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Fertility and Reproductive Medicine Blog

Sex Selection

Although never intended for this use, a popular use of PGD (preimplantation genetic diagnosis) at ACFS is for gender selection, or to determine the sex of the embryo for “family balancing”, or motivated by social, psychological or cultural reasons. There is an ongoing controversy about using the PGD technology for determining the sex of the embryos. Not that there is necessarily an argument against family balancing or “wanting a boy rather than a girl”, it is more of what is done with the embryos of the undesired sex? If these “unwanted” embryos are donated anonymously to another couple, that is one thing; but many times they are discarded, raising all kinds of moral, ethical, religious, spiritual and psychological issues for the parents, the clinic and their staff and society as a whole. ACFS respects a couple’s right to choose and, although encourages anonymous donation of “extra embryos”, will honor the couple’s choice to do PGD for sex selection and their decision on disposition of the extra embryos.

Sex selection requires a couple to do IVF with ICSI in order to obtain multiple embryos to perform PGD for gender selection. This makes “having a boy or girl” an expensive procedure; and yet, a couple’s right to decide. ACFS has done numerous PGD procedures for sex selection with very good success rates. PGD is 99.99% accurate in determining the sex of each embryo; thus allowing the couple to accurately choose the gender they desire. To date, there are thousands of babies born, who as embryos underwent PGD for sex selection, with no reported statistical increase in birth defects or other identifiable problems.

Posted in General ACFS News, IVF - In Vitro Fertilization