When you're undergoing assisted conception, all you want is a healthy baby at the end of your journey. But, will you always have a girl if you do IVF? Gender selection is more important to some than others, and for a lot of people, it's a "bonus" of undergoing IVF, a process where eggs are removed from the woman's body to be fertilized. As Dr. Elena Trukhacheva of the Reproductive Medicine Institute told Chicago Tribune, gender selection becomes possible when multiple embryos are produced from IVF. The article noted that gender selection is still a very controversial topic.
And, according to that same article, most parents aren't opting for gender selection when going through the IVF process. About 175,000 IVF pregnancy attempts were made in 2013. Of those cases, only about 800 of those genetic screenings were done solely to determine gender.
But you still have to wonder about the link between IVF and the baby's sex. One mom on BabyAndBump.com wrote, "I actually don't know anyone that has done IVF that has had a boy! They do say girl babies survive better than boys, maybe that's the case with embryos too?" So, I did a little research to see if this is just a fertility myth, or if you will always have a girl if you do IVF. I found out some pretty cool things you should know.
1. More Boys Are Born To Couples Undergoing IVF
An Australian study published in the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology found that, "the odds of a boy went up from 51 in 100 when conceived naturally to 56 in 100" when conceived through IVF. What accounts for that slight difference? Doctors and embryologists don't have any definitive answers. Plus, it's unclear if parents had the option of choosing from multiple embryos, and if so, if gender selection was a factor in their choice.
2. The Odds Of Having A Girl Increase With Certain Procedures
According to the same Australian study, the odds of having a girl from assisted conception increase if you have a certain type of IVF. Couples who undergo intracytoplasmic sperm injection, (ICSI) a process where embryologists inject a sperm into an egg, and is used in cases where the sperm is not very mobile, the "odds lean slightly towards having a girl." Make of that information what you will.
3. It's All About Timing
If you're TTC, you're already familiar with how important timing is to conception (understatement of the year). Parenting pointed out the The Shettles Method, developed by Dr. Landrum Shettles in the 1960s, suggests you don't wait until you're ovulating if you want a girl. According to the article, the X-chromosome sperm travel slower than Y-chromosome sperm, which opens up your conception window.
It so seems the results aren't that conclusive. Across time and cultures people have speculated on the sex of an unborn child, and it looks like the speculation carries on into the twenty-first century.