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Gender selection | Treatment in the UK | Selection clinics | Baby selection methods

The only baby gender selection method used by the NHS or private clinics in the UK is Preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD). This involves using standard IVF techniques to help create embryos that are then tested for genetic abnormalities. The testing involves removing one or two cells from the early stage embryo to help determine the difference between affected and unaffected embryos. One of the unaffected, healthy embryos is then transferred to the woman's womb.

PGD is available on the NHS but not all hospitals provide funding for the procedure. You can however, have the treatment at a number of private clinics or at an NHS hospital on a private basis. Prices range from 1,000 to 2,000 for PGD, and from 6,000 to 9,000 for PGD with IVF.

In other counties around the world, you will find a number of alternative techniques used in baby gender selection. The most common of which are as follows:

MicroSort - this is a sperm sorting technique that attempts to segregate girl producing sperm from boy producing sperm. The method is said to be up to 90 percent successful when it comes to choosing girls, and around 75 percent successful for boys.

In the United States, where the treatment is relatively popular, prices range from $3,000 to $4,000 per treatment cycle when artificial insemination is used. You can expect to pay well over $15,000 per cycle when it's used with IVF. Fertility drugs can increase the total cost of treatment by another $1,500 to $2,500.

To qualify for MicroSort's baby sex selection program, you must be married with at least one child and want a child of the opposite gender. You, or your egg donor, must also be aged 39 or younger.

Ericsson treatment - this baby gender selection technique separates boy-producing sperm from girl-producing sperm on the basis that boy sperm s believed to swim faster than girl sperm. Artificial insemination is then used to insert the chosen sperm into the uterus. The treatment is claimed to be around 80% effective for choosing boys and 74% effective for girl babies. These figures are disputed by some fertility specialists who believe the success rates are nearer 55%.

The procedure costs approximately $500 to $700 per insemination cycle in the US. However, many cycles may be needed before a successful outcome is reached.

What does egg donation with IVF actually involve?

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