Sex Selection Specialist

Steven A. Brody, MD, PhD -  - Fertility Specialist

Infertility & Lifespan Medical Institute

Steven A. Brody, MD, PhD

Fertility Specialist & Reproductive Endocrinologist located in San Diego, CA

Parents may want to choose the sex of their child for any number of reasons. Dr. Steven Brody, a compassionate fertility specialist, practicing at the Infertility & Lifespan Medical Institute in San Diego, California, uses fertility technology advances to identify sperm carrying X or Y chromosomes to help you build the family you want. If you have questions about sex selection, call or make an appointment online today.

Sex Selection Q&A

Can I choose the sex of my child?

Throughout history, parents have wanted to select the sex of their child. Historically, boys were needed to produce an heir, while in modern times some parents want to balance their family with male and female children.

Thanks to advances in fertility treatment technologies, parents no longer have to rely on old wives’ tales or myths like conceiving under a full moon means you’ll have a girl or that eating or drinking certain foods before conception or during pregnancy would guarantee a boy. Whatever your reason for wanting to choose the sex of your baby, Dr. Brody offers sex selection services.

What is sex selection?

sex selection is a process that allows you to select the sex of your child during fertility treatments. Dr. Brody offers services to help you choose the sex of your child, including Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) and sperm testing.

The sex of your baby is determined by whether or not the fertilizing sperm carries XX or XY chromosomes. XX chromosomes are female, and XY chromosomes are male. By identifying and selecting the sperm or fertilized eggs with the desired chromosomes, in most cases, you can select the sex of your baby.

How does sex selection work?

Dr. Brody either tests the sperm from the father to identify and isolate the male or female chromosomes or uses PGD to identify the sex of an embryo created via in vitro fertilization (IVF).

Sperm Testing

Sperm cells carrying X chromosomes have different biophysical properties from those carrying Y chromosomes. The sperm cells carrying Y chromosomes have smaller heads, are lighter and have 3% less DNA. Their different properties can be used to separate X- and Y-bearing sperm cells.

Techniques for the separation of X and Y chromosome-bearing sperm have been tested in selected populations, with varying results. The most common sex selection technique is based on the premise that sperm cells bearing a Y chromosome move faster than those bearing an X chromosome. Sperm cells are incubated in a sperm wash column, a tube with a viscous protein liquid, to separate the two populations of sperm cells.


PGD is used in IVF treatments to test embryos for genetic disorders that may prevent a viable pregnancy. sex testing was developed as many genetic disorders, like hemophilia or Duchenne muscular dystrophy, are linked to the sex of the child.

During PGD, one or two cells are taken from an embryo for screening. The DNA is extracted and tested for sex as well as potential genetic disorders. If you want to choose the sex of your child, only embryos with the desired XX or XY chromosomes will be implanted.

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