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Selecting the Sex of Your Baby

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Common reasons to use sex selection.

A family may want to use gender selection and select the sex of a baby because:

  • They may want to prevent a sex-linked genetic disease, many of which are inherited by the mother, but only affect male children. Or, they may want to prevent a disease that affects males more severely, such as autism or Fragile X. "The medical reasons are usually medical conditions with prevalence in male offspring where families want to avoid males for that reason," says Norbert Gleicher, M.D., a New York fertility doctor and medical director of the Center for Human Reproduction (CHR).
  • The family may have psychological reasons, which are also considered medical. For example, the family has lost a child and wants to have another child of the same gender.
  • The family may have non-medical reasons, which would be elective sex selection. One of the non-medical reasons may be that the family has one or more children of one sex and now wants to have a child of the other six. This would be called family-balancing.

Because there is no sperm sorting method currently available for sex selection (Microsort did not receive approval from the Food and Drug Administration), to choose the sex of their baby, currently a couple in the United States must do in vitro fertilization along with preimplantation genetic testing. This is also the most accurate method — with approximately 99 percent accuracy.

Sex Selection for Medical Reasons

When a couple chooses to have sex selection for medical reasons, they can choose to do preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD). PGD screens out embryos for a specific genetic mutation that is associated with the disease the family is at risk of passing on.

Or, the family may choose to use preimplantation genetic screening (PGS). "Many couples choose [PGS] especially if they already have boys, they don't want anymore boys," Dr. Gleicher explains. "So they don't care about having another boy even if the boy does not have the disease, they simply want to have a girl. So they choose not to do a single gene PGD ... but they choose to go for a gender selection, which in terms of testing the embryo is a much simpler and less costly approach than doing a single gene diagnosis."

The method of genetic analysis for PGS that CHR uses is fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH). "We do a Day 3 embryo biopsy and take off one blastomere and determine whether it is a female or male embryo," Dr. Gleicher says. "And we use FISH to do that, and FISH is very accurate in doing that and very cost effective. By Day 5, we have an answer, and we transfer only the desired gender."

Sex Selection for Non-Medical Reasons

In 2001, the Ethics Committee of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) declared gender selection "ethical" in principle.

If you are interested in sex selection for non-medical reasons, research your options at different fertility clinics. While some fertility clinics may offer the procedure to everyone, others only offer it to patients that fit a certain criteria; for example, only in cases where there is another reason to do in vitro fertilization.

"We are offering it in accordance with the ethical criteria for sex selection published by the ASRM a number of years back," Dr. Gleicher says. "So we do not do it for first pregnancies —it has to be family balancing purposes, and there must be a reason for IVF. "

Policies for Sex Selection, Gender Selection or Family balancing vary from country to country, and clinic to clinic. Cut through the leg-work and ask FertilityAuthority which clinics preform PGS by you.


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Comments (71)

Is is possible to do gender selection via iui. We have a girl and now are trying for a boy, but just wanted to know if that is offered in wpb,fl?

It is not possible to do gender selection through IUI, only IVF as it is a test performed on the embryo in the lab. If you'd like to find doctors in your area, please check out our search feature above: Find a Doctor or Clinic.

I have 4 boys but would love a girl how much is I find in AZ and if I'm healthy will it be cheaper ? Or is they're financing available

Hi There, I had to do 6 fresh cycles of IVF to have my twin boys( I did not do gender selection). I have a few frozen day 5 blasts left from my successful IVF. I would like to use one of these embryos to have one more baby, but because of my multiple severe infertility conditions (nothing was age related), I fear having a daughter and passing these conditions onto her. Is it possible to test these day 5 frozen blasts to select for a boy for my last baby?


Unfortunately, PGD/PGS must be done prior to freezing the embryo. It takes a significant amount of time to perform PGD/PGS and there is limited time after the embryo has been thawed before it must be transferred.


My husband and I have 3 beautiful girls. My husband being the oldest child was very close to his father so when his dad past he took it very hard. We would love to have a boy but i can't keep trying praying and hoping for a boy. We need help but I live in Michigan and would like to find a clinic close. Also does insurance help cover the cost?

Samantha, in order to get the boy that you desire you would have to do IVF + PGD gender selection. On average, IVF can cost anywhere from $10,000 - $15,000 for one cycle without medication. PGD can cost anywhere from $3,000 - $8,000. Unfortunately, choosing the gender of your child is considered an elective procedure and not medically necessary so insurance will not cover the procedure. Most clinics do not offer payment plans for gender selection. If you are comfortable with these costs and would like to find a clinic in your area feel free to email me directly at

I.have 3 buestiful daughters in.pakistan..plz helping me ...

Hi Suman,

You would have to undergo IVF with PGD for gender selection. That procedure costs a minimum of $25,000 in the United States. If you would like to schedule a consultation with a doctor in the US, please call us at 1-855-955-BABY (2229).


I am 42 and so is my husband. We have 3 beautiful but we so long for a girl. Is it too late? We live in Illinois and want to know are there any doctor's with great success rates and would be able to help me at my age? Thank you!

Jo - When a woman is over the age of 40 her ovarian reserve (egg quality) begins to decline especially if she is 42 or older. I suggest you see a specialist as soon as possible to get your ovarian reserve tested to determine if you have viable eggs that can be used for In Vitro Fertilization and PGD. Choosing the gender of your child is considered elective so it will not be covered by insurance. If you would like to move forward and get set up with a specialist in your area please feel free to email me directly at

I have 7 wonderful sons but I dream of having a daughter. I am done with guessing each time I get pregnant. I want a girl and am really needing information on gender selection. Please help cause I am SO out numbered.

