How Pregnancy Tests Work
You Just Watched:
Before taking a pregnancy test, it is a good idea to understand how pregnancy tests work. Most tests measure the hcg levels in your urine, and can give a false negative if you test too early, or a false positive if you've been taking fertility drugs.
Transcript: Whether you're desperate to make a baby or are petrified that you are pregnant, your first step will...
Whether you're desperate to make a baby or are petrified that you are pregnant, your first step will most likely involve taking a home pregnancy test. To get the most accurate result on a home pregnancy test, it helps to know how the test works, and when you should take it. Quite simply, a home pregnancy test detects the presence of a hormone in your urine called human chorionic gonadotropin, or HCG. HCG is a pregnancy hormone that a woman's body starts producing when a fertilized egg implants in her uterus. In most women, this implantation and subsequent hCG production, occurs up to six days after sperm and egg meet. Because of this, many women will get the MOST accurate result if they take the home pregnancy test a full week AFTER their missed period. Although many tests claim that they are "99 percent accurate" as soon as the FIRST day your period is due or earlier. That's because some technically pregnant women may not have experienced implantation by this day in their cycle. Plus, the amount of HCG that a woman makes may be so minute at first, that a home pregnancy test won't be sensitive enough to detect it. When you do take your home pregnancy test, you'll get the best results if you test first thing in the morning, when your urine is the most concentrated. Since tests work in various ways, make sure to read the instructions and pick the one you think will work best for you. Whatever the test results say, you should still take another pregnancy test in a few days to confirm. This is partly because of the extremely unlikely chance that your test will say you're pregnant when you're actually not. This false-positive result can occur if you had a miscarriage or abortion in the past eight weeks, or if you're taking certain fertility drugs. More common are false-negative results, where the test SAYS you're baby-free when you're actually pregnant. False-negatives are often the result of taking a pregnancy test too early, or not following the test directions. Additionally, you could get a false-negative if you drink a great deal of water pre-test, in turn diluting the amount of HCG in your urine. If you DO get a positive result, make an appointment with your doctor to confirm the pregnancy. Your physician will probably take a blood test to measure HCG in more minute amounts than the home pregnancy tests are able to. Your doctor may also confirm your pregnancy with a sonogram. If you are indeed pregnant, prenatal care should begin right away!More »
pregnancy test, pregnancy tests, hcg, missed period, early pregnancy test, home pregnancy test last period, last menstrual period, signs of pregnancy, morning sickness, false pregnancy test, positive pregnancy test, false positive, false negative obgyn, pregnancy, pregnant, womb, implantation, ovary, fertilization, sperm, egg, embryo first response, answer, clearblue, ept, pregsure
Calculating your due date is simple if you remember the date of your last period. Watch this video to find out how this date is important in the calculation.
Transcript: Congratulations-you're pregnant! But how will you know when to expect your bundle of joy? Once your pregnancy...
Congratulations-you're pregnant! But how will you know when to expect your bundle of joy? Once your pregnancy has been confirmed, what you most want to know is your due date. Luckily, calculating your baby's due date is pretty easy to do at home. The average length of a pregnancy is 40 weeks, or 280 days, from the FIRST day of the LAST menstrual period, or LMP. Calculating the due date, or expected date of delivery, for a pregnancy is quite simple, then, if you know that date. Simply add nine months and seven days to the date, and you've got your pregnancy due date.Here's an example of how it works: say the first day of the last normal menstrual period was February 1st. Add seven days to that number, and you get February 8th. Add nine months, and you get November. The expected due date of that pregnancy, then, is November 8.Many factors play into determining the exact day you may have conceived. If your cycle length is irregular, you may not be able to use the first day of your last menstrual period as a marker. And similarly, if you have no idea when your last period was, don't worry!In these types of circumstances, your doctor will likely use an early ultrasound to measure the fetus' size and thus determine its gestational age. You may be wondering why you use your period, and not the day you CONCEIVED the baby, as a starting point. This is because it's rarely possible to gauge the PRECISE day that you got pregnant. After all, your ovulation schedule may be unpredictable, and sperm can live inside you for a few days. Remember, though, that your baby's estimated due date is just that-an estimate. In fact, only 5% of babies make their debut on the EXACT day predicted for their birth! So don't worry if your baby is born before or after that big X on your calendar.More »
Last Modified: 2013-04-15 | Tags »
due date, due date calculator, calculate due date, gestational age, last menstrual period, nine months conception, embryo, implantation, fertilized egg, sperm, menstrual cycle, ovulation, ovulate, ovary obgyn, pregnancy test, pregnant, first trimester, gestation, womb, pregnancy information
In vitro fertilization, or IVF, is where eggs and sperm from a couple are collected and joined together outside the body. For more information watch this video.
