Ethics of Pre-Natal Gender Determination Sex Selection India
Pre-natal gender determination sex selection is an attempt to control the sex of an offspring with a view to achieve the desired sex. This practice is banned in India since 1994, under Pre-conception and Prenatal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act. The aboveAct aims at prevention of sex-selective abortion, which, according to the Indian Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, has its roots in India’s long history of strong patriarchal influence in all spheres of life. Pre-natal Gender Determination Sex Selectionis done to diagnose any birth defects or medical abnormalities in the fetus and employ appropriate treatment. Below is some insight on the topic and gender determination methods that are ethical and medically proven.
Pre natal Gender Determination Sex Selection can be accomplished by several ways of pre- and post-implantation of an embryo, as well as at birth. Gender determination is popularized under the title family balancing.Two medical advances evolved the demand for sex selection: 1) improvement in genetic diseases’understanding 2) better ability to genetically assess embryos before transfer into the uterus (Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis or PGD).
Reasons for Gender Selection
Gender selection is today also used to prevent a genetic disease, which is known as medical gender selection. In some cases, the male offspring inherits a sex-linked disease like muscular dystrophy, hemophilia, and may also cause Fragile X syndrome, autism in males, etc. Need for gender selection can also be psychological, like a single female may want a daughter than a son, parents who lost a child may have a strong desire to conceive a child of the same gender.
Gender Selection Clinics in India
The gender selection clinics in India provide assistance to couples with known genetic disorders in the family, and those who lost a child and have a strong desire to conceive a child of the same gender. Our network of clinics in India offer pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) with In-vitro fertilization (IVF) have higher success rate. The pgd gender selection cost in India is very affordable and the clinics offer world class facilities to the patients from around the globe
Gender Selection/Prediction Methods
You need to do some good investigation in finding an expert advice for gender selection methods. Although the internet is full of different methods trying to seek your attention for gender determination, there are only two techniques that reliably serve the purpose, one being Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) with In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF) , and the other is sperm sorting technique called Microsort.
1) Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) with IVF
In-vitro fertilizationis a treatment that uses pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD). Here embryos can be produced through vitro fertilization, tested for sex chromosomes, genetic variants and disorders. In this procedure, a cell from the embryo is taken from a group of eight cells. DNA is then removed and if the embryo has the desired gender, it will be implanted in the mother’s womb. PGD method in nearly 100% effective, specifically in case of sex chromosomes. An advantage of PGD is that it decreases the chances of passing genetic diseases to their unborn child. In case the diseases are sex related i.e. carried on by X or Y chromosome, PGD can prevent them from passing further.
Let’s now understand the PGD procedure. Embryos are created from the couple's eggs and sperm. On the third day post fertilization when embryos reach 6 to 8cells, one cell is removed from the embryo and analyzed for chromosomal makeup. This analysis allows determination of embryo’s gender. Embryos of only the desired gender are transferred to the uterus.
PGD is the only method that virtually guarantees the gender of your choice because embryos are tested before they are implanted in the womb. The eggs are harvested from the mother/ donor and a sperm sample is taken from the father/ donor and the embryos are created in the lab for later implantation. These embryos undergo biopsy procedure on the third day of growth allowing a single cell to be analyzed for male or female chromosomes. PGD is the most accurate, involved and most costlytechnique. It is widely preferred by couples with a family history of a genetic disorder and older mothers,as they are more likely to have a baby with genetic birth defects.
However, PGD is not 100% reliable for all defects and parents should use other prenatal genetic tests, such as Amniocentesis or Chorionic Villus Sampling. PGD is not allowed if couples simply want to influence the gender of their child. Screening processes are stringent and in majority of cases, a couple is accepted only if they have a genetic abnormality they want to avoid.
What are the additional PGD methods?
Fluorescent In-Situ Hybridization (FISH) :Fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) is the most popular PGD technique used today, to count the number of certain chromosomes and observe heir arrangement. Through FISH method, scientists can determine whether an embryo has two X chromosomes (a girl) or an X and Y chromosome (a boy).
Each chromosome has a DNA pattern near its center. When fluorescent probes are placed on a cell, it can then be read. For instance, if the probe for the X chromosome is of color red then the technician sees two red signals, which means that two X chromosomes are present and the embryois a female. The Y chromosome lights up with another color. The accuracy of FISH is nearly 90%, but higher when looking solely at the sex chromosomes for gender.
This technique also has several drawbacks viz., it cannot examine all twenty-three chromosome pairs, is not very useful as an embryo-screening device,it cannot look for singlegene problems such as cystic fibrosis.
Polymerase chain reaction (PCR):It is used when a suspected hereditary problem is in the gene rather than at chromosomal level. A copy is made of the target chromosome.The Y chromosome is targeted for gender selection. If the primer finds target region, PCR then magnifies the region. If this amplified DNA is detected, the target region (and the target chromosome) is present. If the magnified DNA is not detected, the target chromosome is not present. PCR is used primarily to detect mutations that cause single-gene disorders like cystic fibrosis.
Single nucleotide polymorphismanalys (SNP) technique :It allows rapid examination of all 23 pairs of chromosomes and single-gene disorders with a high accuracy. It amplifies numerous small sequences on each chromosome with PCR and analyzes them to determine the presence of each and the number of copies. It is also used to identify mutations that may cause single-gene disorders.
Comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) :CGH was originally used to detect abnormalities in cancer cells, but is now also used to analyze embryonic cells. It can determine the number of copies of the 23 chromosomes. It takes around one week to complete, thus the embryos need to be frozen while the analysis is performed. Since frozen embryos have lower success rates than fresh embryos, CGH’s usefulness for PGD and sex selection is low.
2) Genetic testing
Genetic testing is done in the early stages of pregnancy. This method is used to find out if there are any problems with the baby or to establish the paternity. Finding out the sex is an added benefit.
3) Ericsson Method
Developed by Dr Ronald Ericsson in the 1970’s in Berlin, Ericsson method involves sorting of a sperm sample from the male which is then suspended in a solution. It is then put into a centrifuge and spun to separate the male from the female sperm in layers. Male sperm are slightly lighter than the female ones. The sperm that carries the preferred chromosome (X for female and Y for male) is then inserted into the women’s womb. Sperm sorting is regulated heavily and is not typically allowed except for in cases where a certain gender may carry genetic diseases.
4) Microsoft method
Microsoft method sorts sperm by the X or Y chromosomes. This process is performed with a dye absorbed by the sperm. It temporarily attaches to the genetic material and a machine picks up the differences from the brightness, separating the sperm into Xs and Ys, as they move through it. The sperm with the gender chromosome will be used to fertilize eggs and then implanted in the uterus using the IVF method.
5) The Shettles Method
The sperm that fertilizes the egg determines the sex of the baby. The X and Y chromosome carrying sperm have different characteristics and under different circumstances either X- or Y-chromosome-carrying sperm will be more likely to fertilize the egg.According to Shettles, time of intercourse, sexual position can influence the reproductive environment to increase the likelihood of conceiving your preferred sex.
The Y-chromosome-carrying sperms:
arefaster and smaller than the X-chromosome carrying sperm.
diefaster than the X-chromosome-carrying sperm.
The X-chromosome-carrying sperms:
areslower than the Y-chromosome carrying sperm.
arebetter able to withstand the acidic cervical environment before fertile cervical fluid is produced.
For A Boy (According to Shettles):
Time intercourse closest to ovulation. Y-chromosome sperm are faster than the X-chromosome sperm and making it more likely for a Y-chromosome carrying sperm to fertilize with the egg.
Refrain from having intercourse for four to five days prior to ovulation. Have intercourse only at the time of ovulation and just before.
Have intercourse that allows for deeper penetration. This method recommends rear entry. The sperm will be deposited closer to cervix where cervical fluid is most friendly to the Y-chromosome sperm.
Men should avoid tight clothes as heat kills both types of sperm, but kills the less protected, smaller Y-chromosome sperm faster.
According to Shettles, female orgasm increases the alkaline secretions in the vagina that are favorable to the Y-chromosome carrying sperm. Having an orgasm before or at the same time as the male partner may prove beneficial.
For a Girl (According to Shettles):
Have intercourse 2-3 days before ovulation and but it just before ovulation until 2 days after ovulation.When you have sex a few days prior to ovulation, only the X-chromosome sperm will be left in the female reproductive tract waiting to fertilize the egg when released.
Have intercourse with shallow penetration: Shettles recommends any position that will deposit the sperm a little away from the cervix, giving advantage to the longer living and slower X-chromosome-carrying sperm.
The pregnancy diet should be balanced and rich in protein, calcium, starch, fruits and vegetables. It is very crucial to eat healthy during pregnancy so that both you and your baby get all the necessary nutrients. Enough folic acid which is also vital for baby's development.
Dairy products: yogurt/curd, skimmed milk, buttermilk, cottage cheeseare high in protein,calcium, and Vitamin B-12.
Cereals, whole grains, pulses, nuts: are good sources of protein if you do not eat meat. One egg, 14 grams of nuts, or ¼ cup of legumes are considered equivalent to roughly 28 grams of poultry, fish, or meat.
Fruits,vegetables: provide vitamins, minerals and fiber.
Meat, fish and poultry: provide concentrated proteins.
Fluids: consume lots of water and fresh fruit juices. Drink clean boiled or filtered water. Carry your own water when you go outside your house. Avoid packaged juices as they are high in sugar content.
For good sleep during pregnancy
Nutrition: Have a glass of warm milk before going to sleep. Carbohydrate-richfood likebread or crackersalso promote sleep. Consume snack high in protein to keep blood sugar levels up and help prevent headaches, bad dreams, and hot flashes.
Relaxation: It can calm your mind and relax your muscles. They techniques include stretching, yoga, massage, deep breathing.
Exercise: Regular exercise during pregnancy promotes physical and mental health. Exercise also helps you sleep more deeply. However, avoid vigorous exercise within four hours of bedtime.
Medications: Always, always, always…. talk to your doctor before taking any drug/s, including over-the-counter drugs, herbs or even dietary supplements.
Extra pillows: support tummy and back both. Place a pillow between the legs to support the lower back and get you some sound sleep. There are specific types of pillows like the wedge-shaped pillow and the full-length body pillow.
Kids are God’s best gift to any couple and a complete, happy, healthy family is what we all pray for. Pre natal Gender Determination Sex Selection procedures aim at ensuring a healthy baby to be welcomed in this world. Feel free to mail us for more information and satisfy your queries.
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