Friday, March 11, 2005Many infertile American women would choose the sex of their next child if given the option.
A survey of 561 women being treated for infertility has found that 41% would use sex selection if it were offered at no cost.
Contradicting fears that such sex selection would cause gender imbalance, the survey found that women with no children would choose baby girls and boys in approximately equal numbers.
Furthermore, women with only daughters wanted to select a male child while women with only sons wanted to select a female child.
“Sex selection is a topic that’s almost taboo for physicians to talk about,” says study lead author Tarun Jain of the University of Illinois at Chicago. “Prior to this study, there has been no data to indicate what the demand might be.”
Of 561 survey respondents, 229 would want to select the sex of their future child.
Among these, 45% had no children and 48% had children of all the same sex.
Half would choose to select the sex of their next child even if they had to bear the cost.
About 55% would choose sperm separation, 41% would choose preimplantation genetic diagnosis and 4% would choose neither.
Sex selection is controversial. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists opposes it for nonmedical reasons and so does the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics.
The American Society of Reproductive Medicine supports it for nonmedical reasons for family gender balancing provided methods used are safe and effective.
“As the techniques gain more popularity, physicians will have to decide if they will offer the procedure to patients with and without children,” says Jain.
The research is reported in the journal Fertility and Sterility.