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For anyone unfamiliar with the IVF process, the option to choose the gender of your baby may seem controversial. But gender selection actually happens quite often in fertility clinics around the world, especially in Cyprus.
Gender selection is a small aspect of the complex IVF process in which embryos get evaluated, graded and selected based on quality and gender. Choosing the sex of your baby with IVF is not that complicated as it might seem. Yet, it requires a considerable technical expertise and cutting-edge technology to ensure the highest level of accuracy.
Gender Selection Options
Gender Selection in Cyprus is possible thanks to the latest technological advances in IVF such as PGS Cyprus(Preimplantation Genetic Screening). Sperm swim up is another thecnhique very similar to Microsort. Depending on the method of gender selection, the sex of the embryos can be determined before or after fertilization.
PGS and Sperm Swim Up ensure a successful pregnancy and a healthy baby of the desired gender. This is especially true for women who have experienced multiple miscarriages in the past or women of advanced reproductive age. There is a positive correlation between chromosomally abnormal embryos and woman’s age. These two gender selection options enable fertility doctors to create babies whose risk levels are the same as anyone else’s. Gender selection is based on the assumption that if we create healthy babies, we will ultimately save money on testing and treatment in the long run.
Family balancing is allowed for parents who wish for a baby boy or baby girl. Non-medical gender selection is done when intended parents select the gender of their baby that is not represented in their family. Gender selecection is available to all euroCARE IVF patients wh wish to choose the gender of their baby either for medical (genetic disorders) or non-medical (family balancing) reasons.
Swim Up Method
Swim-up is one of the most commonly used techniques for sperm washing. In swim-up, the pre-washed sperm obtained by a soft spin, is placed in a conical tube along with a culture medium.
Sperm Sorting for Gender Selection
Sperm washing is the process that involves separating the sperm from the semen. Any mucus and non-motile sperm are removed from the semen, which significantly improves the chances of fertilization. Moreover, this technique eliminates the risk of transmitting certain diseases from the parents to the child.
Sperm washing prepares the sperm for gender selection in IUI (intrauterine insemination) or IVF (in vitro fertilization) Cyprus treatments. Sperm washing separates viable sperm from other components of the ejaculate as these tend to migrate towards the cervical mucus. Viable sperm cells are separated from the seminal plasma usually within 30 minutes to 1 hour of ejaculation. This is done in order to prevent damage to the leukocytes and other cells present in the semen.
Swim Up Method
The swim up method for gender selection involves the following steps:
- Allow the sperm sample to liquefy completely for 15–30 minutes in a 37°C incubator before processing.
- Measure volume using a sterile pipet.
- Transfer the sperm sample to a sterile conical centrifuge tube.
- Gently mix the sperm sample with culture media in a ratio of 1:4 using a sterile pasteur pipet.
- Centrifuge the tubes at 1600 rpm for 10 minutes.
- Aspirate the supernatant (liquid lying above a solid residue).
- Centrifuge the tubes at 500 rpm for 5 minutes.
- Incubate the tubes at a 45° angle for 1 hour in a 37°C incubator.
- After the incubation period, aspire and transfer the supernatant into a single conical centrifuge tube.
- Centrifuge the tube at 1600 rpm for 7 minutes.
- Aspirate the supernatant. These are the viable sperm cells that will be used for gender selection in Cyprus.
The medium used in this technique provides the sperm with a nourishing environment and attracts the sperm cells. The viable sperm cells swim into the medium. The ones that go furthest away are retrieved since they meet the basic requirements for motility, viability and shape.
Why Swim Up Method for Gender Selection Cyprus?
This method recovers viable sperm cells with the lowest DNA fragmentation rate. DNA fragmentation occurs when the DNA strands are separated or broken. If damaged, the DNA may lead to fertilization or implantation failure, and ultimately decrease the chances of pregnancy and IVF success. Furthermore, the low cost and reduced time make swim-up the best option of sperm preparation for gender selection pursposes.
Preimplantation genetic screening (PGS) is a genetic test performed on embryos in IVF treatment in Cyprus before thwse are being implanted. The test screens embryos for chromosomal abnormalities. The ultimate goal of PGS in Cyprus is to make sure that only healthy embryos of the desired sex are transferred to the mother’s uterus.
PGS Cyprus Process
PGS Cyprus is usually done on day 3 after fertilization when embryos reach a cleavage stage of development. With PGS, fertility doctors not only can choose a baby’s gender, but they can also detect a number of chromosomal abnormalities that can cause miscarriage or birth defects. This means that embryos will be placed under a powerful microscope, and one cell of each of the embryos will be extracted for a lab analysis. As the embryologists test X and Y chromosomes for abnormalities, the gender of each embryo, XX or XY, becomes obvious.
During PGS, the DNA of the cells is evaluated to ensure there are no defects. Embryos with a normal chromosomal compositio are fertilized with the father’s or donor’s sperm. At this point, ICSI (Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection) method is utilized to ensure that eggs are successfully fertilized with the sperm. ICSI involves injecting a single healthy sperm cell into each egg. This is the most efficient method of fertilization usied in IVF treatments.
Gender Selection Ethics
When gender selection is used to prevent a genetic disorder in the offspring, it is called medical gender selection. Gender selection is also possible for non-medical (elective) reasons. This is called family balancing.
Gender selection for non-medical reasons raises social and moral concerns. Many people fear that the practice of choosing babies of a particular gender may distort the human sex ratio. Another concern related to this phenomenon is that non-medical gender selection may cause gender imbalance and reinforce discriminatory and sexiest stereotypes.
In one survey in the USA regarding gender selection, 39% of respondents answered they would like their first child to be a son, 19% would like their first child to be a daughter, and 42% had no preference. Based on the survey, gender selection is unlikely to have a significant impact on the natural sex ratio.
Gender Selection at euroCARE IVF Cyprus
Our clinic has clear ethical guidelines regarding gender selection. We screen embryos primarily for health reasons. If a patient wants to know the gender as a byproduct, then we respect their decision and act accordingly.
Before choosing the gender of your baby, our fertility doctor will provide counseling to help you and your partner decide on the best course of action during your IVF treatment in Cyprus. For more information on our gender selection methods and procedures, click here to schedule a free fertility consultation.
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