Choosing the Sex of Your Baby

There are numerous ways that parents to be can use to choose the sex of their child, including natural methods, as well as high tech options. Couples have a 50/50 chance of conceiving either of the sexes, but some have cultural or personal reasons for wanting to have a boy or a girl. Some are hoping to conceive one sex or the other to avoid sex-linked genetic diseases.

Learning about how these different methods work and how they increase your chances of conceiving the desired sex can help you do determine if they are worth pursuing. But you have to bear in mind that there is no foolproof method for conceiving one particular gender, and some methods are known for being completely ineffective.

Ways to Choose the Sex of Your Baby

Some low-tech methods that are both affordable and noninvasive can be performed in the privacy of your home to help determine the sex of your child. Charting your basal body temperature or using an ovulation kit can be used to help you determine your ovulation period. You can then plan sex according to the gender preference you have for your child. Below are both natural and high tech methods that you can use to choose the sex of your baby.

1. Timing and Positioning

Definition: Natural methods encourage couples to monitor a woman’s ovulation cycle and use different sex positions to help determine the sex of their child. Y sperm that create males are shorter lived and faster than X sperm that create females. Therefore those that desire boys should wait till a time closest to a woman’s ovulation so that the male sperm are left to impregnate the egg.

How Effective Is It

There is no real evidence that this method, known as the Shettles method, is effective. Studies have indicated that there is around a 39 percent success rate using natural methods to determine the gender of a baby.

How to Carry It Out

With this method, you will need to determine a woman’s ovulation cycle and plan sex according to which gender you would like to conceive. Those that want a girl should have sex 2-4 days before ovulation while those who want a boy should have sex as close to ovulation as possible.

Considerations

This is often considered an ideal method for those that want a low cost and safe option for predicting gender. This method is noninvasive and does not require drugs. All that is needed is an ovulation predictor to learn when you should have sex to get the desired results; though there is no guarantee this method will be effective.

2. MicroSort

Definition: This method uses a dye to help separate sperm designed to produce boys and girls. The desired sperm is then gathered and placed in the uterus using artificial insemination. This method was used in clinical trials from 1995-2012 and pending approval from the FDA it may become available to the public.

How Effective Is It

During the clinical trial the MicroSort method was shown to have an approximate 74 percent effectiveness rate. As of 2010, this method was used to successfully used to predict the genders of 1400 pregnancies.

How to Carry It Out

To use the Microsort system, a sperm sample will be taken and treated with fluorescent dye which is illuminated by a laser. X or female sperm glow brighter than Y sperm, which allows doctors to separate these two groups. To better increase the chances of a successful pregnancy, this method may be combined with in vitro fertilization at an extra cost.

Considerations

This method has not yet been approved by the FDA because researchers are unsure if they can accurately separate male and female sperm. The rate of pregnancy is also quite low using MicroSort on its own, at around 17 percent. However, there are no known health risks associated with this method and it can be used to prevent transmission of X-linked disorders.

Cost and Availability

MicroSort is not yet available to the public. When it does launch MicroSort is expected to cost $3000 per treatment cycle. Those that would like to couple the treatment with fertility drugs may be charged an additional $2000 or $12,400 for IVF.

3. Ericsson

Definition: This technique helps to separate sperm by gender based on how fast they swim. The sperm of the desired gender are then placed directly into the uterus.

How Effective Is It

The effectiveness of this system is estimated at 73-75 percent for selecting girls and 78-85 percent for selecting boys.

How to Carry It Out

A sperm sample is taken on a layer of fluid in a test tube. As the sperm swim down, the male sperm will swim faster and reach the bottom more quickly, allowing the two groups to be separated. The desired group is then used to fertilize the egg as necessary.

Considerations

There is no guarantee that this method will be effective but it is relatively safe and noninvasive.

Cost and Availability

Compared to other high tech methods Ericsson gender selection is relatively inexpensive at $600 per insemination.

4. Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD)

Definition: During in vitro fertilization embryos are frequently tested for genetic disorders. This same method can then be used to check for the gender of the embryo, and only the desired gender can be implanted.

How Effective Is It

This method is almost 100 percent effective.

How to Carry It Out

During in vitro, eggs are fertilized using a sperm sample. After 3-5 days these embryos will be tested for gender and scientists will work to determine which embryos have the highest chances of surviving. Doctors will then transfer a number of viable embryos into your uterus depending on your age, health and likelihood of conception.

Considerations

This is the most effective method at choosing your gender; however this method requires an invasive procedure as eggs need to be harvested for it to be effective. The success of this procedure also goes down with age. Because multiple embryos are implanted there is a high chance of conceiving twins or multiple births with this method.

Cost and Availability

This method is quite expensive at $7500 per cycle and an additional $2500 for medications. If PGD will be performed this can be an additional $3000-5000. Some of this cost may be covered by medical insurance.

Watch a video for more about PGD and gender selection:

 
 
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