Two procedures are currently available to enhance your odds of selecting the gender of your baby. The first involves a sperm sorting procedure done by Microsort™, with whom USC Fertility is affiliated. This technology is based on the difference in size of the X and Y chromosomes (the X chromosome being larger). Using a modified flow cytometer, the X and Y bearing sperm can be identified and separated. Microsort™ reports the probability of conceiving a girl as 88%, and the probability of conceiving a boy as approximately 73%. The "sorted" sperm can be used either for insemination or for IVF.
The other alternative procedure utilizes pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD). This technique is achieved by performing IVF and growing embryos in the laboratory for three days to the eight-cell stage. At this point, a small opening made in the zona pellucida and one of the cells of the embryo is gently removed. The cell that is removed is fixed to a slide and sent for genetic analysis to a central laboratory. It is then that gender determination, chromosome X or Y, as well as other chromosomal abnormalities can be evaluated. By transferring only embryos of the desired gender, a better than 95% probability of successful gender selection can be achieved.