Every couple has a 50/50 chance of conceiving a boy or a girl through plain old-fashioned intercourse. It has always been the practice for couples to set their hearts on having a boy or girl even before they have achieved conception. There are various reasons why a couple may want a child of a particular gender, therefore choosing the sex of a baby during pregnancy and before birth is commonplace.
People desire to have a boy or girl for many reasons ranging from cultural necessity to dreams of raising a son or a daughter, or simply to balance out their families. Yet others do it to prevent their offspring from inheriting sex-linked genetic diseases.
Fertility expert, Dr Abayomi Ajayi in the following article he wrote for Punch expounds further on successfully choosing your baby’s gender whether through assisted reproductive technology or just by your precise timing at the comfort of your home.
Read his article below:
Sex selection or gender selection is possible these days because there are assisted reproductive technologies that can help you choose to have a girl or a boy even though some fertility clinics offer sex selection technology only for medical reasons.
There are quite a few medical and non-medical reasons parents may want to have a child of a specific sex. On the medical side, there are some sex-linked genetic diseases such as hemophilia and Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy that almost always occur in boys. If a family has a history of these diseases, they may wish to conceive a girl.
However, most people hoping specifically for a boy or girl want to do so for non-medical reasons. By far the most common reason for opting for sex selection is family balancing. Family balancing can be explained as a situation where a family already has a child (or many children) of one sex, and hopes the next child will be of the opposite sex.
Or, if a couple decides to have two children, and they already have a boy (or girl), they may be more determined that their second child should be the other sex.
In families with all boys, couples are more likely to increase their originally planned family size, in the hope that the next one will ‘finally’ be a girl.
Family balancing is usually an immediate family consideration, but it can also be an extended family issue. For instance, if a grandparent has only granddaughters, one of their children may hope to give the grandparent a grandson (or vice versa).
Parents may also prefer to have either a boy or girl if they prefer to raise a child of a specific sex.
A couple may plan to have only one child and may strongly prefer that the child should be a boy (or a girl). Or, a planned single mother, for example, may feel more comfortable raising a girl. A single man having a child with a surrogate may feel more comfortable raising a boy.
Of course there are also cultural and religious reasons why parents may prefer to have a child of a particular sex. Some cultures and beliefs favour one sex over the other. The death of a child is another possible reason. If parents lose a child, they may hope to have another child of the same gender. Alternatively, they may want to have a child of the opposite sex, to try to avoid bad memories associated with their loss.
Whatever the reason may be, some parents will place unrealistic hopes on a sex-determination technique and become disappointed whether or not they succeed. The method could either fail to produce a baby of the desired sex, or the right-gendered child could grow up with traits that contradict with parental expectations.
There are quite a number of natural and unnatural theories of so-called ‘tried and true’ formula for choosing the baby’s sex.
One of the most well-known natural strategies for choosing the sex of a child is a plan that involves timing intercourse to a woman’s cycle and assuming certain sexual positions.
Known as the Shettles method, it functions on the theory that the male (Y) sperm is smaller, faster, and more short-lived than the female (X) sperm. Because of this, it is better for boy-desiring couples to have sex closest to the time when a woman’s egg is released (ovulation). This way, the speedy male sperm could get to the egg sooner than the female one.
The Y chromosome apparently also enjoys an advantage over the X chromosome counterpart when the sperm is discharged as close as possible to the opening of the cervix. The theory argues that this is best achieved through rear entry intercourse (man enters woman from behind).
Fertility centres offer scientific and evidence-based sex selection.
The option to choose the gender of your baby is quite commonplace these days even though there may be one or two arguments against it in some circles. Gender selection is just one small aspect of the genetic testing that can take place before a woman even gets pregnant.
Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis is currently the best scientific method for selecting the gender of a child. It is one of the triumphs of modern assisted reproductive technology. It is almost 100 percent certain of selecting the desired sex. It is a complete chromosomal analysis of each embryo.
The screening is usually in response to medical indications, such as multiple miscarriages or failed past IVF cycles, or advanced maternal age.
With a regular cycle, about 40 to 50 percent of implanted embryos will result in a healthy pregnancy. If you utilise a screened embryo, it increases those chances to about 60 to 70 percent. In PGD, the woman first goes through IVF. Her ovaries are stimulated using medications to produce eggs, the eggs are retrieved and fertilised using her partner’s sperms and the resulting embryos are biopsied (a small cell is removed from each) and analysed to determine the gender of the particular embryo. Embryos of the desired sex are then transferred into the woman’s womb where they grow into a viable pregnancy.
How it happens is quite straightforward. During IVF, embryos are created from the combination of your eggs with your partner’s sperm in the laboratory. When the embryos formed from this process are a few days old, you can choose to have them screened for genetic abnormalities, using PGD.