Gender Selection

What is Gender Selection?

Gender selection, or sex selection, is a fertility procedure used to choose the gender of a baby prior to conception. While the desire to choose a baby boy or a baby girl has probably been present throughout human history, it is only recently that the technology to do so has become clinically possible and available. With improvements in gender selection technology, demand for gender selection has also been growing steadily.

Which Method Works Best

Dr. Gleicher explains why the IVF+PGD used at CHR is the most accurate gender selection method.

Two medical advances have been the driving forces behind the increasing demand for sex selection: 1) improvements in understanding of genetic diseases and 2) improvements in the ability to genetically assess embryos before transfer into the uterus (called Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis or PGDPreimplantation Genetic Diagnosis or PGD ).

Gender Selection for Medical Reasons

When gender selection is used to prevent a genetic disease, the process is called "medical gender selection." In the so-called "sex-linked diseases," genetic diseases are inherited via the mother, and only male offspring are affected. This type of genetic diseases include muscular dystrophy and hemophilia, among others. Parents who are carriers of these genetic diseases may want to reduce the risk of having affected children by having female babies only.

In other cases, conditions are more severely expressed in one gender (Fragile X syndrome, autism, etc.) than the other. Parents who are carriers of one of these genetic diseases can choose to have babies of the gender associated with a less severe form of the disease.

Medical reasons for gender selection can also be psychological: a single female may feel better equipped to have a daughter than a son; parents who lost a child may feel a strong need for a child of the same gender.

Elective Gender Selection

Sometimes gender selection can be "non-medical" or "elective." In such cases, a child of a specific gender is desired without obvious medical indications. The most frequent indication for such gender selection is "family balancing," when one gender is already represented in the family unit and the other gender is desired.

Read more about Gender Selection Treatments


We urge you to be careful with most of the "expert" advice you might find on the Internet...

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Our Program

CHR is a world-renowned fertility center in New York, NY. Although CHR performs a significant number of IVF+PGD...

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Last Updated: November 15, 2014

Additional Resources

What MicroSort® Tells Clinical Trial Participants The Genetics & IVF Institute (GIVF), in Fairfax, VA, which originally patented the MicroSort® gender selection technology, and over many...


Microsort Gender Selection Fails FDA Approval Microsort, the highly-anticipated sperm sorting technique, used for gender selection, was not approved for clinical use by the Food and

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