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A Leading World Center for 100% PGD Gender Selection
Recognized by ABC, NBC, CNN, Fox, Reuters, and United Press International News Services as among "THE" worldwide leaders in gender selection technology.
By examining the genetic makeup of embryos, we can virtually guarantee* your next child will be the sex of your choice.
If you want to be certain your next child will be the gender you're hoping for, be aware that no other method comes close to the reliability of PGD. While traditional sperm-screening techniques have a success rates of 60-70%, only PGD offers virtually 100% accuracy.
How does it work?
Our Sex Selection Program in the News
News Articles and Books
100% Sex Selection Success
The selection of gender has been a quest of couples for as far back as recorded history allows. Early drawings from prehistoric times suggest that sex selection efforts were being investigated by our earliest ancestors. Later history shows intense interest in sex selection by early Asian (Chinese), Egyptian and Greek cultures. This is followed by documented scientific efforts beginning in the 1600's to sway the chances of achieving a pregnancy by a variety of methods.
Research and work carried out in the 1980's and 90's have finally provided methods offering the chance of obtaining a desired pregnancy gender outcome that ranges from excellent to virtually GUARANTEED.Scientific Understanding
It has been known for many years that the gender of a pregnancy is determined by the sex chromosome carried by the sperm. Sperm bearing an "X" chromosome, when united with the "X" from the female (females only produce "X") will result in an "XX" pregnancy that produces a female. If a sperm bearing a "Y" chromosome (men have both "X" and "Y" bearing sperm) unites with the "X" chromosome from the female, an "XY" pregnancy will result that gives rise to a male offspring.
Armed with this knowledge, science initially worked to allow for an accurate method of safely separating sperm to allow the majority of those sperm capable of producing the desired gender ("X" sperm or "Y" sperm) to be exposed to the female egg (oocyte). While a variety of methods of purifying the sperm separation process have been reported and studied, in reality, very few of these methods have withstood scientific scrutiny that "checks" the validity of claims made by those employing the procedure.
Because no sperm separation method thus far developed has produced the high level of sperm separation "X" (for female) and "Y" (for male) needed to provide gender outcome success levels greater than 90%, further work to perfect the sex selection process is being studied.
"PGD" (preimplantation genetic diagnosis) has taken sex selection to the next and most successful level ever (greater than 99.9%). Results from our PGD process far exceed reported results from any and all other processes.
Sperm that have been filtered by our standard sperm preparation process are allowed to fertilize the eggs obtained from the female "in vitro" (in our highly specialized fertility laboratory). The embryos resulting from this specialized fertilization process are then screened by our genetics team to determine both their gender and that selected chromosome pairs have resulted in an expected normal genetic pairing outcome (this process is called "aneuploidy" screening). This gender determination process at the very early development level as made famous by our Center, has resulted in the ability to provide sex selection results for the chosen gender far in excess of 99.9%.
The aneuploidy (abnormal chromosome count) screening process also employed at the time of PGD gender determination also allows for the detection of limited genetic count abnormalities as a routine or for the optional screening of the embryos for a wide variety of additional genetic abnormalities. Upon request, we can screen for genetic abnormalities such as Down's syndrome (one "extra" chromosome 21), Turner's syndrome (the absence of one of the two "X" chromosomes normally found in a female), and Kleinfelter's syndrome (a male with one "Y" chromosome and 2 "X" chromosomes instead of the normally found single "X" chromosome).
New DNA microarray technology also provides us the option of screening embryos for a full (46 chromosome) genetic count. We are also able to provide those patients known to carry specific personal or family genetic diseases the ability to screen the embryos for many specific disorders. All couples meeting our standard, liberal entrance criteria will qualify for the PGD process.
Aneuploidy screening as described above detects abnormal chromosome numbers and the diseases associated with those conditions. "Single gene disorders" include a wide variety of hereditary diseases found on a specific chromosome that can also be screened for with PGD. Among the diseases detectable with PGD screened for by our Center:
*Our PGD results have been checked and double checked employing the services of a Board Certified geneticist with PGD accuracy better than 99.9%. Because "nothing is perfect" we advise that, with a 99.9% quote of success for desired gender outcome, and 92-99% chance of genetic disease detection, no offer of a 100% guarantee is made or implied.
Unlike many programs offering sex selection only to very limited couples with known genetic disorders in the family we make sex selection available to all patients. Parents have come to us from from nearly every nation on the planet (we have assisted patients from 147 different nations) seeking to balance their families or assure themselves that a pregnancy will result in ONLY the gender outcome they desire. REMEMBER: Nearly all couples qualify for sex selection using the PGD method, which provides near 100% (99.99%) success regardless of sperm counts or gender percentages!
