Gender Selection

Until recently, selecting a baby's gender was only a dream. But with today’s advanced reproductive technology, choosing the sex of your baby is now possible. The procedure combines in vitro fertilization (IVF) with intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) and pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) to first determine the gender of each embryo before transferring desired embryos into the mother. While no method is 100% effective, this combined method of using ICSI/PGD has proved to have a very high success rate and is the most accurate method available today, with accuracy nearing 100%.
The journey for Gender Selection using PGD involves several steps that may take place over a period of approximately 20 - 25 days.
Step 1: Ovarian Stimulation Treatment cycles typically start on the second or third day of menstruation and consist of a regimen of fertility medications to stimulate the development of multiple follicles in the ovaries. Depending on the treatment protocol, this may mean anywhere from one to two shots every day, for about 7 to 10 days. During this time, the patient would be assessed through ultrasound tests to analyze the development of the follicles and blood tests to check the hormone levels.

Step 2: Egg Retrieval The eggs are retrieved from the patient using a transvaginal technique involving a very thin ultrasound-guided needle to reach the ovaries. The number of eggs retrieved depends on how the patient has reacted to the fertility medication. The retrieval procedure takes about 15 minutes and is done under sedation. The feeling afterwards is either no pain at all to the feeling of a heavy period that may last for around two days. The more eggs retrieved, the more likely it is that the patient may feel a little discomfort.

Step 3: Sperm Collection On the day of egg retrieval the husband will provide a semen sample so that the retrieved eggs can be fertilized. To increase chances of fertilization, a single sperm is directly injected into the patient's harvested egg using a delicate needle. This method is called Intra-cytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI). For couples residing outside the UAE,and in the case where the husband has urgent work commitments, it is recommended that he comes to the UAE for 2 days: the day before egg collection (to do a blood test and semen analysis) and the day of egg collection (to provide a sperm sample).

Step 4: PGD and Embryo Transfer A few days after egg retrieval and fertilization, the embryos are checked for the gender as well as for any abnormalities such as Down Syndrome. The best 2-3 embryos of the desired gender are transferred to the patient's uterus through her vagina and cervix. The embryo transfer procedure takes about 10-15 minutes and is painless. The patient will have blood tests in the following 12 days to check the hormones and to check or confirm a pregnancy. If the couple is coming from abroad and need to fly back, those blood tests can be done in the patient’s home country, provided the patient rests for one day after transferring the embryos.