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Video:Can You Choose Your Baby's Sex?

with Dr. Stuart James Fischbein

The gender of your baby is usually not something parents can choose, but laboratory procedures may help conceive a boy or girl. Watch this video from About.com to learn more about the science and urban legends behind choosing your baby's sex.See Transcript

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Transcript:Can You Choose Your Baby's Sex?

Hello I'm Dr. Stuart James Fischbein. I'm a fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology. You can read more about me online at my website which is www.birthinginstincts.com and I'm here today on behalf of About.com to discuss can you choose your baby’s sex?

Sex Selection to Choose Baby's Gender

Ultimately you really can't make the choice. There are processes that can be done called sex selection. Those are things that are done in the laboratory where the sperm are spun and they try to get the female sperm versus the male sperm and they may offer you a 70 or 75% success rate in getting the sex that you want. The truth is that it costs money, it's sort of messing with mother nature, and unless you are really desperate to increase your odds of getting the sex of your choice, I would not recommend it.

Pre-Implantation Genetic Diagnosis

Another laboratory option which again goes along with the assisted reproductive technologies is something where you can actually choose the sex of your baby. It's called pre-implantation genetic diagnosis. This is a test that was developed for people that have a hereditary chromosomal or genetic disorder that they want to weed out before they get pregnant because it can be devastating for the developing fetus once it's born.

So they do chromosomes on an IVF embryo to determine whether the baby is carrying that disorder. In the process of doing that of course they can always tell whether the baby is a boy or girl. So for those people that are desperate to have a baby of one sex or the other and have unlimited funds you can approach your physician for referral to a infertility specialist who can do pre-implantation genetic diagnosis.

Urban Legends for Conceiving a Baby Boy or Girl

Now there's also a lot of urban legends out there about things that you can do: having sex a couple of days before ovulation, or keeping your legs up for a long time, or doing it in certain positions that are going to give you the sex of your choice.

I don't believe that it works. I think that nature has a way of determining which sperm is going to get up there and the most important thing though, the tenet that most doctors, hopefully all doctors should but most doctors go by, is a Latin phrase called primum non nocere which means first do no harm. So, is having sex in a certain position or keeping your legs up or doing any of these things harmful? Absolutely not. So go for it, but don't bank on it.

Again I'm Dr. Stuart James Fischbein. Thank you so much for watching. If you would like to learn more visit us online at About.com.

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