Gender selection is a reproductive technology designed to increase the odds of having either a boy or a girl.
This may be requested to balance the gender of a family or to avoid genetic disorders that are carried by/more common in one gender.
There are 2 methods available, Microsort- which involves separating X and Y chromosomes from sperm, or PGD- where each individual embryo is examined to determine the desired gender.
PGD for Gender Selection is a process where the embryos have genetic testing on a cell removed from the embryo at the 8 cell stage.The number of embryos of the desired gender cannot be estimated in advance and healthy embryos of the desired sex are transferred into the uterus.
To increase the number of desired gender embryos, Microsort can be first used to sort the sperm before it is introduced to the eggs. Using this method increases the % of embryos of the preferred gender: 88% for a girl or 73% for a boy.
Gender selection is controversial and not permitted in all countries. It may be available only for the purpose of avoiding a genetically inherited disorder, therefore many Intended Parents travel abroad when requiring family balancing.
Gender Selection/PGD is not as successful for older women and women with high FSH levels. Pregnancy rates are lower in this age group and you may not be able to produce enough embryos to undergo testing. Men also must have a normal to high sperm count for adequate testing to be done. Microsort is recommended alone or in conjunction with the PGD.