Hana gave birth to six beautiful healthy boys. On top of juggling the demanding responsibilities of motherhood, Hana is also going to school to become a Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM).  She is willing to have another baby but would love for it to be a girl. She asks Dr. Hill, “Is there truly any way to try and conceive one sex over the other?”

Dr. Hill:

Outside of in vitro fertilization with embryo biopsy, there is no way to guarantee the gender of your baby.  With each act of intercourse, approximately 100 million sperm are ejaculated – 50 percent carry an X chromosome creating a girl, and 50 percent carry the Y chromosome creating a boy.  Which sperm makes it to the egg first is simply chance, like flipping a coin.  The position of intercourse or timing of intercourse do not influence which one will swim there first.

In vitro fertilization (IVF) with preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) is the only way to guarantee the gender of your baby.  IVF involves using a series of hormone shots to stimulate the ovaries to produce many eggs.  When the eggs have matured, they are removed in a surgical procedure.  Once in the lab, the eggs are fertilized with the partner’s sperm and embryos are created.  After a few days, the embryo begins to grow.

In PGD, a cell is removed from the embryo in the early stages.  This cell can be analyzed to determine the gender of the embryo.  If the embryo is found to have the desired gender, it can be implanted into the uterus of the woman. IVF costs $8-12,000 and the PGD is an additional $4,000.  The process takes nearly a month to complete and has a success rate for sex selection of 99 percent.

Another option for increasing the odds of having a boy or girl is called Microsort.  In this procedure, the X-chromosome containing sperm are separated from the Y-chromosome sperm using a special technique in the laboratory.  The desired sperm is then inserted into the uterus by a procedure called intrauterine insemination.  The procedure costs about $3,500.  The success rate for having a girl is 70 to 90 percent and the success rate for having a boy is 60 to 80 percent.

Both of these techniques are performed by fertility doctors.

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