Microsort for Gender Selection

Accuracy of MicroSort for Gender Selection

microsort-sex-selectionWe periodically receive questions in regards to MicroSort, which is one of the methods used for sex selection. Although MicroSorting is certainly available to you, our international IVF clinics typically do not recommend this technique because of its inaccuracy and some other limitations. Instead, the fertility clinics recommend PGD.

Here is a brief explanation of how MicroSort procedure works. Microsorting is done by taking a sperm sample and separating out the girl sperm from the boy sperm. To do so, the geneticists treat the sperm with a special dye, which attaches to the DNA or genetic material inside the sperm. The X or female chromosome is larger than the male or Y chromosome. Therefore, female bearing sperm absorbs more dye and thus displays greater fluorescence when exposed to laser light. The difference in brightness is measured by the flow cytometer (machine used in the process), as the sperm are being sorted.

There are two problems with microsorting, the accuracy and its effects on the sperm. The major issue with microsorting is its accuracy. MicroSort sperm separation for female gender selection results in on average 88 percent X-bearing sperm (female) in the sorted specimens. MicroSort sperm separation for the male gender selection results in an average of 68 percent Y-bearing sperm (male) in the sorted specimen. As you can see, there is a lot of uncertainty about whether one will get a boy or a girl using microsorting. There is also a question about sperm’s vitality after it was treated with dye. For these two reasons, if you are looking for a more precise method for gender selection, we would suggest you consider PGD.

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