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Gender Selection Options

Choosing the sex of your baby. There is a natural desire among parents to want a child of a particular sex. Many times a couple wants to "balance their family." For example, they want one boy and one girl. In other instances there may be a medical reason to choose the sex of your child; for example, your family does not want to pass on a sex-linked inheritable disease such as hemophilia, which is an X-linked bleeding disorder that is passed from mother to son. In that situation, the parents may want to avoid the risk by having a girl instead.

Currently, the only legal method for gender selection in the United States that is close to 100 percent accurate is preimplantation genetic screening (PGS) in conjunction with in vitro fertilization (IVF).

Natural Gender Selection Techniques

You may have heard of natural gender selection techniques that a couple can use to help them have a child of the sex they want. These methods include:

  • Timing Methods. The Shettles Method is based on calculating the time of the woman's ovulation and them trying to conceive either before or during ovulation. It is based on Y-sperm (male producers) sperm swim faster but don’t live as long as the bigger, hardier X-sperm (female producers) sperm, and that the vaginal environment is acidic most of the time but becomes slightly more alkaline close to ovulation, which favors Y-sperm. Thus, to conceive a boy, a couple should have sex on the day of ovulation or one day before, and to conceive a girl, they should have sex two or three days before ovulation. Studies have failed to confirm that sex at ovulation would result in more boy babies, and the claim that Y-sperm swim faster has also been refuted. Another method, called the Shelan Method, advocates the opposite of the Shettles Method — it suggests intercourse four to six days prior to ovulation to increase likelihood of fertilization by male sperm; two to three days before ovulation for a girl.
  • Other Methods. There are many "old wives tales" and at-home practices that couples may use to try for a specific sex naturally; for example, douching to change pH levels in the vagina, eating a specific diet to change pH levels in the vagina, drinking cough syrup before sex to thin the cervical mucus (making conditions more favorable for Y-sperm) or changing the depth of penetration or position during sex. None of these methods have ever been proven to be effective other than giving you a 50 percent chance of either sex, which is the same chance you would have anyway. But there are many anecdotes that say they work.

The Ericsson Method.

The Ericsson Method is a patented method based on the fact that the X chromosome is larger than the Y chromosome and should weigh more. It's important to note however that the Ericsson Method is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the success rates in terms of gender prediction are very low. The majority of clinics in the United States do not offer it or recommend it.

Semen is placed in a test tube on top of increasingly thicker layers of the protein albumin. Then it is rapidly spun in a centrifugal machine, which causes particles in a liquid to separate into layers, based on their density. The heavier, denser X-sperm (female producers) are thought to separate from the lighter Y-sperm (male producers), and then an all X or all Y sperm sample can be created.

The woman is then inseminated with the chosen X-sperm or Y-sperm sample. The doctor who created this method in the early 1970s has claimed a 78 percent to 85 percent success rate for boys and a 73 percent to 75 percent success rate for girls. However, other studies have shown that this method does not alternate the 50:50 chances of having a boy or girl.

Preimplantation Genetic Screening for Gender Selection

PGS in conjunction with IVF is 99.9 percent effective selecting the sex your child. You may also hear this technique referred to as preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD).

PGS involves testing one cell or cells from an embryo created via in vitro fertilization (IVF).
With PGS, one cell from the embryo is removed to analyze its chromosomal makeup, which indicates whether the embryo is female or male. Only embryos of the desired sex are transferred to the uterus during the IVF cycle.

Fertility clinics across the United States offer PGS. While it is most often offered for screening for genetic diseases, its use for gender selection is becoming more mainstream.


Microsort is a technique that sorts male and female sperm. Sorted sperm are then placed in the uterus during an intrauterine insemination (IUI).

With Microsort, sperm absorb a dye which attaches to the DNA or genetic material inside the sperm. The X (female) chromosome is larger than the Y chromosome, thus absorbing more dye and displaying greater fluorescence when exposed to laser light. The difference in brightness is picked up by the flow cytometer (machine used in the process) and the sperm are sorted. Success rates using Microsort technology are close to 90 percent in conceiving a female, and close to 75 percent in conceiving a male.

You may have heard of Microsort because it was being offered at two clinics as part of a national study. However, similar to the above Ericsson Method, Microsort did not get approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and as of March 2012, Microsort is no longer available in the United States.

Even if you have no known fertility issues, the best way to predict the gender of your baby is through IVF.

