If you are planning to undergo in vitro fertilization, you may have heard of a procedure known as gender selection. As the name suggests, gender selection allows couples to choose the sex of their baby with the help of PGS/NGS testing. Gender selection technology, also referred to as family balancing, provides near 100 percent accuracy. Many couples choose to have children of a specific sex in order to avoid certain sex-linked disorders.

How Does Gender Selection Work?

An embryo’s gender is determined by chromosomes that are carried by sperm. Sperm can carry the X or the Y chromosome, while a woman’s egg only carries the X chromosome. When an X chromosome is obtained from both the sperm and the egg (XX), a female is produced. When the sperm provides a Y chromosome (XY), a male is produced. When conception occurs naturally, you have a 50/50 chance of having a girl or a boy. To increase these odds in either direction, consider IVF with gender selection.

The gender selection process begins in a controlled laboratory setting. Using a microscopic glass needle and laser, a single cell is removed from the embryo without causing harm. The cell’s genetic makeup is then analyzed under a microscope to determine the gender. The overall quality of the embryo can also be determined at this time. High-quality embryos of the preferred gender are then transferred into the uterus.

Who Is a Good Candidate for Gender Selection?

There are certain scenarios in which choosing a gender can be highly beneficial. For example, if your future children are at a high risk for sex-linked conditions, being able to choose the desired gender can help you avoid these risks. Being able to choose the gender can also be advantageous if you have strong feelings towards having one gender or the other.

Common FAQ About Gender Selection

  • Does gender selection pose any risks? The gender selection process is safe for the embryo and the mother.
  • Does gender selection require IVF? Yes, gender selection is a component of the IVF process.
  • How much does gender selection cost? The average cost of gender selection using PGD/PGS is approximately $3,000 to $5,000.
  • Who is eligible for gender selection? Any patient who is already undergoing in vitro fertilization may choose to have gender selection testing performed.
  • Is gender selection legal? Yes, gender selection is legal in the United States. However, it is not legal in some other countries.
  • Do I have to already have a child to be eligible for gender selection? When gender selection is performed to prevent a genetic disease, you do not need to have another child as the procedure is considered “medical.” If the procedure is performed for family balancing, it is considered elective. Consult with your doctor to determine if you’re a good candidate for gender selection.