Some couples don’t want to leave the gender of their children to chance. Here are three high-tech methods that offer better odds for choosing a baby’s sex.
This is the most common gender selection tool used by reproductive specialists. The best known is called the Ericsson method, which layers the sperm on top of a sticky protein solution. It’s thought that the smaller, faster male sperm will burrow their way through protein solution faster than females, separating the genders.
Success rate: 78 percent for boys, 73 percent for girls, as claimed by the Ericsson method website, though many experts in the field doubt the method’s effectiveness.
Cost: Approximately $600 per cycle
This method utilizes a laser to sort the sperm. IVF or artificial insemination is then used to connect the desired gender sperm with the egg.
Success rate: 85 percent for male, 93 percent for female, based on the Microsort data. “1,500 babies have been born so far using this method,” says Dr. Wood. “It works at a very high rate.”
Cost: $3,000 for one cycle (not including cost of insemination)
Preimplantation genetic screening (or PGS)
Embryos using the mother’s egg and father’s sperm are created in the lab. After 3 to 5 days, a few cells are tested for gender (as well as abnormalities like Down syndrome). The desired gender is then implanted in the uterus.
Success rate: “There’s a 100 percent chance of getting what
you want,” notes Wood.
Cost: $12,000 to $15,000
To read more about whether or not you can influence the sex of your future children read our article, “Choosing your baby's gender”.