Transcript: Only five percent of couples with infertility problems have in vitro fertilization-but many of them are...
Only five percent of couples with infertility problems have in vitro fertilization-but many of them are rewarded with a baby. In vitro fertilization, or IVF, involves collecting eggs and sperm from a couple and joining them together outside the body. The embryos are then injected into the woman's uterus. IVF is expensive and invasive, and is not a first resort for infertile couples. However, if other treatment methods have not resulted in pregnancy, and your doctor decides that IVF is right for you, here's what you can expect. Your doctor will start by injecting you daily with fertility hormones. This will bolster your egg production. You will then be tested, either by an ultrasound or blood-work, to determine if your eggs are ready for retrieval. The eggs must be retrieved just before they emerge from the follicles in the ovaries. If the eggs are not taken out at the right time, they will not develop properly. When it's time for your egg removal, you will be at least mildly sedated. Your doctor will then use an ultrasound to locate and remove the eggs with a hollow needle. Immediately following the retrieval, your eggs will be mixed in a laboratory with your partner's sperm, which he will have donated shortly before. You will then go home to wait a few days for the fertilized eggs, or embryos, to reach a more advanced developmental stage. When the embryos are ready, you will return to your doctor to be injected with one or more of them. Luckily, injecting the fertilized embryos is less complex than harvesting your eggs. Your doctor will simply insert a catheter into your vagina and inject the fertilized eggs up into your uterus. Several hours later, you will be discharged to wait and see if the pregnancy has taken. To increase the chances of pregnancy, your doctor may recommend injecting up to four embryos at once. This can, however, result in multiple pregnancies, which may increase the health risks to both you and your babies. While age is a major factor in the success of IVF, about 35 percent of women under 40 who have the procedure will deliver a baby.More »
Last Modified: 2012-09-29 | Tags »
test tube baby, ivf, vitro fertilization, in vitro fertilization, ivf process, ivf procedure, ivf success rates, cost of invitro fertilization, natural cycle ivf fertility procedure, sperm sample, infertility solution, treating infertility, egg extraction, getting pregnant, abnormal uterine growth, low sperm count, conceiving a baby conception, ovulation, eggs, period, menstrual cycle, uterus, getting pregnant, pregnancy, sperm, egg, ovaries
As a woman ages, her chance of getting pregnant decreases. Watch this video to learn more about the correllation between age and fertility.
Transcript: Having a healthy pregnancy, and a healthy baby, becomes increasingly difficult with age. Why? A woman...
Having a healthy pregnancy, and a healthy baby, becomes increasingly difficult with age. Why? A woman is born with all of the eggs shell ever have. After puberty, she begins to ovulate and releases one of these eggs every month. As she ages, therefore, her supply of eggs dwindles. This reduces her chances of being able to conceive. As a result, the likelihood of a woman getting pregnant in any particular month, under optimal circumstances, is about 25 percent for a woman in her 20s, 15 percent for women in their early 30s, 10 percent in the mid-30s and just five percent for women over 40. Another difficulty with pregnancy later in life is that the number of genetically normal eggs that a woman has decreases with time. This leads to a higher rate of miscarriage and a greater chance for genetic abnormalities in babies of older women. In fact, the odds of a woman in her 20s having a child with Down syndrome are about one in 1,200. In contrast, among children born to women over 40, one child in 38 has a genetic abnormality. While this can be difficult for women trying to conceive after the age of 30, other fertility options, like using donor eggs, are quite successful in later life.More »
age fertility, older women fertility, age and fertility in women, age and fertility rates, fertility age women, 40 year old fertility, 50 year old fertility, 30 year old fertility trying to conceive, infertility advice, infertility treatment, fertile, in vitro fertilization, surrogacy conception, ovulation, eggs, period, menstrual cycle, uterus, getting pregnant, pregnancy
Considering artificial insemination? Watch this video to learn more about how this procedure works.
