Answer from: Dimitra Christopikou, Clinical Laboratory Geneticist
In my country this is forbidden by law as well as in some European countries it is also forbidden by law. Therefore we don’t report the sex chromosomes in our reports from PGT-A. So the gender is not indicated in the report and someone cannot discriminate and choose and make a decision as a patient based on the gender. The decision is made based on the normality of the chromosomes whether we have the number of chromosomes we are looking for and the structure we are looking for and the development of the embryo we are really looking for in order to have a larger chance of pregnancy. Gender selection is forbidden in my country, in any lab and in most of the European countries as far as i know.
Answer from: Nurit Winkler
One question is really about gender differences or gender selection and of course when we use egg donation or regular IVF, at least in our practice, we test all embryo’s so we know if they are female or male and there is the question of can we select the gender? The answer is no. We can tell you, on each embryo. You can select in a sense that you can decide if you want to transfer a male or a female but we can’t create more embryo’s that are male or female. Over the years there has been the development of various technologies to try and select a specific gender. There was the Ericsson method, where you wash the sperm as the idea is that sperm with the X chromosome is heavier, but you might as well just have intercourse because it is a 50/50 chance, it doesn’t matter. There was technology called Microsort, which was very successful in being able to select male and female embryo’s. It was under a research protocol for many years but the FDA in the US did not approve it due to safety reasons, so we cannot use it.
The third one is PGT or PGS technology, so we can detect the gender and let you know, but we can’t create more males or females. The hope is to have an average of 50/50. There is some knowledge that IVF produces slightly more males than females but to be honest, I have not seen it in my clinical practice and there are definitely families who seem to produce more males than females. So we have no real control over it, but talking about egg donation, specifically since egg donors produce so many eggs, it is very rare that we will end up with only one gender. It is very rare, usually we have both genders and we ask if you wish to choose before the embryo transfer and if not, you ask us which is always very stressful because we don’t know what you want so we eliminate the gender and choose the best embryo.
Do I get the results report with embryo gender indicated?
Gender selections term is also known under term of Family Balancing or Family Planning. This way of proceeding with creating family is rather controversial in European countries but still widely accepted in some parts of the globe.