Q. I’m probably going to be trying IVF (in vitro fertilization) to have a baby soon. Is it possible to choose the sex of your child if you get pregnant this way?
A. There are two ways to choose the sex of your child during IVF. The most effective way is through pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD). This involves removing one of the cells from a growing embryo and having the sex determined through sophisticated genetic testing. This is quite expensive (over $2,000), and many fertility clinics won’t offer the service because they don’t want to discard healthy embryos just because they are the “wrong” sex. The other method of sex selection is called MicroSort (www.micro sort.com). With MicroSort, sperm are separated in a laboratory (remember, it’s the X or Y chromosome in the sperm cell that determines the sex of the child), frozen, then returned to the IVF specialist. The “male” or “female” sperm—whichever is chosen—are then used to inseminate the eggs which have been removed for IVF. Even with this procedure, however, there is no guarantee. The success rate is 90 percent for females and 75 percent for males.