Transcript: Many couples have difficulty conceiving, and artificial insemination is a commonly used method to help...
Many couples have difficulty conceiving, and artificial insemination is a commonly used method to help them to get pregnant. Artificial insemination, or intrauterine insemination as it is known today, involves inserting your partner's sperm directly into your uterus. This procedure may be used when a man has a low sperm count, or sperm that are weak swimmers. IUI may also be an option for a woman who has an abnormal uterine growth or endometriosis. Here's how IUI works: Your doctor uses a blood test to ensure that you're ovulating. Once it's confirmed that you're releasing an egg, your partner produces a fresh sample of sperm. The sperm are then "washed," a procedure that enhances the likelihood of fertilization by collecting the most active sperm. At this point, the sperm are placed in a catheter and inserted through the vagina into the uterus. This helps the sperm to bypass any possible obstructions, and makes it easier for them to reach your egg. This procedure won't take more than thirty minutes, and may feel similar to a Pap smear. After IUI is complete, you will be sent home to wait and see if you're pregnant. While artificial insemination is not successful for all couples, for some, it can be an effective way to conceive a baby.More »
Last Modified: 2012-10-12 | Tags »
artificial insemination, artificial insemination procedure, iui, sperm bank, artificial insemination costs, artificial insemination success rate infertility solution, getting pregnant, abnormal uterine growth, low sperm count, conceiving a baby conception, ovulation, eggs, period, menstrual cycle, uterus, getting pregnant, pregnancy, sperm, egg
Many women wonder what's safe to drink during pregnancy. Check out this video to learn about drinking dos and don’ts during pregnancy.
Transcript: You know that alcohol is a no-go while you're expecting, but what about your morning java jolt? With...
You know that alcohol is a no-go while you're expecting, but what about your morning java jolt? With a few exceptions, most pre-pregnancy drinks are also just fine during pregnancy. So have your fill of milk, water, juice, and decaffeinated sodas, coffees and teas. While some women worry that tap water isn't safe for a baby, this commodity is regulated by the government, ensuring chemicals are present in very trace amounts, if at all. Other moms-to-be are concerned about drinking milk from cows that have been given hormones. But the FDA asserts that these BVF hormones do not harm humans, particularly in the very teeny amounts found in milk. When it comes to drinking soda, some women worry about the artificial sweeteners found in diet brands. But aspartame, the sweetener used in diet drinks, is certifiably safe for fetuses. Most herbal teas are also fine, as long as you avoid those that contain ingredients with pharmacological uses, like kava and St. John's wort. Aside from alcohol, which is definitely not OK, caffeine is the most hotly debated drink during pregnancy. Until very recently, about 300 milligrams a day of caffeine were seen as being safe for baby-that's the equivalent of about three cups of coffee or five cans of soda. But a recent study found that pregnant women who had just 200 milligrams of caffeine were twice as likely to miscarry as women who didn't consume caffeine. While this knowledge advises caution, most doctors still believe that controlled amounts of caffeine are probably safe with baby on board.More »
Last Modified: 2013-06-13 | Tags »
drinking coffee pregnancy, drinking tea pregnancy, alcohol pregnancy, caffeine pregnancy, pregnancy drinking, pregnant drinking, pregnancy drinks pregnancy diet, pregnant diet, pregnancy nutrition, pregnancy food, pregnancy foods, pregnancy dos and donts, pregnancy dangers, pregnancy precautions pregnancy guide, pregnant, pregnancy advice, pregnancy safety, obstetrician, trimester, alcohol, drinks
Are you ready to begin a family? Keep in mind that preparing to conceive a baby may not be as easy as you think. Watch this video for more information.
