PGD Gender Selection
PGD Gender Selection is used to create a harmonious family by balancing the sexes. It is a very accurate and safe procedure which allows you to share the joy of having both male and female children in your family. PGD Gender Selection also eases the burden on a woman’s health, which can be compromised by multiple pregnancies trying to achieve a baby of a particular sex. It is a great development in modern fertility treatment.
To ensure the most accurate results Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) is used for Gender Selection. This involves the genetic investigation of early stage embryos that have been produced through in-vitro fertilization
(IVF). PGD allows your doctor to determine the sex of individual embryos (female or male) and their chromosomal make-up (whether the embryo is chromosomally normal, or, for example, has Downs Syndrome). PGD is more than 99% accurate so is the perfect tool for patients wishing to choose the gender of their baby.
The PGD process
Embryos created in an IVF cycle are cultured in the laboratory for 3 days when they will have developed approximately 8 cells. Embryos with normal development on Day 3 will have one or two cells removed for testing. This is performed by placing the embryo under a powerful microscope and using a Laser to make a small cut in the zona pellucida, (a tough outer membrane holding the embryo together). Depending on the health and size of the embryo, one or two cells are taken out. The cut then snaps shut so no cells can fall out accidentally.
PGD is a safe and reliable method of Gender Selection
There is no evidence that PGD leads to an increase in birth defects or chromosomal disorders. PGD is done before the embryo’s genetic material becomes ‘active’ when the cells inside the embryo are still all identical and each cell is still capable of becoming any part of a baby. Removal of one or two cells from the early embryo does not alter the ability of that embryo to develop into a complete, normal pregnancy.
Gender is determined by our sex chromosomes. PGD testing is different to most genetic testing, since it is performed on only one or two embryonic cells and must be completed within 48 hours to allow embryo transfer by Day 5. Since standard chromosome analysis takes several days, a different method called Fluorescence In-Situ Hybridization (FISH) is performed that can be completed within 4 to 6 hours.
Each chromosome has unique areas of DNA present only on that chromosome. A small DNA probe is used to recognize these unique patterns and lights up when it attaches to the chromosome. Each probe shines light in a different color, allowing several chromosomes to be tested at the same time. This technique is known as FISH.
FISH probes for X and Y are used to determine the gender of each embryo. A normal cell should show 2 FISH signals (or lights) for the numbered chromosome, and either 2 X signals for a female or 1 X and 1 Y signal for a male.
Choosing which embryos to transfer
Our Doctor will only transfer embryos that have a normal test result and appearance. The combination of normal genetics with normal physical appearance gives each embryo the best chance of developing into a healthy pregnancy.
The clinic Embryologists grade the embryos based on the uniform size of the different cells, the number of cell fragments present, as well as other criteria reflecting the physical appearance of the embryo. Embryos that do not have at least 5 cells on day 3 or embryos that are given a poor score rarely go on to successfully implant.
Decisions about which embryos to transfer are made by our Doctor and his Director of Embryology. You also have the option of storing the remaining embryos using Cryopreservation in case a subsequent transfer cycle is required. And of course you can also 'balance' your family with an embryo of the opposite sex if you have a successful pregnancy and want another child later on.