There are two sex selection techniques in IVF, pre-implantation genetic diagnoses (PGD) and microsorting.
PGD Sex Selection
One of the main methods for sex selection is PGD. In an IVF cycle, many embryos are created and then the highest quality one is selected to be transferred to the woman’s uterus. PGD is typically aimed at preventing genetic defects in babies who are going to be born using IVF method but it can be also used to identify the baby’s sex thus creating the chance to implement the embryo with the sex the parents wish. The success rate of PGD is almost 100%, that is to say, the chance that the baby would be born with the desired sex, while the chance of the birth of a baby in an IVF is around 30-35 percent.
Another sex selection method in IVF (as well as in IUI) is called microsorting or microsort. In this sperm sorting procedure, extracted sperms are sorted out one by one using a laser flow cytometer based on whether they contain X or Y chromosome. Microsorting is said to have a high success rate for girls (around 90%) and a lower rate for boys (75%).
Is sex selection safe?
PGD for sex selection is uncommon and it is mainly used for medical reasons to prevent the conception of embryos with genetic disorders. The reason is that although it prevents genetic diseases, it has some other risks for the baby and mother alike. In many countries including the UK, Australia and Canada, sex selection is illegal. Apart from medical reasons, the use of sex selection is controversial.
Sex selection in Iran
In Iran, artificial sex selection is offered by Iranian hospitals and fertility centers through PGD and microboring, but it is mostly recommended to those who already have children and want to have another child for family balancing.
Sex selection cost in Iran
Sex selection cost varies from country to country and clinic to clinic. The IVF is itself a costly procedure and the additional option of sex selection also adds a significant expense to the treatment. The average cost of a PGD in Iran is around $1,000 while Microsorting cost is approximately $700, which is added to the IVF cost.