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Houston Fertility Center

Gender Selection: Sperm Sorting vs. PGD

By Sonja Kristiansen, MD on July 12, 2018

A blastocystPatients may consider gender selection for a number of reasons. For example, some parents may already have one or more children of the same gender and prefer to have a child of the opposite sex. In other instances, families may have cultural reasons for choosing a certain gender for their offspring.

No matter what the reason, sex selection is now a very real option for families who are trying to conceive. Today, our Houston, TX fertility team will discuss sperm sorting vs. PGD so patients can be well-informed of their options.

Sperm Sorting

Sperm sorting is a gender selection method that has been widely used for over three decades. How does it work?

A centrifuge is used to spin the sperm sample, which contains both X and Y sperm. In fact, each sample typically contains about 50 percent of each kind.

Because these sperm types have different densities (the X sperm are denser), they are separated into layers when spun. Before this process begins, the sperm cells are separated from the seminal fluid, and abnormal or immotile sperm are filtered out. Once the sample is ready, it will be separated in the centrifuge, and only the sperm containing the desired chromosome will be collected. Finally, the sample will be transferred to the woman’s uterus via intrauterine insemination (IUI) or in vitro fertilization (IVF).

Sperm Sorting Success Rates

Sperm sorting has an impressively high success rate. For couples desiring a male offspring, the chances for success are approximately 38 to 85 percent. For those seeking a female, the success rate is approximately 73 to 75 percent.

Cost of Sperm Sorting

Of course, the fees for sperm sorting will vary based on numerous factors. On average, however, the costs range from $1,300 to $2,500 per cycle.

Availability of Sperm Sorting

Sperm sorting is widely used. In fact, it was already an extremely common procedure as early as the 1970s.

PGD (Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis)

PGD is used in conjunction with IVF. Because the embryos are tested in a laboratory, this process can determine the sex of your child before the embryo is transferred to the uterus.

First, eggs are harvested from the female and a sperm sample is taken from the male. Next, the eggs are fertilized by the sperm in a lab, and the embryos develop over the next few days. On the third day, the embryos are analyzed for male or female chromosomes.

PGD is typically performed for those with a family history of genetic disorders, as this process can reduce the risk of having a baby with these types of complications.

PGD Success Rates

The success rate for PGD is remarkable. Couples desiring either a boy or a girl can anticipate a 97 to 99 percent chance of predicting the gender.

Cost of PGD

While PGD is certainly the most effective and predictable method of gender selection, it is much more expensive compared to sperm sorting. An IVF and PGD cycle costs about $15,000 to $25,000.

Availability of PGD

During a consultation at our practice, Dr. Sonja B. Kristiansen can let you know if PGD is right for you.

Contact Us for More Information

If you are curious about gender selection and would like to learn more, schedule a consultation at the Houston Fertility Center. Contact us online or give us a call at (713) 225-5375.

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