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It's a Boy, Again

Sydney Morning Herald,  Sept 28, 2010
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After six agonising years of fertility treatment, Iliana Ilieva named her son after her ''personal victory'' of becoming pregnant. But to researchers, eight-week-old Victor Valeri is among an alarming surge in the number of boys being born using in vitro fertilisation techniques.

IVF, which has boomed in Australia in the past 10 years, is skewing gender rates so much that scientists have issued a plea to clinicians to warn parents of the potential outcome.

About 300,000 babies are born in Australia each year - with nature producing slightly more boys than girls (51.5 percent). But for women having standard IVF, where the embryo is incubated for five days, that probability rises to 56.1 percent.

Patients undergoing intracytoplasmic sperm insemination (ICSI), where one sperm is selected and injected into an egg, are significantly more likely to have girls, while freshly created embryos, as opposed to those frozen and thawed, are more likely to be male.

In research published today in the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, experts from the University of NSW analysed 13,368 births from fertility clinics in Australia and New Zealand but were still unclear as to how the procedures skewed gender, said the lead researcher, Jishan Dean.

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