gender selection

Gender selection is a controversial issue. One of the only ways to truly choose a gender is through PGD – preimplantation genetic diagnosis. This is a procedure in which an embryo is tested for genetic defects, but where gender can be determined as well. PGD is sometimes offered in cases where one or both parents is known to have a genetic abnormality. In this case, their embryo can be tested on a variety of things, particularly chromosomal abnormalities. This is done in vitro, and only those embryos that are free from abnormalities will be implanted into the uterus. It is not common for PGD to be offered for gender selection – unless you want to pay for it. So how much does gender selection cost?

How Much Does Gender Selection Cost?

There are a number of procedures for gender selection in which X and Y chromosomes are separated from the sperm. With PGD, however, the embryos have already been created and assisted reproductive technology can be used to determine whether female or male DNA is present. This continues to be hugely controversial, with some people saying it is playing God and genetically manipulating babies. While the procedure is accepted to avoid genetic disorders, and thereby future pain and suffering in a child, choosing gender is seen by most as a social or emotional motive. It is important, therefore that you discuss these things with your consultant and your partner if you are considering PGD for gender selection. Do also be aware that most clinics that offer PGD will only use it for gender selection if it is known that a genetic abnormality that is more likely to affect just one gender is present.

Of course, the cost is quite high as well, and you have to be aware of this. Insurance companies do not generally cover PGD and certainly not if it is used for gender selection. This means that you will have to pay for the entire procedure yourself. This is true even if your insurance company does pay for the in vitro fertilization (IVF). PGD on its own usually costs around $3,500, while IVF costs anything between $10,000 and $15,000. This means you can expect to pay as much as $18,500 for this procedure. Unsurprisingly, it is not something most people choose to do.

However, some people may be able to have the procedure completed for their and their unborn baby’s safety. This happens, for instance, if women have genetic problems that lead to loss of pregnancy, women who have had multiple IVF failures, couples where X-linked disorders are known, males with factor infertility, women with various diseases, and couples with chromosomal abnormalities like Huntington’s disease or dwarfism. It is very important, therefore, to speak to a physician first before making any decisions in terms of whether IVF and PGD is relevant to you or not. Overall, however, if you would simply prefer a boy or a girl, it is not recommended to go down this route.