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Family balancing is a form of gender selection, which allows you to choose the gender of your baby before you give birth.
What Are the Reasons People Choose Family Balancing?
There are many reasons that couples undergo gender selection. While many people may simply want to have one child of each sex, some families may do so for medical reasons. For example, a couple might want to avoid passing down medical problems associated with sex-linked inheritable diseases like color blindness or hemophilia.
However, family balancing is not usually associated with preventing genetic disorders. Often, it is because a family has several children of one gender and would like to have a child of the opposite gender.
What Is the Most Effective Means of Family Balancing?
There are several methods couples can elect to choose the gender of their baby. Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD), has the highest success rate fat 99.9%.
How Does PGD Work?
PGD is used in tangent with in vitro fertilization (IVF), usually to check for genetic disorders and chromosomal abnormalities. Recently, it has been used as a way to reveal the gender of the screened embryo for those who wish to have a baby boy or baby girl.
During the IVF procedure, one of the cells from an embryo is removed and analyzed. Once the gender and chromosomal content are determined, the embryo is transferred back into the uterus.
Are There Other Methods of Family Balancing?
You may hear about the following methods for family balancing, but they are not proven, and do not have the same success rates as PGD:
- Timing Methods – These techniques depend on the ovulation cycle as well as the characteristics of the X- and Y-sperm. The Shettle Method and the Shelan Method are two examples, although these methods advocate opposite practices. The vagina becomes less acidic during ovulation and supposedly favors the Y-sperm according to the Shettle Method (the Shelan Method claims it favors X-sperm). According to these techniques, couples who want a boy should have intercourse at the time when vaginal conditions are best for Y-sperm.
- The Ericsson Method - Since the X-chromosome weighs more than the Y-chromosome, the Ericsson Method separates X-sperm from Y-sperm by using a specialized centrifugal machine. The woman chooses the sperm with the favored gender and is artificially inseminated. Although the Ericsson Method’s creator claimed a success rate of 73 to 85%, studies have shown that the method does not increase the likelihood of one gender over another.
Questions About Family Balancing
If you are curious about family balancing and would like more information, here are questions to ask your local fertility doctor about family balancing.