What is gender selection?
Having a healthy child is one of the greatest desires of every couple. But in many cases, knowing the sex of the embryo is also very important. Sometimes couples want to know the sex of the embryo before the pregnancy to prevent serious genetic diseases and chromosomal abnormalities. For example, genetic diseases of muscular dystrophy and hemophilia in parents affect only boys, or autism often occurs more severely in boys than in girls.
In addition to medical issues, some parents tend to choose a particular gender for childbearing for cultural, social, and even economic reasons. Sometimes couples try to conceive to have a child of the desired sex, which, in addition to imposing multiple costs, also endangers the mother’s health. Therefore, determining the sex of the fetus has been a topic of concern for families from the past to the present, and several traditional and scientific methods have been proposed for it. In this article, we discuss the different methods of sex selection.
How to determine the sex of the fetus?
Therefore, the sex of the fetus is determined by the sex chromosomes of the sperm and the egg does not affect the sex of the fetus.
The characteristics of sperm containing X and Y chromosomes are so different that several traditional and scientific methods for determining the sex of the fetus have emerged due to these differences. These differences are:
- Sperm containing the Y sex chromosome is smaller than sperm containing the X chromosome and move at a higher speed.
- Sperm containing the X chromosome can survive in the vaginal environment for 4 to 5 days, while sperm containing the Y chromosome can survive in the vaginal environment for a maximum of 16 to 18 hours.
- Sperm containing the Y chromosome survive better in an alkaline environment.
Gender selection methods
Numerous methods have been used to determine the sex of the fetus from the past to the present, which has different accuracy and efficiency.
Some of these methods are traditional methods that are generally proposed experimentally and due to the different characteristics of sperm containing X chromosome and Y chromosome and are not accurate enough.
Traditional methods of determining gender include the following:
Foods affect the pH of the uterus and vagina, so nutrition can play an important role in determining the sex of the fetus. Foods containing sodium, phosphorus, iron, potassium, and zinc such as pistachios, dates, strawberries, figs, spinach, chocolate, bananas, etc. increase the pH of the uterus and increase the chances of the fetus becoming a boy.
On the other hand, the use of foods containing calcium, magnesium, and copper such as dairy products, cabbage, mushrooms, barley, walnuts, eggs, pasta, etc. reduces the pH of the uterus and increases the likelihood of the formation of a female fetus.
Setting the intercourse time
Since the uterine environment is more alkaline at the time of ovulation and the sperm containing the Y chromosome survives better in the alkaline environment, if intercourse takes place around the time of ovulation, the chances of the fetus becoming a boy increase. If intercourse takes place two days before or after ovulation, the chances of the fetus becoming a girl increase. Today, with the advancement of science, more scientific and effective methods are used to determine the sex of the fetus, which are more accurate. The following methods can be used to determine the scientific gender:
The Gender selection by PGD with IVF
The PGD technique is the only method that can guarantee the sex of the desired fetus. In this method, couples are treated with assisted reproductive techniques selection. After stimulating ovulation and taking the egg from the mother (or Donated Egg) and taking the sperm from the father, the eggs are fertilized with the sperm in the laboratory.
After 3 days of embryo formation, a specialist doctor makes a laser incision in the fetal membrane, separates one of the 6 to 8 embryonic cells without damaging the other cells, and determines the sex of the fetus by molecular methods. The desired sex of the embryo is then transferred to the mother’s uterus after in vitro culture to continue growth. The accuracy of this method in determining the sex of the embryo is more than 97%. This method requires advanced equipment that is available in infertility treatment centers in Iran and can be done with high accuracy.
Sex selection by sperm division method
In this method, at first, the sperms are washed with a special method in the laboratory and then a centrifuge is used to separate the sperms containing X and Y chromosomes. With the controlled rotation, the sperm sample is divided into different layers based on particle density. Sperm containing the X chromosome are denser than sperm containing the Y chromosome and are in one layer, and sperm with the Y chromosome, which are lighter, are in the other layer. After the sperm are divided, a sperm sample with the desired sex chromosome is used to fertilize the egg. IVF or IUI can be used to fertilize the egg with the advice of a specialist. The success rate of this method for determining gender is between 70 and 85%.
Learn more about ways to increase sperm quality: How to Increase Male Fertility With Healthy Sperm
Determining the sex of the fetus in Iran
Since the success rate of sex selection by the PGD method is very high. In the Iranian infertility treatment centers, only the PGD method along with IVF is used to determine the sex of the embryos. Every year, many couples travel to Iran to use the sex determination services using IVF.
In addition to the high success in determining gender and using up-to-date and advanced equipment in Iranian infertility treatment centers, the low cost of services in Iran has caused many couples who want to choose the sex of their fetus to travel to Iran from around the world.
|Gender selection method||success rate|
|PGD with IVF||۹۷%-۹۹%||۹۷%-۹۹%|
The cost of sex selection in Iran
The cost of sex selection in Iran is $ 800 for 4 embryos and $ 150 for each additional embryo. Since the technique of determining the sex of the embryo is performed along with IVF, the cost of IVF (assisted reproduction) should be added to this cost. The cost of IVF treatment in advanced medical centers in Iran is about $ 2,500. (Learn more about the cost of IVF: Cost of IVF in Iran)
Contact us for more information about fetal sex selection in Iran as well as infertility treatment in Iran.