The Scientific Understanding of Gender Selection
It has been known for many years that the gender of a pregnancy is determined by the sex chromosome carried by the sperm. Sperm bearing an "X" chromosome, when united with the "X" from the female (females only produce "X") will result in an "XX" pregnancy that produces a female. If a sperm bearing a "Y" chromosome (men have both "X" and "Y" bearing sperm) unites with the "X" chromosome from the female, an "XY" pregnancy will result that gives rise to a male offspring.
Armed with this knowledge, science initially worked to allow for an accurate method of safely separating sperm to allow the majority of those sperm capable of producing the desired gender ("X" sperm or "Y" sperm) to be exposed to the female egg (oocyte). While a variety of methods of purifying the sperm separation process have been reported and studied, in reality, very few of these methods have withstood scientific scrutiny that "checks" the validity of claims made by those employing the procedure.
Because no sperm separation method thus far developed has produced the high level of sperm separation "X" (for female) and "Y" (for male) needed to provide gender outcome success levels greater than 90%, further work to perfect the gender selection process is being studied.
"PGD" (Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis) has taken gender selection to the next and most successful level ever (greater than 99.9%)
Results from PGD process far exceed reported results from any and all other processes:
Sperm that have been filtered by standard sperm preparation process are allowed to fertilize the eggs obtained from the female "in vitro" (in our highly specialized fertility laboratory). The embryos resulting from this specialized fertilization process are then screened by our genetics team to determine both their gender and that selected chromosome pairs have resulted in an expected normal genetic pairing outcome (this process is called aneuploidy screening).
This gender determination process at the very early development level has resulted in the ability to provide gender selection results for the chosen gender far in excess of 99.9%.
The aneuploidy (abnormal chromosome count) screening process also employed at the time of PGD gender determination also allows for the detection of limited genetic count abnormalities as a routine or for the optional screening of the embryos for a wide variety of additional genetic abnormalities. Upon request, we can screen for genetic abnormalities such as Down's syndrome (one "extra" chromosome 21), Turner's syndrome (the absence of one of the two "X" chromosomes normally found in a female), and Kleinfelter's syndrome (a male with one "Y" chromosome and 2 "X" chromosomes instead of the normally found single "X" chromosome).
New DNA microarray technology also provides us the option of screening embryos for a full (46 chromosome) genetic count.
Unlike many programs offering gender selection only to very limited couples with known genetic disorders in the family we make gender selection available to all patients.
Parents have come to us from from nearly every nation on the planet seeking to balance their families or assure themselves that a pregnancy will result in ONLY the gender outcome they desire.
Among the diseases detectable with PGD and screened for at our centers:
We are also able to provide those patients known to carry specific personal or family genetic diseases the ability to screen the embryos for many specific disorders. All couples meeting our standard, liberal entrance criteria will qualify for the PGD process.
Aneuploidy screening as described above detects abnormal chromosome numbers and the diseases associated with those conditions. "Single gene disorders" include a wide variety of hereditary diseases found on a specific chromosome that can also be screened for with PGD.
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
- Becker Muscular Dystrophy
- Beta Thalassemia
- BREAST CANCER
- Central Core Disease
- Centronuclear (Myotubular) Myopathy
- Cerebellar Ataxia
- Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease
- Chondrodysplasia Punctata
- Congenital Aganglionic Megacolon
- Conradi-Hunnerman Syndrome
- Cystic Fibrosis
- Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy
- Factor VIII Deficiency
- Factor IX Deficiency
- Familial Spastic Paraparesis
- Fragile X Syndrome
- Friedrich's Ataxia
- Gardener Syndrome
- Glycogen Storage Disease
- Happle Syndrome
- Huntington's Disease
- Retinitis Pigmentosa
- Prostate Cancer
- Sickle Cell Anemia
- Tay-Sachs Disease
- Von Willebrand Disease
- Over 400 hereditary diseases