Embryo Testing & Gender Selection
Many patients first learn about genetic testing during their quest to get pregnant. As the awareness of genetic disease has enlarged, so too has the expectation that patients can improve the odds of having healthy offspring. This type of testing includes carrier testing, prenatal testing, and preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD).
For IVF patients, PGD can give very accurate information about the genetic characteristics of embryos—even the genetic sex of the future baby.
Having data on various genetic conditions can give reassurance about which (if any) embryo to place in the uterus during IVF. The growing availability and use of reproductive genetic testing presents a host of complicated ethical, legal and social issues which have also been the subject of Dr. Sills’ research.
Is it possible to determine if my baby is a girl or boy, even before my pregnancy?
Yes, choosing the sex of your child is possible if treatments are used that allow specific female or male embryos to be identified before placement inside the womb.
There are a number of reasons to use embryo selection in current clinical practice. For example, determination of offspring sex essentially eliminates the possibility of sex-linked disorders. But use of such techniques could also address the need to effect family balancing for some couples. Elective, non-medical applications for embryo sex selection remain controversial, however.
While methods claiming to achieve sex selection by “sperm sorting” have existed for many years, PGD (embryo testing with IVF) is the definitive technique and is substantially more accurate. Dr. Sills receives many inquiries on embryo testing and would be happy to hear yours, too.