For example, some parents may already have one or more children of the same gender and prefer to have a child of the opposite sex. In other instances, families may have cultural reasons for choosing a certain gender for their offspring. No matter what the reason, sex selection is now a very real option for families who are trying to conceive. Today, our Houston, TX fertility team will discuss sperm sorting vs. PGD so patients can be well-informed of their options. Sperm Sorting Sperm sorting is a gender selection method that has been widely used for over three decades.
Gender Selection: Sperm Sorting vs. PGD - Houston, TX
Conventional techniques[ edit ] Several methods have been used to sort sperm before the advent of flow cytometry. Density gradient centrifugation in a continuous or discontinuous gradient can concentrate semen samples with low concentration of sperm, using the density of sperm as a measure of their quality. However, use of sperm centrifugation is detrimental to the sperm viability and elicits production of reactive oxygen species. However, because flow cytometry-based sperm sorting often uses fluorescent dyes that often stain DNA, the safety of this technique in human reproductive medicine is a matter of scientific discussion. It evaluates if they contain the larger X chromosome giving rise to a female offspring or smaller Y chromosome leading to male progeny. It then allows separation of X and Y sperm.
These methods work on the premise that they separate the X and Y-sperm by use of centrifugation. During centrifugation, controlled spinning causes particles in a sample to become sorted into layers according to density of those particles. Sorting separates the more dense X-sperm from the lighter Y-sperm. One half of the sperm normally produced by a healthy male will carry the Y-chromosome producing a male child, and the other half of the sperm will be the X-chromosome producing a female child. By altering the number of one chromosome or the other by separating the layers, one is increasing the chances of producing a child of a specific gender.
A couple may choose this option to prevent certain genetic diseases or to promote family balancing. Prior to insemination of the egg, sperm sorting separates X-chromosome female sperm from Y-chromosome male sperm, both of which determine the sex of the offspring. This distinguishes sperm sorting from PGD, in which a fertilized embryo is chosen for transferal to the uterus based on its sex.
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