Imagine the following scenarios, which are taken from our clinical files:
Couple 1: Mr. & Mrs. Adams (names are fictitious) present to our offices with a request for gender selection. The couple reports having successfully conceived and delivered three healthy females. The last birth was three years ago. Mr. Adams has a strong family history of girls being born, with his only brother having produced two girls, and three cousins also having had a total of seven female and one male offspring.
Mr. Adams underwent genetic analysis of the "sex ratio" (percentage of "X" and "Y" sperm) of his total sperm production. His ejaculate was found to contain 51% of the viable sperm seen carrying a "Y" (male producing) chromosome. His total sperm count was 38 million per ml. So, of the 38 million sperm, 51% had the correct sex chromosome needed to produce a male. After separating his sperm for the desired gender, we would be left with a sperm count of at best, 15-16 million. This would not be enough to allow for a reasonable chance of the couple conceiving with simple sperm selection and insemination.
Advised of the situation concerning their sperm sex ratio, the couple wisely elected to proceed with the IVF-PGD option. They were rewarded with a twin pregnancy that resulted in the birth of two healthy, male infants. While we exist to provide high quality medical services, we very strictly adhere to guidelines that have a history of providing excellent outcome results. While we cannot "guarantee" a desired outcome to anyone, we can now come as close to a guarantee as science allows. With the IVF-PGD option, success rates approach 100%. Couples in our program can feel comfortable that once treatment begins, they do have a nearly 100% excellent chance of achieving the desired outcome when pregnancy occurs. Consider the next scenario:
Couple 2: This British couple presented to us with a history of having produced three boys over the past seven years. With very few female offspring in either of their families, they were interested in sex selection aimed at the production of a female.
They undertook an initial telephone consultation with Doctor Steinberg that indicated their suitability for our program so long as some initial blood tests the Doctor requested were in order. The blood testing was ordered from a hospital laboratory near their home in London. One week later, the initial blood screening results showed them to be excellent candidates for the sex selection procedure. Total sperm count on the male was 88 million per ml. Sex ratio demonstrated only 38% of his sperm to be "X" (female) producing.
The couple were directed to one of the several fertility centers in London that we work with who assisted us in the preparation of the patients for the procedure. They began their procedure under the co-direction of our program working with the medical team in London. Two weeks later, they arrived in Los Angeles. Their travel and lodging arrangements had been coordinated with our travel desk who had a car meet them at the airport in Los Angeles. They were transported to the hotel they had chosen and the next morning undertook the egg harvest at our facility.
After our modified sperm preparation separation, we obtained 34 million sex selected sperm per ml. from the husband. The PGD analysis of the embryos produced after insemination of the eggs demonstrated 3 healthy female embryos and 7 healthy male embryos, along with 2 abnormal embryos. Two normal female embryos were transferred to the uterus. The couple returned home after two "extra" days of tourism in Los Angeles and two weeks later a pregnancy test was positive. A single healthy female birth resulted.
Couple 3: Lisa and David were referred to us by a local fertility program near their home in Toronto, Canada. They presented to their local program with a request to assist them in their desire to become pregnant with a boy.
Lisa underwent a tubal ligation 3 years earlier after the birth of their third daughter. Lisa and David explained that they felt that they had "reached their limit" after having 3 children and undertook the tubal ligation. They indicated that with their oldest daughters now growing older and able to help with the youngest one, their thoughts had changed and they now felt that they could care for an additional child.
While totally content with their daughters, David indicated that he was very interested in seeing if the couple could use "new science" to help them achieve the birth of a son. Lisa was very supportive and indicated that she too was ready for another child. She indicated that gender was not a concern for her but that she was ready to support David's decision to inquire about our gender selection program.
They were told by their local fertility physician that gender selection was illegal in Canada. He did advise them that he had seen and assisted in the care of several Canadian patients that were being treated for sex selection at our Center in Los Angeles. He suggested to Lisa and David that they come see us. The couple had an initial telephone based consultation with us. This was followed by the performance of blood tests and a semen analysis that was carried out by a laboratory near their home.
We performed a sex ratio on David's sperm that provides us with very valuable information about David's capacity to produce male embryos. After we learned that the couple seemed to be suitable candidates for the procedure, they underwent their initial start-up examinations at the local center. We are able to interface with physicians near the homes of patients in nearly all cases.
Because Lisa was going to be 39 years old at the time of her delivery, the couple opted to also check their embryos genetically to make sure that a pregnancy with Down's syndrome did not result.
