Is It Possible to Choose Your Baby's Sex?
Some years ago, the idea that you could choose your baby’s sex would’ve seemed crazy. Science and technology are certainly more promising every passing day, but there is always concern.
The answer to this question is yes: you can choose your baby’s sex. However, the treatments are costly and, in some cases, inadvisable due to their side effects.
Those who don’t agree with the idea can argue that nature is wise and human beings shouldn’t meddle in something that is beyond their reach.
On the other hand, there are those who promote these techniques to avoid the transmission of hereditary diseases for a certain gender or simply because of the ability to choose the way to form a family.
This discussion has been going on for years now, just like scientific advances. So then what are the ways you can use to choose your baby’s sex? We’ll take a look below.
Difficulties in choosing your baby’s sex
The current techniques bring many difficulties, such as:
- High cost.
- Invasive fertility techniques.
- Side effects (in some cases).
- Many requirements. The clinics usually ask for the woman’s medical history, hormonal tests or the requirement of having at least one child of the opposite sex.
Ways to choose your baby’s sex
Embryo selection obtained through in vitro fertilization
This is the most accepted technique and is also very expensive. Beyond being the most efficient, some countries (like Spain) only allow it when:
- You wish to avoid the transmission of a hereditary disease.
- You want the baby to become a donor to help cure his or her sibling.
In vitro fertilization consists of the analysis of the embryo cells to detect possible genetic anomalies. Then the healthy ones are selected and transferred to the uterus. This examination is called preimplantation genetic diagnosis.
This is the oldest fertility treatment. It dates back to the beginning of the 20th century. Although, of course, the methodology is much more advanced and safe now.
Intrauterine insemination is the most common method of artificial insemination and it’s used in these cases:
- The man’s sperm production is low.
- When the motility is insufficient. That is to say, they don’t move enough to reach the uterus.
- Other fertility problems.
It basically consists of placing the sperm in an area that is closer to where fertilization occurs. Through a tube, they’re placed in the cervix. It can also be accompanied by fertility medication.
Through the Ericsson Method, which consists of the selection of the “masculine” or “feminine” sperm, you can choose your baby’s sex.
This method has a success rate close to 80%. It’s also cheaper than in vitro fertilization.
The high cost, the invasive fertility techniques and the side effects of some methods are the negative aspects of these practices.
Through a device called flow cytometer, the size and contents of chromosomes are analyzed – the feminine contain 2% more DNA – to choose which embryos to use. Later, you use assisted fertilization in any of its forms to proceed to fertilization.
It’s still at the testing stage and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) hasn’t approved it. Its possibility of success, though, is between 70% and 80%.
Can you choose your baby’s sex naturally?
Although many question their credibility, there are two very popular methods to try to choose your baby’s sex. They’re based on the mother’s ovulation period.
1. Shettles Method
Sexual relations are scheduled for specific days according to the woman’s menstrual cycle. It’s based on the premise that the masculine chromosomes live less than the feminine ones.
Thus, if you try to conceive 4 or 5 days before ovulation, there will only be X chromosomes left, the feminine ones.
Although some question this technique, its success rate is close to 75%. It’s necessary, though, to know which phase of ovulation the woman is in precisely.
2. Whelan Method
This theory states the opposite of the last one. Then, since the biochemical reactions that favor the ovulation of the Y chromosomes are produced first, intercourse should happen days before ovulation so that there are more chances of having a male.
There are diverse methods to choose the sex of the baby. Some are more efficient and expensive, and others cheaper and more “homemade.”
The first are prohibited in many countries because they’re considered to have no advantages for couples who have fertility issues. The exception is in cases which prevent congenital diseases.
Nevertheless, this can lead to reproductive tourism, which consists of visiting other countries to practice these methods of assistive reproduction.
Although it can be morally and religiously debated, it’s a fact that this possibility is more frequent and sophisticated each passing day.