Transcript: Congratulations! The decision to have a child is an exciting one. Surprisingly, prepping for the healthiest...
Congratulations! The decision to have a child is an exciting one. Surprisingly, prepping for the healthiest baby starts not in the bedroom, but with some lifestyle changes. It is vital to start by meeting with your ob-gyn for a preconception appointment. This checkup allows your doctor to uncover any health problems you may have that could affect a pregnancy, or your baby's development. At this appointment, your doctor will be looking for anemia, diabetes, kidney disease, genital infection, high blood pressure and immunity to rubella. Your doctor will also advise you of your optimal weight right now, and will discuss the amount you should gain during a pregnancy. If you are underweight, you are more likely to give birth to a low-weight baby, which can cause difficulties after delivery. If you are overweight, you are more likely to have complications, and you will have a higher chance of having a baby too big to pass safely through the birth canal, a condition known as macrosomia. Proper diet and nutrition are essential to your preconception health. You should never diet while trying to conceive, and always avoid eating undercooked meat and raw eggs. So, watch that ceaser salad dressing! Doctors also recommend taking prenatal vitamins prior to conception. This prepares your body for pregnancy and helps to fill in any dietary gaps you may have. Folic acid is arguably the most important prenatal vitamin for women. Folic acid can lower the risk that your baby-to-be will develop neural birth defects. And don't forget to exercise! Engaging in a cardiovascular activity that gets your heart pounding, like running or biking, will keep you fit and healthy, increase blood flow to the uterus, and will help prepare your body for conception. It is also recommended that you cease certain unhealthy habits before you conceive. Smoking, drinking, and recreational drug use are among these no-nos. It is also advisable to limit your caffeine consumption. Finally, be sure to ask your doctor about any prescription medications you take that could be harmful to your baby once you conceive, or which could make it difficult to conceive in the first place. Taking positive steps to ensure a healthy pregnancy (before it even begins) will help ensure a smooth ride for both you AND your baby-to-be. Remember to talk to your doctor before attempting to conceive!More »
conception health, how to conceive, prenatal nutrition, prenatal vitamins, preconception diet, preconception vitamins, how to get fertile, preconception trying to conceive, ovulation, get pregnant fast, tips on getting pregnant sperm, egg, pregnancy health, pregnancy tips, pregnancy advice, vitamins, nutrition
Think getting pregnant is just a matter of having sex? Well, it's a lot more complicated than that. Check out this video to learn more about boosting fertility.
Transcript: Before you try to get pregnant, it will help to be familiar with your personal menstrual cycle. Believe...
Before you try to get pregnant, it will help to be familiar with your personal menstrual cycle. Believe it or not, you can ONLY conceive during your small fertile window, which occurs during each cycle, on the five days before, and the actual day of, ovulation. During ovulation, the ovary sends a mature egg through the fallopian tube and into the uterus, where it can be fertilized by your partners sperm. Egg release typically occurs in the middle of your cycle. You can determine your cycle length by noting the number of days from the first day of one period to the first day of the next. Keeping a menstrual calendar will allow you to know at a glance when your fertile window opens. In addition to watching your period, it can help to watch what you eat! A nourishing diet complemented with a multi-vitamin supplement increases your chances of conceiving by correcting any hormone imbalances you may have. Diet is important for other reasons, as well. Extra weight can cause the release of excess female hormones, resulting in a disrupted menstrual cycle and infrequent ovulation. For this reason, it can help to supplement your diet with a smart exercise regimen. Aim for thirty minutes a day, five times a week. Keep in mind, however, that weighing too little can lessen hormone production, with the same fertility-interfering result. So talk to your doctor regarding an ideal weight for you. Watching what you drink is almost as important as watching what you eat. Women who drink more than 300 milligrams (about three cups) of caffeine daily tend to have a harder time conceiving than those who dont. Youll also want to keep alcohol-intake to a minimum. More than two alcoholic drinks a day can impair fertility, because alcohol alters the levels of estrogen in your body, in turn, interfering with egg implantation in the uterus. Now is also a great time to cut out cigarettes. Toxins from the smoke can damage your eggs, alter the release of hormones, and decrease the ability of the embryo to implant. But there ARE fun