Lisa and David achieved a successful male pregnancy that resulted in a healthy baby boy born at Toronto General Hospital. Their referring physician has sent us several additional patients and two of David's friends have now been seen with a request for gender selection.
Sex Selection FAQs
Sex selection is a very difficult procedure to obtain in the United States and world wide. Our Center has the world's largest experience with PGD sex selection, and we are reporting a 100% gender outcome success rate with all patients seen at our facility. Our unmatched, extensive experience with gender selection and our review of world literature allows us to offer the following information and answers to questions:
How can I assure that I am choosing the BEST center to carry out my procedure?
This is perhaps THE most important question that can be asked. Of the few centers that offer this highly advanced procedure, there are only a very few that provide PGD SUB-SPECIALIST Ph.D. EMBRYOLOGISTS to carry out the critical biopsy on your newly developed embryos.
We have recently heard from several patients shopping sex selection programs that very few programs were able to guarantee that a Ph.D. SUB-SPECIALIST EMBRYOLOGIST (a DOCTOR-SCIENTIST DEDICATED TO EMBRYO BIOPSY FOR SEX SELECTION) would be available to perform the crucial aspects of this highly complex procedure. They were advised that IVF technicians were "adequate" for all phases of the procedure. We disagree. We suggest that you request IN WRITING an assurance that a Ph.D. SPECIALIST in Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) will be involved in carrying out your procedure.
Request the qualifications of the DOCTOR overseeing the procedure and request that ONLY a Doctor with advanced expertise and training perform the PGD portion of the procedure. As in our Center, other Centers dedicated to the highest quality in sex selection science will have no problem providing you the name and qualifications of the Doctor performing this important laboratory service. Accept NO excuses or alternative explanations for why such a specialist will not be fulfilling your critical requests.
Ask if there is a full time, on-site Ph.D. embryologist at the facility. While the recent cost-saving trend has been to allow the highly qualified laboratory directors to be "traveling consultants" (that is, they work at outside programs or Universities and staff the local facility with lesser qualified technicians, only visiting the Center intermittently), at The Fertility Institutes, we feel this to be a less than optimal arrangement that has the potential to compromise your chances for success.
We maintain not one, but FOUR Ph.D. (Laboratory Scientist Doctors)who oversee and perform all of our critical embryo biopsy for PGD procedures. If you read that the "Laboratory Director" at a facility is a "consultant" or other synonym, and is NOT at the Center for the biopsies, you are well advised to reconsider this program, even if the costs, on the surface, appear to be lower. The fact is, highly skilled specialists, as with most things in life, are a more costly initial option. In the end, however, if your desired result is not obtained, the small savings obtained by using inferior methods is no savings at all. We employ seberal of the world's LEADING PGD-BIOPSY Ph.D. specialists with MANY publications made in leading medical journals about the science of PGD and the genetic studies used to determine gender. We are proud to provide you all of the details of this remarkable scientist's achievements with our Center upon request.
When considering gender selection centers, we feel it important to also take note of the quality of the information provided you. A quality program involved in gender selection should take extra effort to provide detailed and specific information rapidly, and in an orderly and well organized fashion.
Gender selection patients are a group with needs and requirements distinct from general infertility patients that have differing goals and concerns that must be appropriately attended to. Our center dedicates a separate treatment unit to the care of gender selection patients. You will find the quality of the information provided you to be of the highest caliber and to be unique to gender selection.
We offered detailed descriptions of our program, DVD video descriptions of our unique services as well as personal counseling with our highly skilled nurses concerning the specific details involved in the preparation for your procedure. We provide a dedicated team devoted to assuring you a smooth, orderly and well managed treatment course, even when you may live nations or continents away!
Additional efforts on our part, such as assuring that emails are responded to within 24 hours, providing a dedicated travel desk that is keenly aware of the needs of those traveling to us from afar and a multi-lingual staff (seven languages including Chinese, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Danish and Swedish) along with the ability to refer those at a distance to a local center near home for any initial arrangements all demonstrate our commitment to your goal of a healthy pregnancy of the gender you preselect.
We suggest that you look for these landmarks from any program you may be considering. In the end, we are sure you will find our quality unmatched by any others.
Has sex selection produced a reasonable number of successes?
YES! While success rates vary between programs, most programs employing standard sperm separation procedures report success rates in the 60-68 percent range. Success with IVF-PGD approaches 100% worldwide. Our program reports an 65-70% chance of achieving the desired gender outcome with sperm separation and a 99-100% assurance with IVF-PGD.
