FAQs on sex selection

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What is sperm sorting?

The various sperm sorting methods aim to separate those individual sperm which contain Y chromosomes (which give rise to boys) from those which contain X chromosomes (which give rise to girls).

Once separated, the sperm could potentially be used for fertility treatment such as IUI (intrauterine insemination) and IVF (in vitro fertilisation).

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I need to choose the sex of my child to avoid passing on a serious medical condition. Can I do this?

People who carry the genes for certain serious medical conditions (such as haemophilia) can avoid passing the condition on by selecting the sex of their child. A number of clinics are licensed to offer sex selection for medical reasons using the reliable PGD method.

If you feel you may need to use sex selection for such reasons, please ask your doctor for advice.

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What is PGD for sex selection?

PGD (Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis) for sex selection for medical reasons involves going through IVF to create embryos. They are then analysed to determine their gender.

The embryos of the chosen sex are then transferred back into the woman as part of the treatment.

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Page last updated: 28 August 2009

Genetic testing

Photo of an embryo

Learn about pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD).

Discover how this technique could help to avoid passing on inherited conditions to any potential child.

...more about genetic testing