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Expanding Reproductive Options in the UK with Gender Selection
July 29, 2014
Gender selection is widely accepted and practiced in major metropolitan areas of the United States. However, the family balancing technology is not practiced in every country. In the United Kingdom, for example, Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) is banned for non-medical reasons.
In an effort to clear up any misconception about the process and to expand reproductive options in the UK, Dan Potter, M.D., of HRC Fertility in Los Angeles, California, is heading a project to educate and decrease stigma about family balancing in Europe. “We are giving public seminars which are so far well attended and well-received,” Potter states. He has provided talks via numerous media outlets over the past few weeks.
In the last year, HRC Fertility has seen a 20% increase in the number of patients traveling to California from the UK for family balancing. “It would be great to welcome more patients to our practice, but also we hope that by having this dialogue and increasing awareness about gender selection, we can open up more reproductive options in the UK,” he says.
The gender selection debate is a slippery slope as many argue that it is the first step in the direction of creating “designer babies”. Dr. Potter clarifies that this is simply not a viable argument. “It is not feasible to screen embryos for exactly perfect traits that the couple desires,” he says. PGD is currently used to screen for the sex of the embryo and sex-linked medical conditions. Also contrary to belief, 80% of patients seek family balancing to have a female child. Only 20% seek a male child, so there is no clear evidence of sex discrimination against females.
Patients considering PGD for gender selection either in the UK or in the US should be aware that not all PGD technologies are equal. Technology is always improving and the GenderSure procedure seems to be a more accurate at sex determination than standard array CGH testing. The sex of the embryo can be predicted with nearly 100% accuracy.
In any given IVF cycle with PGD, couples have a 50% chance of having female embryos, and a 50% chance of having male embryos, and they may not have any normal embryos of the desired sex.
If you would like to schedule a gender selection consultation with Dr. Potter and the team at HRC Fertility, please contact Fertility Authority’s Patient Care Advocates at 1-855-955-BABY (2229) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.