Not all women get pregnant the natural way. Yes, that is the fact that we all should accept. Some women and couples find it hard to conceive and are continuously trying to find ways to bear a child. This reason gave rise to assisted reproductive technology (ART) which includes artificial insemination, ovulation induction, and the most controversial and complicated of all, the in vitro fertilisation or IVF. Let us find out if, according to reports, it is true that IVF gender selection is indeed possible.
IVF gender selection: How is IVF performed?
To know if IVF gender selection is possible, let us first find out how IVF works.
Fertility injections. This type of ART starts with preparing the woman’s body for conception. Hormone injections and other fertility medications are introduced to the woman’s body to stimulate egg production.
Sex cells collection. Eggs are harvested from the womb of a woman through a minor surgical procedure aided by an ultrasound. Right around the same time as the egg collection, the woman’s partner or a sperm donor collects his sperm in preparation for the immediate fertilisation of the egg cells.
Fertilisation. The eggs and sperms are incubated for a number of days until the eggs are fertilised. For sperm cells that lack motility or are low-quality types, a process called intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) may also take place where a sperm is injected directly inside the egg to aid in its fertilisation.
Implantation. Once the eggs are fertilised, they are now called embryos. An embryo or a number of embryos depending on you and your fertility expert’s discussion will then be transferred to the woman’s womb. It is through a pregnancy test done two weeks after the egg collection that would determine if the procedure is successful.
IVF gender selection: Is it possible?
It is in between the fertilisation and implantation phases that IVF gender selection can be made. Yes. IVF gender selection is possible. It is done during the fertilisation phase of IVF where the embryos are starting to get ready for the implantation. Your fertility specialist inspects each embryo, and only the healthy ones get implanted or frozen for future use. If your surgeon finds healthy embryos of different genders, it can be an option for you and your partner to choose which gender may be implanted in the womb.
IVF gender selection: The considerations
The whole process of IVF is already controversial from the start, and now that IVF gender selection is becoming more popular, a lot of religious and moral groups are shaking their heads. They claim that implicit manipulation of human life is being abused. They also claim that bias in gender preference is being practiced. Religious leaders consider fertility specialists who perform such intricate procedures as people playing God.
Here are some considerations about IVF gender selection:
It is expensive. IVF gender selection is a separate procedure from the IVF itself. So if you are looking forward to spending $8000 to $10000 for a cycle of IVF, expect an additional $2000 to $3000 to your bill if you want to undergo IVF gender selection.
It is not for everyone. IVF protocols are very strict in determining who is eligible for its use. Only women who are unable to conceive and have medical documents to back up their claim (tests that show their infertility or existing illness that prevent them from getting pregnant) can undergo IVF.
It can fail. Even though a healthy embryo having your preferred gender gets implanted in your womb, there is still a chance that the IVF may be unsuccessful. This makes your selection fail as well.
It is possible to some extent. The possibility of having the chance for IVF gender selection is if your fertility specialist finds 2 or more healthy embryos having a different gender. If all healthy embryos have the same gender, common sense dictates that you wouldn’t have the right to choose.
If you really dream of becoming a parent, it is essential to ask your fertility specialists about ways on how to conceive. Based on your needs and preference, he may be the best one to discuss with you what reproductive techniques can you benefit from. Do not lose hope!