Hello everyone. I am posting this as the most common questions I get are "is there anything that will predict success BEFORE my cycle? or what are my chances?". Assuming that you are using one of the two proven methods for gender selection, MicroSort or PGD, here is the answer,,,,
part 1 There are two main components that determine the relative probability for a successful gender selection cycle, the age of the female partner and the results of valid ovarian reserve testing. The sperm count, whether or not the tubes are open and the presence of other fertility issues usually only influences which treatment options are viable.
Today we will discuss the age of the female partner. The first and most important factor in determining prognosis is the age of the female partner. As women get older, even if they are perfectly healthy, the percentage of genetically abnormal embryos increases. This results in embryos that are potentially metabolically strong that don’t implant. Obviously, unless someone has a time machine (which according to currently accepted laws of physics would require attaining a speed greater than the speed of light), we cannot do anything about one’s age.
The eggs begin the process of meiosis, going from 46 to 23 chromosomes, while the patient is still inside her mother before her first birthday! In the ensuing years, the eggs sit, partially divided, being struck by background cosmic radiation and exposed to whatever environmental toxins the patient ingests. The resulting damage to the spindle apparatus (responsible for the even division of the egg’s chromosomes) is cumulative.
You therefore have more eggs where there are too many or too few chromosomes with advancing age. Eggs with too many or too few chromosomes, with rare exceptions (i.e. Down Syndrome, Turner Syndrome, Klinefelter Syndrome, Edwards Syndrome, Patau Syndrome, Jacob Syndrome, XXX syndrome), do not implant or cannot result in a live-born human child.
In addition to this, there is a set process that causes the eggs to die off at a certain rate. Women have well over 2,000,000 eggs shortly before their birth but have only several hundred at the time of their menopause. Eggs continue to die regardless of whether a woman is on the pill, pregnant, breast feeding or otherwise not ovulating. In fact, most of woman’s initial supply of eggs is lost before the woman has her first period!
So the relentless process of reproductive aging causes a constant decrease in the reproductive potential of females from the time of the first menstrual period. I know that this is depressing but we must understand the truth to master it! So as women age, the number of available eggs and the percentage of these eggs that are chromosomally capable of creating a normal child both decrease. Like the proverbial apple barrel, the eggs left at the end tend to have a higher likelihood of being either genetically or metabolically abnormal.
In my next post, we will discuss the tests available to determine how many competent eggs you have remaining and how the results of these tests, along with your age, are the two most important indicators of success with fertility treatment for gender selection or any other reason for that matter!
------ Daniel A. Potter, MD is the Medical Director of the Huntington Reproductive Center and the MicroSort West gender selection facility. Dr. Potter also serves as the Laboratory Director of GeneSecurity.net and clinical assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California. Dr. Potter is the co-author of the popular fertility guide What to do when you can’t get pregnant (De Capo Press, 2005). Dr. Potter is a leading proponent of gender selection for family balancing and is a board certified reproductive endocrinology and infertility specialist in private practice in Laguna Hills, California