Are you considering Gender Selection? Visit for more information.


Comments (71)

Hi, I currently have two girls n I'm expecting the 3 girl... Well we fed would try to do a insemination for a boy that the doctor I have now keeps pushing me to get my tubes connected since this is my 3 csection. We really would love to have a boy to make our family complete... Please tell me what r the riskes of having a 4th csection, cause my doctor won't do a 4th csection but I know be people that had 4 and 5 csections.

I have a boy who is 11. I am 34 and we want to have a girl. We only want 2 children and I really want a girl. So many boys in both our families. How is the best way.

If you are interested in having a girl, you would need to see a fertility doctor for IVF with PGD. That is the only proven way to have a child of a specific sex. If you would like more info on a doctor in your area, please contact our Patient Care Advocates at 855-955-2229 or Best, Claire

IVF is not covered by Medicaid. PGD is the only accurate way to do gender selection and costs are in the neighborhood of $20,000. Best, Claire

except PGD or PGS is there any way that could help to have a girl ?

PGD is the only proven way to have a child of a certain gender. If you'd like more information or help finding a doctor, call us at 855-955-2229. Best, Claire

Hi, we know that PGD has a 99% accuracy but the problem is that the people who extract the sperm don't try to check if it's X or Y sperm, thus if they take whatever sperm, the result is not really what we want because the 99% accuracy is not taken from the sperm sample but from the PGD test. The 99% accuracy is not really true because the sperm sampling result is just around 50% and then the choice can be made which is 99% from the 50%. But if it's not 50% but none then everything spent is for nothing(time, money and pain through those steps). We do know that with a certain amount of egg (like 20), after fertilization, the number of good embroys is reduced (like 10), then after PGD it's reduced again (like 5) and in those remaining good ones (5) if most are not what we wanted, then we have to redo the process (50% of 5 is 2 or 3, in our case it was only 1 average embryo quality - not even good quality - in 2 retrivals of 40 eggs total). But if Ericsson Method is used, then most of the remaining good ones (5) might be what we wanted. If Ericsson Method is used for IVF, then most of extracted sperm samples might be the wanted ones, thus the number of good wanted embryos increase. That's why we wanted to know the real reason why Ericsson Method is approved for IUI but not for IVF. Thank you.(Sorry as I didn't see my message, I wrote a new one)

Hi. I have 3 boys and i want a girl. How much will be? I am 35 years old? Is a good age? Can i do some tratments to kaiser, where i have my insurance? Do you offer financial help? Thank you

Hi, I heard that Ericsson Method is not approved for IVF but I would like to ask you: - Why Ericsson Method can't be used with IVF? I was unable to find answer anywhere, just that it can't be used or not approved. - If Ericsson Method seperates chromosomes then why not doing Ericsson Method few times over and over (I mean splitting chromosomes once, taking the wanted gender part then doing again for the wanted gender part for few times) in order to filter and increase the chance of the wanted gender? Thank you. Best regards.

The Ericcson Method claims to separate out the sperm that will produce girls and the sperm that will produce boys. However, studies are conflicting and it's not proven. Fertility clinics use IVF with PGD, which has above 99% accuracy for gender selection. I hope that helps, and best of luck.

hi am a mother of two girls and lately i and my husband have been thinking of gender selection, how much do you think is the cost of everything including treatments. we are from italy.

Hi Lisa, PGD is performed in conjunction with IVF. If you are willing to travel to the US for treatment, the cost of IVF averages around $12,000 and the cost of PGD is an additional $5,000. Please send us an email if you are looking to connect with a fertility doctor who specializes in PGD. Hope that helps! Kim

How much dose it cost to have twins but my husband and I want to have one boy and one girl.

Hi Lola y Chino, In order to make this happen, you will have to do IVF. The cost of IVF averages between $8,000 and $12,000 depending on fertility drugs and other factors involved in the cycle. The cost of PGD (to determine which embryos are boy and girl) is usually around $4,000 additional. So, the total is betweeen $12,000-$16,000. You may have insurance coverage for the IVF depending on which state you live in, but the cost of PGD is not covered by insurance. Give us a call at 1-855-955-BABY (2229) or fill out this form: and we can help you connect with a fertility clinic in your area. Best, Kim

i had girl first and need boy for next, im in india in our country this is not legal, i want to know which country and clinic is best for PGS method gender selection, kindly mail me :

I'm 40 years old and my wife is 32 .we have 2 beautiful daughters,and we're planing to have a boy .we would like to know if it's possible to make sure that the 3rd baby be a boy? and what's the cost?

