Gender selection is used for many personal reasons. It requires in vitro fertilization and biopsy of embryos which are then frozen.
At a Glance
- Preimplantation genetic testing allows couples who are interested in family balancing to determine the gender or sex of their child
- There are many reasons for gender selection, all of which are extremely personal
The most common reason gender selection is performed is because couples have had a baby or babies of one sex and wish to limit their family size. They would like to have a child of the opposite sex in the next pregnancy. For instance, it is not uncommon for a couple who has had several girls, to desire a boy. Others desire a girl baby after one or more boys. IVF can be performed with gender selection allowing them to balance the gender in their family.
Some couples require gender selection for medical reasons. For example, certain diseases such as muscular dystrophy are more prominent in male children. This defect can be avoided if only female embryos are replaced.
Family balancing is often a cultural issue, influenced by religious and family traditions, when couples desire to have a male or female child. Cultural preferences are a personal choice for the couples considering gender selection.
Sometimes couples have lost a child and they desire to have another child of the same sex. Some women want to have a daughter because they feel they can have a more positive bond with this child and some men wish to have a boy for similar reasons.
Ethical Issues with Gender Selection
Some people have concerns that gender selection is discriminatory. Using gender selection is a personal decision. People may not agree with you and we believe that this type of procedure should be treated confidentially. It is elective and not something that everyone wishes to do. Before doing gender selection, couples need to understand the complexity and expense involved in IVF.