Jan 31 2018

Gender Selection in IVF Treatment: Options and Success Rates


A mother and her childThanks to procedures such as in vitro fertilization (IVF), fertility specialists can help people overcome various hurdles when it comes to pregnancy and childbirth. Male and female infertility can be effectively addressed, and birth defects can be prevented. Fertility specialists can even help couples increase their chances of having a boy or a girl thanks to certain gender selection procedures.

The team at our Lubbock, TX fertility practice would like to go over various methods of gender selection available to patients. We’ll note how these gender selection methods work and how effective they are.


Preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) and preimplantation genetic screening (PGS) are both ways of screening embryos for genetic or chromosomal problems, as certain conditions might be more likely among makes than females and vice versa. These tests can also be used to screen the sex of an embryo.

How Effective Are PGD and PGS?

Since PGD and PGS examine the embryo that will be transferred and brought to term, these tests are almost 100 percent accurate in determining the sex of a child.

The Ericsson Method

The Ericsson method separates faster-swimming sperm (more likely to produce boys) from slower-swimming sperm (more likely to produce girls). A sperm sample is placed in a gluey fluid, with the faster-swimming sperm more likely to reach the bottom sooner. The sperm can be isolated and separated easily.

How Effective Is the Ericsson Method?

The Ericsson method is up to 85 percent accurate when choosing boys, and up to 75 percent accurate when choosing girls.

Sperm Sorting

Apart from the Ericsson methods, sperm sorting can also be performed using a centrifuge. The centrifugal force can help separate the less dense Y-sperm (more likely to produce a boy) from the more dense X-sperm (more likely to produce a girl).

How Effective Is Sperm Sorting?

Similar to the Ericsson method, sperm sorting can be up to 85 percent accurate when choosing a boy and 75 percent accurate when choosing a girl.

Timing Intercourse During Your Cycle

When professional gender selection is cost prohibitive, some couples try to time their intercourse and conception to increase the chances of having a boy or a girl. Two common at-home techniques are as follows:

  • The Shettles Method - Assuming that Y-sperm moves faster but does not live as long as X-sperm, the Shettles method recommends having sex as close to ovulation as possible to have a boy, and 2 to 4 days after ovulation for a girl.
  • The Whelan Method - The Whelan method, which contradicts the Shettles method, recommends intercourse 4 to 6 days before an increase in your basal temperature for a boy, and intercourse 2 to 3 days before ovulation for a girl.

How Effective Is Timed Intercourse?

Given how the Shettles and Whelan methods seem to conflict with one another and there is no lab analysis of the embryo, at-home timed intercourse techniques can vary in effectiveness from person to person.

Learn More About Fertility Treatment Options

For more information about gender selection techniques and which might be most ideal for your needs and means, be sure to contact our skilled fertility specialists today. The team at The Centre for Reproductive Medicine will answer your questions and address your concerns.

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The Centre for Reproductive Medicine
Lubbock Office

Address: 3405 22nd St Ste 300
Lubbock, TX 79410

Phone: (806) 788-1212