You’ve seen it on TV – celebrities and other famous people declaring that IVF helped them bear children when they have tried many years to have one. Here and there, news and issues with regard to IVF’s process and success continue to circulate social media. And now, another procedure concerning IVF emerges; the IVF gender selection. How is this procedure even possible? How does it work and what are the issues and controversies that involve IVF gender selection?
IVF Gender selection: What is it?
IVF gender selection is a complementary procedure couples who opted to undergo IVF can avail themselves of. It entails choosing the gender of the embryo to be implanted into the woman’s uterus to increase the chances of having a child born of a specific sex. This is not a procedure done solely to select your unborn child’s gender, but rather, it is an additional benefit that a couple or mother can have while undergoing a process called Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) or Screening (PGS).
IVF Gender selection: What is Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) or Screening (PGS)?
IVF gender selection, as mentioned earlier, is possible during PGD or PGS. During IVF, the fertility specialists manipulate the egg and sperm of a couple and incubate them together to assist in fertilisation. When fertilisation of the egg happens, some characteristics of the embryo emerge, and certain genes or abnormalities get detected. Using PGD or PGS, screening of the embryos to separate healthy ones from embryos found to have genetic issues can be possible. This procedure is suggested as an additional method for couples who have genetic disorders who wouldn’t want their child to inherit.
IVF Gender selection: How is it done?
As the genetic composition of the embryo gets monitored for chromosomal anomalies, the gender of the embryo also gets determined. As the fertility specialist discusses the findings he gathered during the PGD; he can advise the aspiring parents of their embryos’ potential genders. If both sexes are determined for the embryos available for implantation, they can choose which embryo to transfer to the mother’s womb. This gives them the control over their future baby’s gender.
IVF Gender selection: What’s the catch?
The whole process of choosing your baby’s gender sounds incredible and amazing, right? However, here are some points you may need to consider when planning on adding IVF gender selection to your IVF process.
Not all IVF procedures are successful. Factors such as age, reasons for infertility, and complications during and after the IVF process can still emerge no matter how careful, and how experienced your fertility specialist is. The decision to get pregnant using IVF should then be made with the consideration of positive and negative outcomes that can happen.
Miscarriages. Yes, even if the whole rigorous procedure of IVF gives you a positive result and you become pregnant, factors that may affect your condition for the next nine months can still make you lose your child. Unfortunately, the possibility of having miscarriages of pregnancy via IVF is higher than natural conception.
You cannot have IVF just for the gender selection option. Couples or women who want to undergo IVF to bear a child undergo a very strict screening process wherein only infertile patients get the chance to push through with the IVF. Couples who are physically healthy and able to bear children do not have the right or privilege to undergo IVF for the sake of determining the gender of their future baby.
Now that you know what IVF is, and you understood what it can and cannot do and guarantee, we hope that we were able to help you decide whether this ART procedure is the best way for you to bear a child and have a baby of your own. We also hope that you would think carefully about the additional procedures following the IVF process, including the IVF gender selection.