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Family Balancing Q&A

Written in Partnership with HRC Fertility, August 19, 2015

Family balancing – choosing to have a child of the opposite gender of your child or children – is becoming more mainstream. By using preimplantation genetic screening (PGS), intended parents not only select the gender of their child but your physician can determine if an embryo contains the normal number of chromosomes. Pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) can identify genetic diseases that a person may carry and help prevent transmission of a sex-linked genetic disease. PGS and PGD are done with IVF, and only the embryo of the desired sex is transferred. The technology is more than 99 percent accurate in predicting gender.

We spoke with Dr. Daniel Potter, a fertility doctor with >HRC Fertility in Fullerton and Newport Beach, CA, to answer commonly asked questions regarding family balancing.

Question: We would like to have a baby girl close in age to our two boys. How soon after my current pregnancy can we start the family balancing process?
Dr. Potter: If you are not breastfeeding, and feel ready to be pregnant again, you may start the process at any time.

Q: We have two daughters and would like to have a son. Can we do family balancing even though I’ve had a tubal ligation?
A: Yes, you can do family balancing after a tubal ligation. Your eggs will be retrieved, fertilized in the lab and following PGS the embryo of the desired gender will be transferred into your uterus.

Q: We have two daughters from fertility treatment. Is it possible to do family balancing using my frozen embryos?
A: Yes, we can do family balancing with frozen embryos. If PGS hasn’t been done on the embryos they can be thawed, biopsied and re-frozen. Keep in mind the freezing protocol may impact the success of the procedure.

Q: We are planning to travel to the U.S. for gender selection. Can I start the process locally before we travel for the embryo transfer?
A: Yes, you can start the process in your home country and complete it in the U.S. After an initial phone consultation and testing, you can start treatment and will be monitored by a local fertility clinic. The female partner will need to be in the U.S. for approximately 10 days: her last ultrasound exam, egg retrieval and embryo transfer.

Q: What are the costs for family balancing?
A: The total cost for family balancing are approximately $15,000 and would include: IVF, PGS and medication. Some fertility clinics offer financing options.


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