About Family Balancing
Couples with at least one child of a particular sex who are interested in having another child of the opposite sex are welcome to our practice for family balancing. Our state-of-the-art, on-site reproductive laboratory utilizes a combination of in vitro fertilization (IVF) and pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) technologies, allowing for the determination of the pre-embryo(s) gender.
The combination of IVF and PGD is the most precise way to determine if an embryo is male or female with nearly 100 percent accuracy.
Couples seeking family balancing will be scheduled for a consultation to discuss the process in detail. The discussion involves the benefits, risks and limitations of the procedure.
In addition, a medical and diagnostic evaluation of the couple is necessary to determine if there are any concerns to address before proceeding. A financial specialist is available to discuss all the issues involving insurance coverage and any other expenses.
Family Balancing Starts with IVF
After the initial consultation, the family balancing procedure begins with the IVF portion of the process. IVF involves the use of hormone injections to regulate and control the growth of multiple eggs from the ovaries in a synchronized fashion.
When the eggs reach maturity they are aspirated and retrieved under ultrasound guidance while the patient is under anesthesia during an in-office procedure. Each egg is then fertilized with sperm in the laboratory. The fertilized eggs begin dividing as they grow into the pre-embryonic stage. Three days into the cell division process, a pre-embryo usually contains 6-8 well defined cells (called blastomeres).
Pre-Implantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD)
The PGD portion of the process starts here by microscopically removing one of the blastomeres from all of the pre-embryos and submitting them for genetic testing. In approximately 48 hours the results of the biopsy will identify the gender of each of the biopsied pre-embryos as male (XY) or female (XX).
PGD can also inform the parents about genetic information beyond gender, such as screening for chromosomal abnormalties such as Down’s syndrome, if desired. Next, one or two of the pre-embryos of the desired sex are selected to be transferred into the uterus through a simple office procedure without anesthesia.
Preserving Extra Embryos
In some occasions, a couple will produce extra pre-embryos beyond the ones that were transferred back to the uterus. You will have the option to freeze and store these spare embryos in our facility in order to have the ability of trying to conceive again if the first attempt is not successful.
Preserving embryos prevents you from ever having to start the IVF and PGD processes over again. Even if these spare embryos happened to not be of the desired sex this time around, they may still be frozen and used in the future to further expand a family, especially since declining fertility potential is to be expected over the years. Patients will also have the option of donating embryos to other couples or for research. The above mentioned strategies avoid unnecessarily discarding pre-embryos and promote the best use of family balancing through IVF and PGD technology.
Why The IVF CenterSM Is Unique
At The IVF CenterSM we recognize the process of IVF can at times be overwhelming.
To address this issue, we have an IVF Nurse available 24/7 to answer questions, guide you through the process, and provide emotional support. We also offer a Reproductive Health Psychologist to help couples develop their best coping strategies along their journey.
Success of the IVF Program at The IVF CenterSM is due to our scientific and technological excellence coupled with our compassionate and highly personalized approach to patient care.
The IVF CenterSM is committed to each couple’s success by providing individualized and supportive care along the way. We consider each couple part of our family as we attempt to help them create their own.