We welcome couples who already have at least one child of a particular sex and are interested in having another child of the opposite sex. At The IVF Center’s clinic, we have a state-of-the-art, on-site reproductive laboratory which utilizes a combination of In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) and Pre-Implantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) technologies that allow for the determination of the pre-embryo(s) gender. We call the program, Family Balancing.
We use a combination of IVF and PGD in a precise way to determine if an embryo is male or female with nearly 100 percent accuracy (the technique carries a less than 1 percent technical error rate). Giving you the opportunity to have the family you always imagined.
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 you are under anesthesia during an 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). 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.
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. This strategy would prevent having to start the IVF and PGD processes all 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 your family, especially since declining fertility potential is to be expected over the years. you 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/PGD technology.
The physicians and staff of The IVF Center are pleased to offer family balancing opportunities to couples. At the same time, we take great care to preserve and respect the integrity of creating pre-embryos in the IVF lab and the use of medical technology for non-medical purposes. To that end we have abided to the recommendations of the governing body of assisted reproduction in the United States, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), that states “the most prudent approach at present for the non-medical use of these techniques (IVF/PGD for family balancing) would be to use them only for gender variety in a family, i.e., only to have a child of the gender opposite of an existing child or children.” (Fertility and Sterility Journal, Vol. 75, No. 5, May 2001. Ethics Committee Report).
Couples seeking family balancing will be scheduled for a consultation at one of our locations 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.
We are Central Florida’s most successful IVF Program.