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IVF and picking a gender? **SENSITIVE and mentions MMC**


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#1 c.sanders

Posted 27 October 2015 - 11:59 PM

I dont actually know how I feel about this so wanted to ask your thoughts. EB is always helpful to give really interesting and thought provoking insight.

i have 2 little boys and i don't regret it for a moment. but i really want one more child. i know it's going to be really hard now but i want my kids to have something I really missed out on. i want them to have the opportunity to grow up and have family and relatives and their kids to have cousins and etc etc. ideally I would like a daughter so that we as a family could experience having a girl. there are very few girls in our family especially on dh's side.

After ds1 i had a lot of problems falling pregnant including 2 miscarriages. ds2 was a high risk pregnancy and they thought he may have had a number of neural issues which we aren't even sure. for now we know he has spina bifida but so far it appears to be a milder form and he had surgery earlier this year. but it does mean that I have a much higher chance of having a child with spina bifida etc.

so if I want another child I am thinking of going through IVF because I'm worried about more miscarriages. the previous 2 did take a huge toll on me emotionally and physically.

I have 2 healthy kids and I am so grateful so I'm confused on how I feel about IVF for me personally and if I should do it. obviously it's different if I had no kids or other ongoing issues. but so far I don't have that and on top of that if I picked the gender does that make it wrong using IVF? someone pointed out that ultimately it does mean fertilizing more than 1 egg and possibly getting rid of some. would that make it wrong because I am picking the gender? should I just leave it, keep trying naturally and whatever will be will be?

sorry my thoughts are all over the place. i dont want to do something that is immoral or unethical.

#2 becstar101

Posted 28 October 2015 - 12:18 AM

Are you based in Australia, OP?

I have never undergone fertility treatment, but my impression is in this country that you cannot 'choose' to do IVF unless you are infertile or require intervention to select embryos due to genetic problems. IVF certainly won't prevent further miscarriages.

I'm almost certain that in this country you cannot select for the sex of the embryo, again unless there is a specific sex related serious illness or condition, perhaps such as haemophilia.

I hope you can gain more information and work through your decisions. Good luck!

#3 Paddlepop

Posted 28 October 2015 - 12:36 AM

View Postc.sanders, on 27 October 2015 - 11:59 PM, said:

I dont actually know how I feel about this so wanted to ask your thoughts. EB is always helpful to give really interesting and thought provoking insight.

i have 2 little boys and i don't regret it for a moment. but i really want one more child. i know it's going to be really hard now but i want my kids to have something I really missed out on. i want them to have the opportunity to grow up and have family and relatives and their kids to have cousins and etc etc. ideally I would like a daughter so that we as a family could experience having a girl. there are very few girls in our family especially on dh's side.

After ds1 i had a lot of problems falling pregnant including 2 miscarriages. ds2 was a high risk pregnancy and they thought he may have had a number of neural issues which we aren't even sure. for now we know he has spina bifida but so far it appears to be a milder form and he had surgery earlier this year. but it does mean that I have a much higher chance of having a child with spina bifida etc.

so if I want another child I am thinking of going through IVF because I'm worried about more miscarriages. the previous 2 did take a huge toll on me emotionally and physically.

I have 2 healthy kids and I am so grateful so I'm confused on how I feel about IVF for me personally and if I should do it. obviously it's different if I had no kids or other ongoing issues. but so far I don't have that and on top of that if I picked the gender does that make it wrong using IVF? someone pointed out that ultimately it does mean fertilizing more than 1 egg and possibly getting rid of some. would that make it wrong because I am picking the gender? should I just leave it, keep trying naturally and whatever will be will be?

sorry my thoughts are all over the place. i dont want to do something that is immoral or unethical.

It is illegal to gender select embryos in Australia unless there is a serious gender-linked disorder that the embryos are likely to suffer from. You cannot select the gender of the embryos simply because you believe that you want a girl to "balance" your family. You would need to head to America to do that.

IVF doesn't prevent miscarriages. IVF assists conception for those of us who otherwise wouldn't be able to conceive a child. Once you're pregnant via IVF whether you miscarry or not will be beyond your control just like a naturally conceived pregnancy.

It sounds like you have no infertility problems so you are unlikely to receive Medicare rebates for any IVF treatment. This would increase the cost per cycle by thousands of dollars.

Getting rid of unwanted spare embryos is not likely to be as emotionally simple as you might think.

In short, IVF in Australia will not do what you want it to do. You'll need to travel to a different country if you're that determined to have a girl. You have no guarantee that a girl would be the sort of girl that you're idealising her to be. What if she turned out to be a tomboy? Hated fashion and cooking? Had no desire to be a mother? Then what? Would you reject her because she wasn't the girl you wanted?

I have more I want to say but I'll restrain myself. I'm a mum thanks to IVF. It's not something to be done lightly. I did it because I'm infertile and it was the only way I was ever going to get pregnant and have my child.

#4 IShallWearMidnight

Posted 28 October 2015 - 01:43 AM

We looked into IVF overseas for gender selection (specifically Microsort) to balance our family and it was around the 10k figure (our Aussie cycles were much much cheaper as the simpler interventions worked the first 2 times and our last one was a natural surprise)
We couldnt justify it, considering that we are blessed to have the children we do have.

