Gender selection has become a very popular option for parents today. Choosing the sex of your child has become possible due to a number of technological advances as well as a few traditional methods. Normally, the most effective methods of gender selection are the most expensive. Of course, this is true of nearly anything today. You could spend tens of thousands of dollars to ensure that you get the boy or girl that you want but before you go that route, it is important to understand all of your options.
Here is a list of the most popular methods today, what each costs and how to determine if these methods will work for you:
- PGD:In-vitro fertilization and artificial insemination are both options for gender selection. During in-vitro fertilization, a doctor will fertilize the egg outside the mother’s body. If you want to choose the sex of your child a procedure called Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis or PGD can be performed during IVF. During this procedure, your eggs will be tested for gender and the specific gender that you select will be implanted. This method is almost 100 percent effective. If you do get pregnant with IVF using this procedure, your baby will be born of the sex that you have chosen. This is a very expensive procedure however. It can cost as much as $20,000 for just one round of PGD and the procedure can be very painful. Many fertility clinics that offer IVF do not offer PGD so you may have trouble finding a clinic that will do the procedure for you, which can increase the cost if you have to travel to find a viable clinic.
- Microsort is another procedure that offers about 90 percent effectiveness for choosing girls and only about 74 percent effectiveness for choosing boys. This is a dye technique that requires sperm of the gender you choose to be directly inserted into the uterus via artificial insemination. Microsort does not pose any serious health risks and is much less expensive than IVF although you may need to take fertility drugs in order for it to work. If artificial insemination is used, Microsort can cost up to $3,000 or more per treatment. Fertility drugs will increase the cost an additional $2,000 or so and IVF will add another $12,000 to the total cost. In order to qualify for Microsort you must be married and already have one child. You must want a child of the opposite gender of the child that you already have and you must be younger than 39 years of age. There are only two Microsort centers in the United States. These are found in Virginia and California.
- The Ericsson method is a technique that separates faster moving male producing sperm from the slower moving female producing sperm. When the sperm of the desired gender are selected, they are inserted via artificial insemination. The Ericsson method is said to be up to 85 percent effective in choosing male sperm and 75 percent effective in choosing female sperm. This technique is much less expensive than the above referenced methods and is completely non-invasive. There is however, no guarantee of success and because the method relies on artificial insemination, it may take several cycles for conception to take place. The cost is only about $600 for each insemination but again, it could take several cycles in order for pregnancy to occur.
There are also a number of techniques that can be used at home. These methods are much less expensive and are virtually non-invasive. You can do them in the privacy of your home with just a chart to record your basal body temperature and a test for ovulation. Keep in mind that these methods have not proven to be as effective as those listed above, but many couples have found them to be very useful in gender selection.
- The Shettles method is a technique of timed intercourse on specific cycle days. To use the Shettles method you simply have to time your ovulation cycle. The theory is that if you want a boy, you should have sex as close to your ovulation cycle as possible. If you want a girl, you should only have sex two to four days before you begin to ovulate. This method is free and does not require any drugs or other medical procedures. You will need to take your body temperature every day in order to know when you are ovulating or you can purchase an over-the-counter ovulation prediction kit. There is no guarantee that this method will work, although some couples swear by it.
- There are also kits that you can purchase that are based on the Shettles method. These sex-selection kits are available at many drug stores and typically include a thermometer, ovulation predictor kit, herbal extracts and vitamins and douches that claim to be gender specific. The makers of various sex-selection kits claim them to have a nearly 96 percent success rate although many experts feel that these claims have no merit. In order to use the kits you will need to track your daily temperature and use the ovulation predictor to know when you are ovulating. You then follow the Shettles method as outlined above and the vitamins and herbal extracts are included to help boost your chances of conceiving. The kits are convenient and very affordable, averaging about $199 for a 30-day kit. There are no invasive procedures required and you can find a number of online sites that sell these kits or you can check with your local pharmacy or your gynecologist for more information.
Of course, these are not all of the available gender selection options, although they are the most popular. You can check with your own doctor for more information about gender selection and which method will work best for your individual needs. High-tech gender selection options have been the topic of much debate as some doctors feel they are an excellent way to balance a family while others feel that the act of selecting your preferred gender is a bit less than moral. Low-technology options have also seen their fair share of debate and many couples are choosing these methods, mostly due to the lower cost and the less invasive procedures used to initiate them. If you are planning to conceive and want to choose the specific sex of your child, you can try any of the above listed methods. While some may not be completely guaranteed, they do offer you a much higher chance of getting the gender that you want as opposed to the traditional wait it out and see method.