Are fertility drugs used in sex selection procedures?
Yes and No. Sex selection being carried out on normally fertile couples who have already produced one or more offspring and are using the sperm separation procedure do not normally require fertility drugs. Our sperm separation/sex selection procedures are offered, however, to couples needing and undertaking fertility treatment as well. In these cases, the drugs normally used for these fertility procedures are combined with the sex selection procedure. In the case of IVF-PGD, and MicroSort with IVF, fertility drugs are used consistent with our normal IVF procedures.
How many babies have been born as a result of sex selection?
Thousands of healthy babies have been born following sex selection procedures. In the case of the MicroSort method, MicroSort is a clinical trial to prove safety and efficacy. This procedure uses an investigational device, which is limited by federal law to investigational use. MicroSort has over 400 babies born with the MicroSort technology. The PGD method has been used to evaluate the genetic health of embryos for several years and the technology, while being developed carefully, has been proven effective.
Is there an increased risk of a birth defect after the sex selection procedure?
No. Many studies have been carried out on artificial insemination procedures. These studies, looking at fresh, frozen, washed and isolated sperm show no increase in the occurrence of birth defects when compared to natural conception. In the case of IVF-PGD, while relatively new, there has thus far been noted no increased risk to the offspring.
It should be remembered that PGD is nearly 100% effective (99.9%) and is being studied closely to see how costs for the procedure can be reduced. For this reason, we now recommend PGD as the primary treatment option to couples requiring gender selection for where more than 1 child has been born of the gender opposite the gender now being sought by the couple. MicroSort is a clinical trial methodology.
How is the sex selection procedure carried out?
Preparation for your procedure will occur well in advance of your treatment start date. Actual preparations can begin as early as just after your consultation with the Doctor and acceptance into the program. Our scheduling staff will work closely with you to assure that your procedure will be scheduled for a date most convenient for you.
Due to the large demand for our services, it is most important that you begin the scheduling process as soon as possible after deciding to undertake the PGD procedure. Once the specific details of your needs are obtained (local monitoring ad preparation with us in Los Angeles, preparation near home for those at a distance, etc.) our staff will arrange for the necessary pre-procedure laboratory testing.
If out of town, you will be provided with information on a monitoring center near you that will assist with the preparations. Our nurses can arrange and facilitate your appointments with these centers. Due to the special arrangements we have with many centers, we can nearly always assure that you will be provided appointments rapidly, even in centers with long wait lists for standard services.
We will arrange for your medications to be ordered and you will be given all preliminary instructions. For local patients, you will be scheduled for visits with us in accordance with he Doctor's orders and schedule plan for your treatment. You will be provided details about calling us with the onset of the menstrual period that occurs during the month your treatment is scheduled for. Once this occurs, we will assist with scheduling all of you planned monitoring visits.
Following retrieval of the eggs with IVF, the eggs are inseminated in the laboratory with sperm that has been filtered and processed for use with the PGD procedure. These sperm are then used to fertilize the healthy eggs by the embryologist.
After a few days growing in the incubator, the resulting embryos are gently biopsied to allow us to obtain a cell that may be used to determine the sex (gender) of each embryo. Once this information is available (usually within 24 hours), we can select only those embryos of the desired gender for implantation.
Options are offered for the disposition of the remaining embryos that include the ability to cryopreserve the embryos or offer the embryos for embryo adoption to other couples in need of embryos.
Two weeks after your embryos are returned to you, arrangements for a pregnancy test can be made. IVF-PGD sex selection is offered to all qualified (fertile) singles and couples. Couples from afar are invited to call our offices for information on our assistance packages for those traveling to us for treatment or to CLICK HERE FOR TRAVEL ASSISTANCE OR OR EMAIL OUR AFFILIATED TRAVEL SERVICE FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION.
Can frozen sperm be used for sex selection?
Yes. Frozen sperm are subject to the same evaluation studies as fresh sperm to determine suitability for use. If found to qualify, these sperm may be used for gender selection with the IVF-PGD treatment process.
Can sex selection be performed with "regular" In Vitro Fertilization?
Yes. We routinely offer sex selection options and aneuploidy (abnormal chromosome count) screening to couples undergoing In Vitro Fertilization for infertility reasons.
How do I begin/enroll?
You may enroll or begin the registration process by simply calling us at any of our office locations: Los Angeles (818) 728-4600, New York (212) 725-1177 or toll free from anywhere in the U.S. or Canada at (800) 222-2802. Or click the blue icon box below and email us your enrollment request.
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