How about sex selection kits? Can we choose the sex of our child? Fertility specialists have the ability to create and identify embryos of either sex. Only pre-implantation genetic diagnosis PGD has been approved as a technique which does this.
You could experiment with sex-selection kits or try folklore methods , such as eating more meat if you want a boy!
What would qualify us for sex selection? PGD reduces the chance of your baby suffering from the same condition, partly by testing for the genes which carry it. After these are screened, a specialist implants one or maybe two embryos in your uterus womb.
Gender as well as genes can play a part. A disease such as haemophilia almost always passes from mum to son NHS Choices b.
In these circumstances, your doctor would just use a girl embryo. Your clinic will probably offer to freeze any spare embryos. These days, using frozen embryos is almost as reliable as using fresh embryos. There's also growing evidence that frozen embryos result in pregnancies with fewer complications than those that come from fresh embryos.
It is also less invasive, and cheaper than another cycle of IVF Shapiro et al The HFEA clinic search tool can help you to find a clinic that does. What is sperm sorting? This is when doctors try to separate male from female sperm. Sperm sorting is illegal in the UK, but the service is offered, for a considerable fee, in some other countries HFEA b.
The most-used technique is flow cytometry. Its accuracy is thought to be about 93 per cent for girls born using this method, and 85 percent for boys Karabinus Experts can then tell male from female by seeing how the dye binds to the genetic material in the sperm. Once sorted, you can then be inseminated with the chosen sperm using relatively cheap intrauterine insemination IUI.
There are two theories about whether this is possible: There's a third method which combines timing theories with observations of your cervical mucus — the Billings method. Bear in mind that these methods are theories rather than proven techniques.
You may decide to try one method if you understand your cycle well enough. But bear in mind that, whichever method you try, you always have approximately a So if you want a boy, you should aim to have sex as close as possible to ovulation Shettles and Rorvik , as the boy sperm will beat the girl sperm in the race to the egg.
If you want a girl, you need to have sex two days to four days before you ovulate. What is the Whelan method? The Whelan method contradicts the Shettles method. It suggests that biochemical changes earlier on in your cycle favour boy-producing sperm.
So if you want a boy, you should have sex four days to six days before you ovulate. If you want a girl you should have sex two days to three days before you ovulate Whelan What is the Billings method? The Billings method complements the Shettles method. It says you should time having sex around the look and feel of your cervical mucus. For a girl, the idea is that you have sex at what they call the 'pre-peak stage' before ovulation thicker and stickier , and then don't have sex again for that cycle.
For a boy, you should wait for the 'post-peak stage' closer to ovulation thin and clear. An African study of the Billings method reported a 95 per cent success rate McSweeney DIY kits that claim to help with sex selection are based on the Shettles theory. They include instructions, a basal thermometer , ovulation predictor test sticks, supplement tablets, and douches that are supposedly gender-specific.
Not surprisingly, the manufacturers commonly claim success rates of over 90 percent. But there's no reliable scientific evidence to back up these claims.
Code of practice, 8th edition revised Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority. Pre-implantation genetic diagnosis PGD. Sex selection Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority. Intrauterine insemination — chance of success.
Funding Centre for Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis. Reproductive Biol Endocrinol Successful sex pre-selection using natural family planning. Afr J Reprod Health 15 1: Muscular dystrophy — causes Health A-Z. Haemophilia — causes Health A-Z. Clinical rationale for cryopreservation of entire embryo cohorts in lieu of fresh transfer. Fertil Steril 1: How to choose the sex of your baby: Broadway books Whelan EM. The definitive work on sex selection Revised edition.