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One of the most exciting advances in family planning is biological gender (sex) selection. This procedure uses IVF treatments and preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) to transfer an embryo of a specific sex so parents can be 97 percent certain of their child’s biological gender long before birth. For more information on this process, read our previous blog about how gender selection works.
Sex selection has several advantages for the parents and family of the new baby.
Prevention of Sex-Linked Genetic Disorders
The most significant reason for sex selection (gender selection) is the avoidance of sex-linked disorders. There are many genetic disorders that can affect one sex to a greater degree than the other. Parents who have sex-linked genetic disorders or are potential carriers for such conditions may choose to have children of only one sex to avoid the risk of their children developing those disorders.
Some of the More Common Sex-Linked Disorders Include:
Hemophilia is a sex-linked genetic disorder that causes excessive bleeding and inhibits blood clotting, usually in men. Women can carry the genes that cause the disorder, and while some female carriers have experienced symptoms, the disorder primarily occurs in males. Some parents with a family history of hemophilia may choose to avoid having male children due to this.
Testing and treatment are available after birth if babies develop signs of excessive bleeding.
Congenital Night Blindness
Congenital night blindness is a sex-linked genetic disorder that can develop in males shortly after birth. The condition is most common among people descended from central and northern Europe; however, examples have occurred in many ethnic groups and can make it difficult or impossible to see under low-light conditions. Some parents with a family history of this condition may wish to consider having only female children.
Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy
Duchenne muscular dystrophy is a sex-linked genetic condition that usually develops between one and six years of age. This condition usually causes muscle weakness, cardiovascular issues, and cognitive impairment.
Many boys diagnosed with this condition eventually require wheelchairs by their teen years to enhance their mobility. This condition is X-linked, meaning it can only be inherited from a female carrier. Prospective mothers with a family history of this condition may wish to avoid having male children.
Another significant reason parents choose sex selection is to ensure they have the desired number of boys and girls in their families. Some parents want an even mix, while others wish to only raise girls or boys. In either case, sex selection removes the uncertainty and allows parents to plan their families without gambling on a genetic lottery.
Another major advantage of knowing your child’s sex ahead of time is the ease of preparation. Many steps are needed to prepare for a new baby, and these can become rushed and overwhelming if the sex of the child is unknown.
Sex selection means that parents know the sex of their child long before their embryo is transferred, meaning that many tasks like decorating the nursery and getting baby clothes can be done months in advance.
Interested in Sex Selection for Family Planning?
If you are interested in learning more about sex selection or other family planning options, please call our office at (310) 929-6707. You can also fill out our online consultation form, and we will reach out to you to schedule your appointment at one of our Southern California offices.