parts about preparing to conceive. Get ready to relaxguilt free! Studies have shown that women experiencing psychological stress are less likely to conceive, because these feelings can alter your bodys hormone production. While youre relaxing, why not try some yoga? Its thought that certain yoga positions can increase your fertility by specifically targeting the reproductive organs and increasing the flow of blood to your pelvis, while other poses can stimulate your ovaries. Finally, make love! Of course, youre doing this already when youre trying to make a baby. But women who engage in regular intercourse have steadier ovulation patterns and increased estrogen production. Missionary is the best position to use if youre trying to conceive. Your partners penetration will be deeper and gravity will work in your favor, enhancing sperm movement towards the egg. Fertility experts also agree that lying down and elevating your hips for a few minutes after intercourse increases the chances of sperm reaching your egg. While many women have trouble conceiving, these tips can help. But remember to discuss any diet or exercise changes with your doctor before proceeding!More »
increase fertility, sex positions for pregnancy, natural ways to increase fertility, fertility boosters, how to conceive fertility, infertility, conception, become pregnant, birth, conceive sex, menstrual cycle, fertile window, period, menstrual calendar, ovulation, diet, yoga, missionary position, sex positions, exercise, make baby
Becoming preganant is not so easy for some women. Learn more about female infertility by watching this video.
Transcript: Infertility is medically defined as the inability to become pregnant after one full year of trying. When...
Infertility is medically defined as the inability to become pregnant after one full year of trying. When a female is infertile, it is usually because there is something wrong with her reproduction system. Let's take a closer look at the female reproductive system, which begins with the vagina, a muscular organ that connects to the cervix, the opening of the uterus, or womb. The uterus, or can expand to accommodate a growing fetus. The ovaries produce, store, and release eggs into two fallopian tubes in the upper corners of the uterus during ovulation. The egg can then fertilized by a man's sperm. Based on this complex reproductive system, the causes of female infertility can be separated into distinct categories: ovulatory, cervical, uterine, and pelvic, which refers to problems in the fallopian tubes. Ovulation difficulties can occur if a woman releases excessive male hormones, called androgens, or if she makes too much prolactin, the hormone that encourages breast milk production. Severe physical or psychological stress can also disrupt ovulation, or even stop it completely, making conception difficult. A damaged cervix is another difficulty that makes it hard for sperm to enter. Sexually transmitted diseases like chlamydia and gonorrhea can both infect the cervix and cause infertility. Cervical mucous, which is produced before ovulation to assist with sperm movement, can also be a source of infertility. If a woman makes too little mucous, or if her mucous reacts negatively with her partner's sperm, it will be unable to reach her egg. The pelvic, or tubule, area is another region that can suffer from abnormalities that lead to infertility. Normal scar tissue, distorted fallopian tubes and benign tumors are examples of disruptions to this area. Another common pelvic condition is endometriosis, whereby the tissue lining in the uterus grows outside of it. This can lead to a build-up of tissue that blocks the fallopian tubes or ovaries, making pregnancy difficult. The primary cause of pelvic infertility, however, is pelvic inflammatory disease, or PID. Like cervical damage, PID follows from sexually transmitted diseases such as gonorrhea and chlamydia. Conditions relating to the uterine lining make up the final grouping of fertility problems. Uterine polyps and uterine fibroids are typically benign, fleshy growths that grow on the inside, or around the opening of, the uterus. They can cause distortion in the lining of the uterus, in turn interfering with egg implantation. Although female infertility is often due to a problem like these, age plays a role, too, because a woman's finite supply of eggs begins to decline after the age of 30. The female reproductive system is incredibly intricate, and doesn't always work the way it should. If you are having difficulty conceiving, talk to your doctor about possible causes and treatment options.More »
uterine polyps, uterine fibroids, pid, pelvic inflammatory disease, endometriosis, female infertility, causes of female infertility infertility, fertility treatments, conception, ovulation, ovaries, cervix, uterus, period, menstrual cycle egg, sperm, intercourse, sex, pregnancy, getting pregnant, ivf, in vitro
Getting pregnant can be difficult for some couples. Luckily, there are steps you can take to solve this problem. Check out this video to learn more about infertility solutions.
