Gender Selection Options
Can we create embryos of a specific gender?
During the gender selection process, we cannot create embryos of a specific gender. We can, however, identify if an embryo is male or female and then transfer it into the patient’s, or patient’s surrogate uterus.
How long does the treatment take?
The first step of the process (ovarian stimulations) usually begins on the second or third day of the menstrual period. The stimulation generally lasts for 11-14 days with the second stage, the egg retrieval, happening 2 days after the last shot of medicine. The eggs are fertilized on the day of the egg retrieval and the resulting embryos then grow for 5-6 days in the laboratory. At the 5 or 6 day stage, the embryos are biopsied (tested) and ether transferred fresh the following day or frozen. The results of the biopsy normally return within a week or can be expedited for a next day transfer. If embryos are frozen, with the patients next period, she returns on day 2 or 3 of the cycle to begin medicine. Approximately 16 days later, the embryo transfer occurs. By day 28, the pregnancy test is performed.
What is the cost of gender selection?
The price of treatment at the Los Angeles Reproductive Center depends on many factors including insurance coverage, use of a donor or surrogate, number of desired cycles and more. As a center, we are proud to offer many financial options to fit most patient’s budgets. In addition, our financial department is adept at helping patients of all socio-economic backgrounds to afford treatment.
Is there any other way to select the gender other than IVF/PGS?
Over the years, different technologies have developed for gender selection in an attempt to replace or provide an alternative to IVF/PGS. Unfortunately, none of them are efficient or accurate.
The Ericcson method and Sperm spinning for gender selection.
- The Ericsson Method for gender selection as well as other methods of sperm spinning rely on the fact that sperm determine gender. If a sperm contains an X chromosome, the resulting embryo will be female. If the sperm contains a Y chromosome, the resulting embryo will be male. It is known that, structurally, the Y chromosome is smaller (and lighter) than the X chromosome. Thus, sperm that carry a Y chromosome are presumably lighter than sperm that carry the X chromosome. Based on this differences, centrifugation and density gradients in the laboratory should be able to separate the X from Y carrying sperm.
- When using the Ericcson method, the sperm is placed in a tube that contains different gradients of a protein called albumin. The more dense and concentrated the albumin, the more difficult it is for the sperm to pass through. In theory, male sperm, which are lighter and a faster, are more capable of reaching the bottom of the tube and pass quicker through the different gradients as opposed to the sperm that contains the X chromosome. As a result, the sperm that contains the Y chromosome can be found on the bottom of the tube while the sperm that contains the X chromosome will be found at the top. The embryologist then aspirates from the upper part of the tube to select sperm that contain the X chromosome (females) or from the lower part of the tube to select sperm that contain the “Y” chromosome (male). Sperm that is obtained through the Ericcson method can then be used for intrauterine insemination (IUI).
- The original studies of the Ericsson method claimed a success rate in choosing a male of 75 to 85 percent and a success rate in choosing a female of 70 to 75 percent. Unfortunately, many studies since the original, have not confirmed these results.
- The Ericsson method, as well as different variations of this technique have been developed over the years, but none of them have proven to be reliable in obtaining the desired gender.
At the Los Angeles Reproductive Center, we can perform sperm spinning for gender selection, but we recommend PGS technology as the only efficient and reliable method for gender selection.
The Microsort method:
- Another method developed to influence gender was the Microsort™ . The Microsort was developed in Fairfax Virginia, and was only available under a research protocol until it was removed from the market by the FDA in 2012. With the Microsort method, the sperm was stained with a fluorescent label and passed through a laser beam which separated the sperm that contains the Y and X chromosomes. The resulted sperm could only be used through an IVF process since the amount of sperm that was left after the processing was too low to be used for regular insemination. This method was never approved by the FDA and is no longer available n the US as of 2012.
Are there natural methods for gender selection?
Natural methods for gender selection have developed over the years and can be found in many folk lore medical traditions. It is important to know that no natural methods, have scientific support and are thus not recommended by the doctors of LARC.
- Diet: diet with food that is more or less acidic can improve the success rate of having a boy or a girl. According to the eastern Medicine, acidic food for example, increases the chances of having a female.
- A timing method: Supposedly timing intercourse close to the time of ovulation increases the chance for a boy, while sex timed well before ovulation leads to a girl.
At the Los Angeles Reproductive Center, Drs. Nurit Winkler and Marc Kalan believe that it is up to a parent to decide about gender and family balancing options for their family. The doctors are happy to discuss treatment options in detail and answer all your questions. Call the clinic at (818) 946-8051, or click here to schedule an appointment.