By using this procedure the couple can be reassured if they conceive the child will be normal. The procedure is demanding for both the couple, and dedicated team. It requires an effort on the part of physicians, nurses and laboratory personal. In the short span of several years we have 6 pregnancies that have delivered the child of the gender that they have always desired. Currently we are completing a statistical analysis prior to submitting the paper for publication. We anticipate that this combined technique is revolutionary in it’s approach to gender selection.
Gender Selection – Success Rates
When couples ask us about success rates they usually want to know what their chances are of delivering a healthy baby of the desired sex. Success rates depend upon many factors including which procedure is chosen, the couple’s age, underlying medical conditions, etc.
Couples who are “reproductively healthy” have a greater chance of conceiving than those with underlying diseases, such as male factor infertility. Couples choosing the Ericsson Method of gender selection will undergo an intrauterine insemination cycle(s) often using ovulation inducing medications.
Reproductively healthy couples have a 20-25% chance of conceiving in any given month where regular intercourse occurs. Those undergoing intrauterine insemination with ovulation inducing medications generally have a 25-30% chance of becoming pregnant in any given cycle. Therefore, some couples will require more than one cycle and most couples will be pregnant after three cycles.
The Ericsson Method increases the probability that a boy or a girl will be conceived based upon which sperm fraction (albumin separated) is chosen. Approximately 70-75% of the time, a couple will have a baby of the selected gender. The percentage for a female offspring increases when Clomid is prescribed during the cycle.
In general, Ericsson Method couples who undergo three cycles of IUI have a >80% of conceiving and a 70-75% chance of producing the desired sex.
Preimplantation genetic diagnosis with IVF (IVF/PGD) produces higher “gender selection success rates” since only embryos of the chosen gender are transferred to the mother. Patients choosing PGD must undergo an in vitro fertilization cycle.
Approximately 38% of infertile couples undergoing IVF will conceive. This percentage is highly dependent upon several factors including female age, underlying disease(s), and previous treatments.
Couples undergoing IVF for gender selection, who are reproductively healthy, should exceed the 38% success rate. A major determinant of success is female age and ovarian reserve. All IVF patients receive injections of gonadotropins to cause the recruitment and development of multiple follicles.
PGD is performed on the embryos and only those of the appropriate sex are transferred to the mother. Sometimes it is also possible to freeze embryos for use in future “non-stimulated” IVF cycles. If a reproductively healthy couple undergoes three cycles of IVF, they will conceive >80% of the time and 99% will have a child of the desired gender.
The Silverman Center, backed by over 20 years of research and experience, began utilizing this new, combined method two years ago. By offering sperm separation combined with IVF/PGD (in vitro fertilization and pre-implantation genetic diagnosis) the number of couples achieving their desired results has climbed. The success behind the new technique is that sperm is selected prior to fertilization, yielding significantly more embryos of the chosen gender.
Regardless of whether couples are aiming to avoid certain gender-specific diseases, want to balance out a family of boys or girls or simply have a personal preference, the growing number of parents who have had success with this method have stated that they would, “recommend gender selection to anyone who has ever wanted to have a balanced family and was afraid to leave it to chance.” The success of this new technique is so significant that inquiries have come from couples from as far as Asia and India.
Contact us to set up a consultation with The Silverman Center to join the many couples who have had the child of their dreams and “owe it all to Dr. Silverman and his expertise in gender selection.”