Transcript: Infertility is defined as the inability to conceive after one year of actively trying. Fortunately for...
Infertility is defined as the inability to conceive after one year of actively trying. Fortunately for the 20 percent of couples that DO have trouble, a number of assisted reproduction techniques can aid in getting pregnant. Intrauterine insemination is a process used in couples where the man experiences impotence or premature ejaculation, or the woman has problems with her cervical mucous. During intrauterine insemination, a thin catheter allows sperm to be inserted into the cervix through the vagina. The process, which takes place during ovulation, is fairly painless and is over in minutes. If a woman is considered a good candidate for intrauterine insemination, she will often take fertility medication that helps induce ovulation, hopefully increasing her future pregnancy rates. Another option, in-vitro fertilization, or IVF, is a technique in which a woman's eggs are removed and fertilized with her partner's sperm in a laboratory. The fertilized eggs are then implanted in her womb. IVF is a good option for couples where the woman suffers from a condition called endometriosis, which can result in blocked fallopian tubes. It is also considered when the man has a low sperm count. Like in an intrauterine insemination, the woman will be given fertility drugs to stimulate ovulation and egg development. However, some women may have more luck using a donor's eggs, or may need to try IVF more than once. In some cases, a woman will not be able to get pregnant even with these fertilization techniques. At this point, some couples will consider surrogacy. Gestational surrogacy is a procedure where the commissioning parents produce an egg and sperm which are combined in a lab and then transplanted into a surrogate mother who will grow and birth the baby. In this procedure, the surrogate does not contribute genetically to the baby-to-be. Traditional surrogacy is a more common procedure, where a surrogate mother agrees in advance to give her genetic child to the couple who want a baby. In this case, the surrogate usually gets pregnant via artificial insemination, sometimes with the commissioning man's sperm. Infertility can be devastating for couples who wish to have a child, but modern science offers a host of options that can help. If you believe you may be infertile, talk to your doctor about the procedure that is right for you.More »
invitro fertilization, surrogacy, artificial insemination, intrauterine insemination, clomid, fertility shot, ivf, fertility drugs, gestational surrogacy, traditional surrogacy, infertility treatments impotence, premature ejaculation, conception, fertile, fertility, infertile, infertility sex, estrogen, getting pregnant, progesterone, cervix, vagina, egg, sperm, fertilization, intercourse
If you and your partner are under a considerable amount of stress, it may be more difficult to conceive. You may just need to relax to get pregnant. Watch this video to learn more.
Transcript: Under pressure? Couples with extremely high stress levels may have more difficulty conceiving than their...
Under pressure? Couples with extremely high stress levels may have more difficulty conceiving than their calmer counterparts. In women, stress causes extra uterine contractions which can delay ovulation and even prevent a fertilized egg from implanting in the uterus. Men may experience reduction in both sperm count and sperm mobility.While no alternative therapies have been proven to increase fertility, there are certainly many that reduce stressand that can help lead to conception. Finally, an excuse to get a couples massage. Yoga is another excellent way to de-stress and get your doctor-recommended exercise at the same time. Look for a fitness center offering classes in prenatal yoga. Preparing for pregnancy with diet and stress relieving exercises can help ensure that it occurs.More »
Last Modified: 2012-10-12 | Tags »
boost fertility, improve fertility, how to get pregnant, natural remedies for infertility stress relief, infertility, fertile, conception, conceiving a baby, getting pregnant sperm, egg, fertile window, ovulation, yoga, meditation, relaxation, pregnancy, obgyn, obstetrician, sex
Want to boost fertility naturally? Cut down on your alcohol consumption since it reduces fertility in both men and women. Get more tips in this video.
Transcript: There is no one magic food that will lure sperm to egg. Practicing all around good nutrition however,...
