MicroSort® for Sex Selection

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MicroSort® is a form of preconception sex selection. While it does not guarantee the gender of your child, it does improve your chances of having a girl, or boy. This trademark represents a branch of the Genetics and IVF Institute, a comprehensive fertility center in Virginia.

In general, any semen sample should be about 50 percent girl sperm and 50 percent boy sperm.

The intent of the MicroSort® process is to increase that percentage.

The Purity of a MicroSort® Sorted Sample

The sorted MicroSort® sample is not 100 percent pure girl or boy sperm. Currently, the sex selection for boys yields about a 73 percent pure sample, with 76 of the Ysort babies being boys. The sex selection for girls provides an 88 percent pure sample, with 91 of the MicroSort® Xsort babies being girls.

The MicroSort® Sorting Process

After the sperm donor gives a semen sample, it's run through a flow cytometer to separate the female and male sperm. This is possible because the female sperm (X) have about three more DNA material than the male sperm (Y).

Then a process for DNA analysis known as fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) measures its purity using an unused portion of the sample. By attaching DNA probes to either the X or Y bearing sperm, you can count the tagged DNA because it will emit a certain color when viewed under a microscope.

Intrauterine Insemination and MicroSort®

Once the technician sorts the sperm sample by gender, it's time to put it inside the woman's body. This procedure is known as intrauterine insemination (IUI), also done as an infertility procedure for some women.

The sperm donor gives the semen sample when the woman is about to ovulate so that IUI can happen quickly after the sorting of the sperm.

In Vitro Fertilization and MicroSort®

In vitro fertilization (IVF) is another way to place the sorted semen into the woman's body. One of the benefits of doing IVF, even if you have normal fertility, is that you may be able to use a local collaborator and not have to travel to an out of state facility, as you might currently have to do to use a fresh cycle of IUI.

Other Procedures Work, Too

You can also use MicroSort® in combination with other procedures like intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) and even preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD). These procedures are more costly but increase the likelihood that the desired sex selection is accurate.

Requirements for Family-Balancing

The MicroSort® website refers to gender selection as "family balancing" and potential clients must meet their requirements before qualifying for this procedure. You must:

  • Already have at least one child
  • Sort for the underrepresented gender
  • Test negative for HIV, Hepatitis B surface antigen, and Hepatitis C antibody

Requirements for X-Linked Disorders

Some women, or couples, want to use MicroSort® to reduce the risk of disorders linked to the X chromosome. The requirements to be a candidate for gender selection in this case are:

  • Be a known carrier of an X-linked disorder
  • Test negative for HIV, Hepatitis B surface antigen, and Hepatitis C antibody

Source: MicroSort®: Process; Requirements and Recommendations