IVF Gender Selection: Is It Possible?

IVF Gender Selection: Is It Possible?

“Congratulations! Are you hoping for a baby boy or girl?”

Most times, the answer is an assumption.

But imagine actually knowing the answer and having no need for a gender reveal. 🤰🏻

Or, having to wait until the 18-20 week scan to find out the gender.

IVF gender selection is a process that lets you do that.

Most commonly done for medical reasons, it lets you choose the sex of your baby as a part of your IVF cycle, for an additional cost.

So, are you free to choose the gender of your baby during your IVF journey?

Well, that depends.

In this article, we’re doing a deep dive with allll the deets on how the procedure works and its costs. 👇

In this article: 📝

  • Can you pick the gender with IVF?
  • Is IVF more likely to be a boy or girl?
  • Why are IVF babies usually boys?
  • How much does it cost to pick the gender of your baby?
  • Is gender selection IVF covered by insurance?
  • How successful is gender selection IVF?
  • Which country is best for IVF gender selection?
  • Can you choose gender with IVF surrogate?
  • Is gender selection legal?
  • Is gender selection right for me?

Can you pick the gender with IVF?

Yes — it is possible to pick gender with IVF.

During IVF, you can opt for an additional step known as PGT (Pre-Implantation Genetic Testing).

Let’s fast-forward it a bit.

You opt for IVF → it starts with stimulation, egg retrieval → the sperm and egg are fused in the lab, and tiny growing cells called embryos are created.

The process of PGT is done on embryos.

This allows embryologists to extract a few cells as a sample from your growing embryo, and test its genetic constituents.

This is generally done to check normal and abnormal embryos.

And because that process looks at all the chromosomes present in the embryo, it’s possible to determine the sex of the baby (whether it is a 👧🏻, XX, or a 🧒🏻, XY).

👶 Note: while the process is termed gender selection, it’s worth noting that gender and sex aren’t the same thing.

Sex refers to the reproductive organs that your baby is born with, but gender refers to your child’s gender expression.

This may or may not match their assigned sex at birth.

Is IVF more likely to be a boy or girl?

Turns out, IVF babies are more likely to be a boy!

Who knew?! 💙

While it’s relatively balanced in most cases, some studies found that IVF may lead to more male babies, while ICSI and frozen embryo transfers led to more female babies.

However, this study was based only on data from North America and Europe.

So, there’s more research needed, worldwide, for a solid conclusion! 🧑‍🔬

Why are IVF babies usually boys?

To be honest?

Maybe it’s a mix of coincidence and some (small) other factors!

It could be the procedure itself, or the lab conditions, and here’s why.

IVF, ICSI, IMSI, or different techniques of assisted conception, are different compared to conceiving naturally.

These differences may play a part. 🤷‍♀️

On the other hand, lab conditions, such as the type of nutrient media used to grow embryos, may play a role.

And did you know, male embryos develop a little faster than female embryos, too?!

So, there are chances that embryologists may be looking at a healthy, faster-growing embryo compared to another and choose it for transfer.

Coincidentally, it may just be a male embryo. 💙

How much does it cost to pick the gender of your baby?

The cost of picking the gender of your baby is ultimately the cost of the pre-implantation genetic test.

There are no additional costs based on the sex of the baby.

On average, in the US, IVF cycles cost about $10,000- 15,000 in the US, and PGS is an additional cost on top of that.

It involves a biopsy (to extract cells from the embryo), which costs an additional $1500, and up to $150 for each embryo.

In the UK, PGT costs can start from £1300, with an additional £350 per embryo.

If you’re going for gender selection specifically, we recommend asking your clinic for a cost breakdown as some packages exclude PGT/PGS tests.

Is gender selection IVF covered by insurance?

Sadly, no — it’s not. 😔

In many cases, insurance does not cover the cost of gender selection through IVF.

Especially in the US — fertility services are slowly gaining insurance coverage, but PGT is an arena yet to be covered.

The National Infertility Association also has a resource to refer to, if you are unsure of your insurance provider covering PGT.

In the UK though, the regulations are a little stricter around PGT.

The HFEA (Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority) only licenses certain conditions as suitable for PGT.

So, this means that couples can only access it if they meet specific conditions (such as gender selection for medical reasons).

Otherwise, PGT usage is restricted.

In these cases, you may have to cover the cost of PGT within your own country or have it done in another country where there are less strict regulations around PGT.

How successful is gender selection IVF?

The process used for gender identification, PGT, has an accuracy rate of 99.9%.

But you may be thinking, “hey, will my choice of sex of the baby affect success rates, too?”

Well, this can vary.

This is because, regardless of sex, carrying a baby to term is affected by the age and health of the mother, the stimulation protocol during IVF, and the genetic constitution of the embryo.

Success rates can vary, and there’s no science backing either sex to have better pregnancy rates post-transfer.

Which country is best for IVF gender selection?

In case you’re wondering — yes, gender selection is completely legal in some countries!🧑‍⚖️

But, you may want to choose countries such as Thailand, UAE, Mexico, or Turkey for their reduced cost of fertility treatments, as well as the law that allows PGT.

If the country you reside in restricts PGT for gender selection, you have the option to choose treatment in another country.

This depends on the cost, personal preferences, as well as the laws in the country around IVF gender selection.

Depending on the country, you can either choose to start your IVF cycle there from scratch, or ship your frozen embryos to the clinic in your chosen country.

Can you choose gender with IVF surrogate?

Yes — you can choose the sex of the baby with an IVF surrogate.

The process is very similar, where after the PGT test, you get a report of the sex of your embryos.

Then, you get to choose a sex of your choice, which is then transferred to the surrogate mother.

Is gender selection legal?

The answer?

A mix of yes and no 🫣

Gender selection, most often, is legal for medical reasons.

But, some states in the US discourage personal reasons for gender selection.

In Europe, sex selection is mostly prohibited, and some countries such as Switzerland, Belgium, the United Kingdom, Denmark, and Greece allow it for medical reasons.

But in countries such as Turkey, UAE, and Mexico, gender selection is legal, for medical and non-medical reasons.

So, the process being legal, really depends on the country you choose to have IVF in.

Is gender selection right for me?

We get it — choosing whether to go for gender selection or not, can be pretty confusing. 😖

So, we’d advise you to think about the exact reason you’re going for.

Are you thinking of family balancing?

Maybe you want a baby girl, as you’ve had sons previously, or vice versa?

For medical reasons, are you trying to prevent a sex-linked genetic disease from passing on to your child?

This helps the parents choose a child that’s not affected or less likely to be affected by the genetic disorder.

Or are you choosing gender selection for personal reasons, where you may be more emotionally inclined to have a girl or boy child?

Regardless of your reasons, be it medical or otherwise, it’s okay to take your time and finalize an answer.

Ultimately, gender selection also involves your and your partner’s health, the quality of the sperm and egg, and the process used.

Additionally, it’s always advised to have a chat with your healthcare provider.

This can help you understand the process and how to go about it better, helping you make the final decision.

Whatever your reason, it’s important to approach this with careful planning.

Talk to your healthcare provider, and if possible get your embryologist to have a say in it, too!

This can help you better understand the number of embryos that would be ideal for the procedure, based on your IVF cycle.

With all this information in hand, you’ll be able to choose what works best for you!

And if you’re feeling overwhelmed or alone in the process, there are dozens of mamas here at Peanut to lend a shoulder of support.

You’ve got this! ❤️

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