There is no one magic food that will lure sperm to egg. Practicing all around good nutrition however, can help. The more natural your diet the better of you'll be. Think bright reds, yellows and greens for fertility-boosting foods. While trying to conceive, be sure to consume lots of calcium, a mineral vital for mom and her baby-to-be. To fill dietary gaps both mom and dad need to take a daily multivitamin. Never take more than the recommended dose.There are also some foods and drinks you should avoid. Alcohol decreases fertility in women and studies have shown that it increases the amount of abnormal sperm produced by men. Also, cut back on the caffeine. More than 300 milligrams, or three cups of coffee, daily can decrease fertility and even trigger a miscarriage.More »
Last Modified: 2012-10-18 | Tags »
boost fertility, improve fertility, how to get pregnant, natural remedies for infertility, vitamins for infertility, alcohol conception infertility, fertile, conception, conceiving a baby, getting pregnant sperm, egg, pregnancy, obgyn, obstetrician, sex
Some medical procedures claim they can help you pick the sex of your baby. Find out how effective they are -- watch this video on how science may help in selecting your baby's gender.
Transcript: Are you already the proud parents of a son, but desperate for a daughter-or vice versa? Thanks to modern...
Are you already the proud parents of a son, but desperate for a daughter-or vice versa? Thanks to modern fertility treatments, choosing the sex of your child has become entirely possible, although controversial. Some doctors, ethicists, and religious leaders feel that gender selection is wrong and could have undesirable consequences. Others feel that it is a matter of choice for informed adults. For those who are interested, there are currently three main options for parents-to-be: pre-implantation genetic diagnosis, Microsort, and Ericsson. Preimplantation genetic diagnosis, or PGD, is the most effective of the gender selection procedures, with success rates bordering on 100 percent. However most fertility clinics limit the use of PGD to prevent gender-related diseases rather than simple sex selection. When PGD was introduced in the late 1980s, it was used to help at-risk couples reduce the risk of passing on serious genetic abnormalities. Doctors then test these fertilized eggs, or embryos, for genetic abnormalities and gender. After the test, several embryos of the desired gender are inserted into the woman. PGD is still used for this reason, but couples who are willing to pay upwards of $15,000 may now be able to use the procedure solely to test for sex. Due to the expense of in vitro fertilization, and the reluctance of most clinics to use it for sex selection, alternatives have become available. A. Some parents turn to a technique called Microsort, B. which is about 90 percent effective for girl babies C. and 74 percent successful for boys. Microsort is not FDA approved and there are only a few clinics throughout the United States that offer the procedure. During this procedure, sperm are colored with dye and examined under a microscope. The theory is that girl-producing X sperm are larger and will absorb more dye than the boy-producing Y ones. After the sperm are sorted by sex, the preferred gender is inserted into the woman's uterus directly. Occasionally, couples who use Microsort may choose to fertilize eggs outside of the uterus and then insert them as embryos. This procedure is about $3,000 per treatment, a number which balloons an extra $12,000 if fertilization occurs outside the womb. Additionally, Microsort only accepts married couples who ALREADY HAVE at least one child of the opposite gender to the one desired. An easier method of gender selection attempts to separate faster swimming boy sperm from slower girl ones. Called the Ericsson Method, its creator attests that success rates are as high as 80 percent. Other scientists say that the method is no more than 50 percent effective. To do this, sperm are applied to a gluey layer in a test tube and observed as they swim downwards. After the fastest boy sperm are sorted out, the preferred gender are injected into the woman. The $600 procedure may be worth it for some couples, despite the poor success rate. A. Still, you should remember that your odds of having your desired sex B. are 50 percent no matter what you do! If you DO decide to look into gender selection, discuss the pros and cons with your doctor first.More »
Last Modified: 2013-05-15 | Tags »
choose gender, gender selction, baby boy, baby girl, how to have a boy, how to have a girl, conceiving a boy, conceiving a girl, boy conception, girl conception, how to conceive a boy, how to conceive a girl, ivf gender in vitro, sperm, xx, xy, y chromosome, x chromosome, newborn, baby boy, baby girl, sex, fertilization obgyn, pregnancy, childbirth, pregnancy test, fetus, womb