Angela, you could consult with a fertility specialist to discuss IVF PGD gender selection to have a daughter. If you would like more information and are interested in setting up a consultation to discuss your options feel free to email me directly at

Hello - in order to undergo Gender Selection you have to do IVF with PGD. In order to do the PGD aspect of the procedure you have to undergo IVF in order to retrieve the eggs so that they can be fertilized to determine the gender. In short you have to do PGD with IVF you cannot do one or the other. If you have any other questions feel free to email me at

I have 3 girls and I and my husband want a boy. Can I do the PGD process without IVF? Thank you, Aisha

and i live in wisconsin but im welling to travled to place near me that will help me

hi i have 6 girl and another girl on the way im dying to get a baby boy i have no medical problem but my culture is in deed need a boy to carry on my husband last name all his brother and sister had boy and my sister they all have boy only us that do not get a boy yet i dont want to try anymore but really wish to get a baby boy can you help please

I have 3 beautiful boys but my husband and I would so love to have a girl! We are both now 42. It is too late for IVF and PGD? We live in IL and are looking for a dr., hopefully close to us, with a good success rate. Thank you so much!

I had a healthy pregnancy and boy in 2009, then in 2013 I had two miscarriages and now pregnant with a July due date with another boy. I am 36 now and really wanting a girl, are there any clinics in Minnesota that have gender selection?

Our Patient Care Advocates can provide you info on doctors for gender selection. Please call 855-955-2229 or email Our service is free, and we'd be happy to help you locate the right practice. Best, Claire

Between my husband and I we have four little girls, and would love a little boy. We live in Vancouver WA could you tell me how much this costs in my area? Thank you Amber

One of our Patient Care Advocates will contact you to discuss costs of Gender Selection with IVF and PGD in Vancouver. Best, Claire

I lost my 6 year old daughter in a horrible car acident almost 2years ago. I have 3 other choldren, all boys, I jusy cant imagine never having that mother daughter bond again. I need some direction, is there anything close to me in north dakota?

I'm so, so sorry for your loss. Please contact our Patient Care Advocates, who can help you find a doctor for gender selection. You can call toll-free at 855-955-2229 or email at All the best, Claire

Hi I've got 5 healthy boys and long for a girl , my husband has had a vasectomy would this be a viable option to having a girl or would he have to have a reversal first ,have not heard of anybody doing this before plus we live in the uk also how long does the whole process take many thanks

Hi Tonia - In order to have a girl, you would need to do IVF with PGD, so that the doctor can transfer back an embryo of the desired gender. A vasectomy reversal is not necessary - the doctor can usually do a sperm retrieval. Our Patient Care Advocates can give you complete information including costs and time frame. You can call or email us at 855-955-2229 or Best, Claire

Gender selection does not increase your risk of miscarriage. In fact, not only will the doctor choose the embryo of the sex you prefer, but they will also transfer the healthiest embryos that will give you the greatest chance of pregnancy. If you'd like us to help you find a doctor in your area for a consultation, please call one of our Patient Care Advocates at 855-955-2225 or email us at Best, Claire

Hi, I have two beautiful boys and long for a baby girl to complete our family. I have had two miscarriages both were between 7-8 weeks. My question is if I am doing this for gender selection and won't be getting the testing , what are the risks of miscarriage or problems with the baby with doing gender selection? I have been considering this for some time since my husbands sister-in-law did this and her daughter is beautiful and healthy. I really appreciate any help. Thank you!

Hello, I'm in my senior year and am doing an assigmnet on sex selection and was wondering if you could please help me with the success rate of the procedure (IVF and PGD to select the gender of an embryo). Thank you!

Hi Tucker, PGD for gender selection is around 99.9% effective. Hope that helps! Kim

Hi. I am a mother of 3 beautiful boys. My fiancé and I want to have a baby girl together. I already got my tubes tied, but my question is how can we have a girl through gender selection and IVF and how much would that cost?

Hi Karen, The cost of IVF with PGD for gender selection will vary based on the fertility clinic you work with, but a general estimate would be about $12,000 for the IVF and an additional $5,000 for the PGD (though it could be less). Give us a call at 1-855-955-BABY (2229) or email if you would like more information and to connect with a fertility doctor near you! Best, Kim

i have two beautiful princess and want to have boy. How much the IVF's success rate?

Hi Parra, In order to do gender selection, you would have to do IVF with PGD. The success rate depends on your individual case, so you would need a fertility work up. Give us a call at 1-855-955-BABY (2229) or email so we can connect you with a fertility doctor in your area. Best, Kim

I have 3 boys, healthy,healthy pregnancies. Want to have a girl but don't have $30k! Why is Microsort not approved in the US? Can you do gender selection with IUI?

Hi Jessica, The cost of IVF averages $12,000 in the US. The cost of PGD for gender selection averages another $5,000 in the US. So for approximately $17,000 you could try for a baby girl. Give us a call at 1-855-955-BABY (2229) or email and we will gladly help you connect with the best fertility doctor for your needs! Kim

Me and my husband want a girl so bad we have 4 beautiful boys how it cost we live in oklahoma

Afternoon, We have 3 girls and i would really like to have a boy. I dont want to try again to have another girl. How much would it cost?

Hi John, Gender selection requires you to do IVF with PGD. IVF averages $12,000 per cycle and PGD is about $4,000 in addition to that. Please give us a call at 1-855-955-BABY (2229) or email and we can give you more information specific to your location. Best, Kim

Hi, we have two lovely girls, longing for a boy to balance our family, please can you assist, we live in south africa, could you tell us d clinic that offer gener selection in S

Hi, I live in South Africa and I have two girls and we would like to have a boy. We are willing to travel to the USA to do the procedure. Can you assist?


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