What is Gender Selection?
The ability to determine the gender of a future child is called gender selection. In a fertilized embryo, there are either XX chromosomes resulting in a girl, or XY chromosomes resulting in a boy. X or Y chromosomes carried by the sperm determines the gender of an embryo since the woman’s egg only supplies the X chromosome. Sperm Selection and Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) are two proven methods used in gender selection.
IVF procedure sometimes includes a screening process through which embryos created in vitro are analyzed for chromosomal deficiencies, especially, in case of failed past IVF attempts, advanced maternal age or multiple miscarriages. This embryo biopsy allows for a selection of healthy embryos before their transfer to the uterus, thus increasing the chance of a healthy pregnancy. There are cases where this process might indicate healthy embryos of both genders which creates an opportunity for selection of the desired gender implantation. However, in most countries, gender selection is allowed for medical reasons only.
In conjunction with In Vitro Fertilization (IVF), couples may be able to determine their baby’s gender through Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD). This method offers a success rate of above 99%. The PGD method starts with the harvest of the eggs from the mother to fertilize in the laboratory with the sperm samples taken from the father. Removal of a single cell from each of the embryos that are developing in a controlled laboratory setting starts the gender selection. Using a microscopic glass needle and laser technology an embryologist removes a single cell from the embryo. The extracted cell undergoes genetic screening and analyzed. Depending on the quality and gender of each of the individual embryos a decision is made to allow the transfer of only high-quality embryos of the desired gender.
Another technique used for gender selection is Sperm Selection or MicroSort. This method offers a success rate between 75% and 92%. In this method, sperms are “sorted” according to their weight and density. A sperm carrying X chromosomes is moderately heavier, slower and denser than a sperm carrying the Y chromosomes. In this method, sperms are sorted into layers based on their density by means of controlled spinning during centrifugation. The chances of producing a child of a specific gender can be increased through sorting sperms into layers. The Sperm Selection technique consists of separating the sperm cells from seminal fluid and filtering unhealthy sperm cells resulting into a concentration of more healthy and mobile sperm which are then sorted according to specific chromosomes of the desired gender. As is the case with PGD, in most countries gender selection with this method is allowed for medical reasons only.
Which countries provide services that stated above?
Most of the countries like Denmark, UK, Russia, Turkey, Cyprus, Georgia, India, Greece, Sweden, Albania, Andorra, Hungary, Romania, Spain, Dubai, France, Italy, Bulgaria, Estonia, Norway, Switzerland, Finland, Azerbaijan.
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