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How Chrissy Teigen Chose Her Baby's Gender
Following IVF treatment, model Chrissy Teigen is pregnant with her first child with her husband, singer-songwriter John Legend. She has been facing backlash on social media since she announced that they chose to have a girl by transferring a female embryo. "Not only am I having a girl, but I picked the girl from her little embryo,” Teigen told People magazine.
She later clarified via Twitter, “We didn't create a little girl. we had multiple embryos. girls and boys. we simply chose to put in a female first (and second)...” She followed with, “we didn't ‘throw away’ anything and still would love to have more of both in the future. hard to explain such a complicated process here.” And, “you'd be surprised at how many people you know go through this. also every doctor knows the sex of the embryos, it isn't some grand secret.”
Teigen is referring to gender selection with preimplantation genetic screening (PGS). When PGS is used in an IVF cycle, embryos are biopsied to determine whether they have the correct number of chromosomes. Because all chromosomes are examined, PGS also reveals the gender of the embryos.
“Embryos that don’t have correct number of chromosomes will result in treatment failure, miscarriage or an abnormal pregnancy,” says Dr. Daniel Potter, a fertility doctor with HRC Fertility in Newport Beach, CA. A single embryo transfer of a chromosomally normal embryo offers very good pregnancy rates and a healthier pregnancy for mother and baby than a multiple gestation does. If there are excess embryos, they are frozen and can be used for later pregnancies.
In Teigen’s case, her Tweets reveal, they chose to transfer a female embryo for her first pregnancy, and freeze excess embryos of both genders
PGS is a safe procedure with a long history, Potter says. “There are no risks to the mother or baby when doing PGS. Embryo biopsy has been performed for over 25 years without any noted issues in the children resulting from these procedures.”