Hi Kevin - Some fertility clinics provide gender selection using PGD with IVF. It's very accurate - almost 100%. Rates vary by clinic - it will include the cost of the IVF cycle, the cost of fertility drugs, and the cost of PGD. Check with fertility clinics in your area to find out who is doing gender selection, or if you would like additional information, email me at


i am a 38 years ols have 2 boys with corpus callosum if i want a girl would you be able to fine out if she has this diagnosis?

PGD does screen for genetic disorders. If you are using PGD for sex selection, you may be able to also screen for corpus callosum. I would recommend you find a fertility clinic experienced in PGD and contact them with your questions.


If I understand this right, they create an embryo via IVF, and if the baby is the "wrong" sex, it will be killed. How can this be ethical? Doctors and scientists need to quit trying to replace God.

There is a test called preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) that is used with IVF for gender selection. You will need to find a fertility clinic that does gender selection. The first step would be to contact a fertility clinic near you. You can use our clinic directory to find one. Just look up to the right sidebar and click on the button for fertility clinic, and enter your zip code. They'll help you figure out what's next!

I have three girls and I would like to have a baby boy, prefferably twins. Am 39 this year. What can I do to make this possible?

I think this is wonderful information. As for whether or not gender selection is right or wrong, that strongly depends on one's personal opinion. While you might not think gender selection is the right choice for you, that does not give you the right to tell someone else not to do it. On another note, if you cannot spell, maybe you should not be having children in the first place.

How to have a girl? I the only woman in my dad's father in 30+ years. How can my husband and I have a girl , we already have three boys???


There are really simple steps that drastically increase your chance of having a baby boy or baby girl. You should try reading this book

good luck everybody!!

Back in the early 80's they did not do ultrasound tests and we did the Drano Test. I was taught that Brown was for a girl and blue/green was for a boy. I did this several times with all three of my pregnancy's and all of my friends. This test always showed the correct color. If it turns out black you need to redo the test on another day because the woman ate something that had to much spice or acid in it. I have two girls and one boy, along with ten nieces and nephews. I believe this test does work, but you need to be at least ten weeks along to be accurate.

please pray for me to have a baby (hopefully a girl). i am 42 years old never been married never been pregnant, i do have a bf (he has 2 boys from his ex)

I would have to have egg retrival since my tubes are tied, and I must have a boy and it should be done in the MUSLIM coustoms, so my hands are tied who is the dr and HOW EXPENSIVE is this in the Nashville area.

hi. me and my fiance have 3 boys, and i long for a daughter. i dont feel whole, i feel there something missing. a daughter will make our family whole. how do i go about finding a clinic nor me???

thank you1

Hi. I am 20 years old and i want to have my first child. I quit taking my birth control and it seems i can't concieve. Do you have any advice you could give me? If so could you please contact me on my Thanks so much!

Hi, my name is Samantha and I have 5 boys. I was planning on getting pregnant in October to have the baby in July, Do you have any suggestions.

hello im 29 years old and i have 6 daughters how can i conceive a boy? i want to have my last baby and i know that the baby's health is more imporatant then the gender, but i also want to be a mother of a baby boy

I am 28 years old and I am a mother of 5 girls who would also like to complete my family with a boy. If you find anything out let me know.Thank you

hi, i want to have a baby , but i do not start yet , and i want boy , what should i do to select sex of baby?, plz help me, tanx

My self and my wife are married and have two daugthers and we both want a male child,but we reside in South Africa please can you give us the contact details of the clinic to visit to have a gender selection done in the United States.

Some fertility clinics offer gender selection to help you have a boy or girl. You should start by contacting fertility clinics in your area and ask if they offer gender selection. There's a Find a Clinic search on every page of

Good luck!

I already have two girls and i want to have a boy !! which would be the best method for me, i had a history of miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy , i had my right tube removed in a complication due to doctors neglegnce !!!
so plz can u tell me what can i do
i would really really appreciate that

i have four boys my last two had trouble breating when born. i am intrested in conceiving a girl but i am scared of having the same problems. and as well of having a boy is there a way to have the girl and garantee everything will be fine. and is the cost high.


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