What is Gender Selection?
Gender selection (also called sex selection) is used by prospective parents who choose to specify the sex of their offspring. Sometimes couples will do this for medical reasons, such as avoiding genetic or chromosomal disorders that are gender-specific. Other times, parents turn to sex selection when they have a strong desire to complete or “balance” their family according to their own personal plans.
There are two different methods used in Gender Selection, sperm separation and genetic testing. Sperm separation simply increases your chances of an X-bearing or Y-bearing sperm fertilizing the egg. There are two techniques employed for sperm separation. The first uses a washing technique and separates the sperm by how quickly they swim, called the Ericsson Albumin Method, or “sperm spinning”. Sperm spinning methods, depending upon the exact technique used, have a 50-80% success rate of having the desired gender. MicroSort developed the second method, which employs a patented experimental procedure and separates sperm based on weight. MicroSort reports that sorting for X resulted in an average of 88% X-bearing (female) sperm in the enriched specimen, and 93% of the babies have been female, and that sorting for Y resulted in an average of 74% Y-bearing (male) sperm in the enriched specimen and 82% of the babies have been male.
Gender selection with Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) is the most effective option because the embryo is genetically tested for the presence of two X chromosomes (female) or one X and one Y chromosome (male), as opposed to sperm separation which only increases the chance of one sex or the other. With PGD, the embryos are analyzed with almost 100% accuracy, and embryos with the desired sex are then implanted into the woman’s uterus