Choosing Gender

Learn about the ethical issues surrounding this process.

Wed, 22 Aug 2012|

-Hi, I'm Dr. Jamie Grifo the program director for the NYU Fertility Center. Were gonna be talking about the ethical issues and methodologies involved in gender selection and family balancing. There's been a lot of interest in gender selection. Most of the patients who really seek it are the patients who have 1 or 2 children of 1 gender and they wanna have 1 more child but they don't wanna have yet another girl or yet another boy. It's more of the family balancing group of patients who really are most interested. There are a number of techniques now that are really accurate that work really well but they're really high tech, they require a lot of technology and a lot of involvement and cost. The one technique that works the best is the most accurate. It involves in vitro fertilization and doing a genetic test of the embryo. There are times when patients have 2 boys, they want a girl and they're doing IVF anyway. That group of patients is the main group that we use. But we don't do this routinely. This is not something that's that commonly done because it is so involved because it does require in vitro fertilization. It does require weeks of injections and medicines. It does require an egg retrieval that's a minor surgical procedure and then embryo testing and the cost of this procedure add it all up is somewhere in the 12 to 15,000 dollar range. It's very expensive. The patient who had 2 girls at home in bed easily often come and seek a consult. But when they hear what they have to go through, what it costs and how effective it is, i.e. success rate wise, a lot of them choose not to do it just because it's not what they thought it was. Because you read an article and you can choose the sex of your baby and the fine print is missing, that it costs a lot of money, its only 40% effective, it has really high accuracy but it's a lot to do for a lot of money and not get pregnant. And so I think when people hear that, a lot of people choose not to do it. Short of this technique, there are other techniques that are out there, the so called sperm spinning techniques. Some people use those techniques but they are quite involved. They require artificial insemination and the technology to spin the sperm or sort the sperm is pretty sophisticated. And really, there is only place in the country that's actually on track for FDA approval. But even that technique, only enriches the sperm population for the desired gender to somewhere in the 80% range. None of those are 100% like the genetic testing of embryos is. Some of the techniques that involve the sperm sorting technologies that then use artificial insemination, per months try is about a 10% pregnancy rate. So, it may take you multiple attempts and that may require lots of effort and time. I don't take any of this technology lightly. For someone who wants to have their first child, is it really worth it to do all this extra testing to micromanage that aspect. Why not just have a healthy baby and not worry about it plus this technology, if you'd use it using IVF, you only have half as many embryos of the desired gender. You're gonna lower your chance of success. It's not the goal of what we're trying to do. We're trying to help people have a baby. Every day I go to work and I have the opportunity and the gift of being able to help change someone's life because a couple that can't have a baby, when all of the sudden, we have that miracle happen. And we're not making miracles, I'm just helping nature make miracles. The at home methods, a lot of them don't really have the science to back the claims. There's no harm in trying these things. I mean, I don't think you're gonna harm your baby but I just don't think they work. So I think some people are getting a false sense of security that they're doing this. But if it adds and makes it more fun and power to it, then they'll go for it. -Hi, my name is Laurie Coles and my husband's name is Guy. Caleb is 11 and Julius is 8 and about 3 years ago, we decided to add a 3rd to our lovely family. We have 2 girls and we're thinking [unk] boys. So were really looking into different methods that would help us to conceive a boy. The first method we tried was the coffee. A cup or two 15 to 20 minutes before because the theory is that the caffeine will help stimulate the sperm production. Another method that we tried was our basal body temperature. It's for the BBT and the theory is that if your temperature is at its lowest and then it starts to increase, they believe then that's the time that the woman is ovulating. Hey Guy. Yeah, my temperature's running. Okay. Can you get home? Another method that we also tried was conception positions that they strongly believed that to help facilitate that the boys [unk] during ovulation was different sexual positions and it's to help deeper penetration to help with the conception. So with all the effort we put into this, here is our 3rd child Sara. She is the apple of daddy's eye. -Thank you for watching Parents TV. Our families, our lives.