#5 babybug15

Posted 28 October 2015 - 02:49 AM

Gender selection is an interesting ethical debate and there has been lots written about it both for and against it. The UK documentary "8 Boys and Wanting a Girl" is worth looking at as an introduction to some of the issues around gender disappointment and gender selection.

Paddlepop raises some excellent points.

Given you are concerned about miscarriage/difficult pregnancy/illness, perhaps speak to a specialist about your history and what you can do to reduce the risks in your circumstances. I found it reassuring to do this and have a few tests run after my miscarriage, although the result was "it seems to be bad luck, try again". It could be in your situation IVF wouldn't make a difference or it may be useful.

Also consider why you want a child with particular genitals? Given gender and biological sex are different, and there's no guarantee any child you have will fit a particular stereotype or ideal. How would you handle having a child who is transgender, intersex, a tomboy or just not a "girly girl"? Especially if you travelled overseas and spent a lot of money for their conception.

#6 gracie1978

Posted 28 October 2015 - 05:29 AM

You can't select gender in Australia
I loathe it, I guess because I know so many beautiful couples who can't even have one precious child.

If you're genuinely concerned about a genetic condition you could do PGD, which inadvertantly let's some couples gender select, depends on the doctor.

Min 10k out of pocket.

#7 ~Bob~

Posted 28 October 2015 - 05:40 AM

View Postgracie1978, on 28 October 2015 - 05:29 AM, said:


If you're genuinely concerned about a genetic condition you could do PGD, which inadvertantly let's some couples gender select, depends on the doctor.

Min 10k out of pocket.

I don't think they can test for spina bifida using PGD, can they? I thought the main approach was increasing folate and pre natal testing?

#8 Froyo

Posted 28 October 2015 - 06:36 AM

As has been said gender selection is illegal in Australia unless to avoid specific gender linked conditions.
Also, ivf is no magic bullet. It certainly can't guarantee against miscarriage as I can personally attest.
It's not an easy thing to go through.

#9 Soontobegran

Posted 28 October 2015 - 06:58 AM

I have a friend whose DD has just miscarried her 6th IVF baby.
They have 1 son from 10 attempts and have no more resources, neither financial or emotional to do it again.

I am personally against PGD for anything other than to prevent genetic disorders linked to a particular gender and
having a specific gender does not provide you with the child you imagined you'd have.
I understand people feel differently to me about gender balance in a family but to me it's a just nonsense.


Did you have genetic counselling after your son was born with spina bifida?
Spina Bifida is now quite a rare occurance with a 75% removal of risk simply by taking pre natal folate.

#10 Moo point

Posted 28 October 2015 - 07:26 AM

PPs have pretty much covered everything, but I just want to reiterate that IVF is not the panacea that people seem to think. If I hear one more person say "you can always do IVF" I think I'll scream.

IVF is expensive. You will not receive Medicare rebates unless you have diagnosed subfertility. Even then it is thousands out of pocket, and you would need to travel overseas to gender select.

IVF is invasive. Daily needles, vaginal ultrasounds, blood tests, day surgery, risk of ovarian hyperstimulation are just some of the routine factors.

IVF is physically, emotionally, mentally and financially draining

IVF will put pressure on your state of mind, your relationship with your partner, your relationship with your kids. Regardless of the outcome.

IVF will NOT salve the pain of resentment you may have. Regardless of the outcome.

All with no guarantee of a baby, let alone a healthy one. How do I know? 8 full stimulated cycles of IVF (no frozen embryos ever), our miracle DS born on our 3rd attempt after $15k out of pocket. 5 cycles trying for a second baby, 2 early MC and another $30k out of pocket with no second baby to show for it. Hundreds of needles, hundreds of vaginal ultrasounds, hundreds of blood tests. I have resentment coming out the wazoo.

Granted, we have infertility issues, and I'm coming from a bitter place right now. But IVF will not solve any miscarriage issues nor guarantee a smooth pregnancy. I am VERY grateful for my DS, and each cycle we tried for another we thought it would be nice to have a girl. But deep down we would give anything for another boy. Any baby.

I really don't want to be harsh, as miscarriages are painful. If you feel that you want to try for another baby then by all means see a specialist to check for any issues you may have maintaining a healthy pregnancy. But please don't assume that IVF is the answer.

#11 born.a.girl

Posted 28 October 2015 - 07:34 AM

OP can I ask why you want a girl?

I'm not being challenging, I'm genuinely interested in your reasons.

#12 JanetKing

Posted 28 October 2015 - 07:56 AM

I wouldn't think IVF would prevent miscarriage?  

I totally understand wanting a daughter, I felt like I won the lotto when I had my first girl, i had my son first, we are very close but of course the relationship is just different.  I think if it's important to you and you can afford it just go overseas.  I would do it in a flash,  my girls are so worth it.

#13 rosie28

Posted 28 October 2015 - 07:57 AM

I agree with Moo Point- "you can always do IVF" annoys me. Sure you can, it doesn't mean it will work. Gender selection laws have been covered above, and PGD does worry me as it can be misused, as does the NIPT...all great technology when used with ethics.

#14 Groucho

Posted 28 October 2015 - 07:57 AM

OP, you sound very confused and stressed! I'd suggest chatting to your GP about your concerns before you start trying (if you start trying) for a third baby. They might be able to suggest further testing to put at ease your concerns.

Miscarriage unfortunately is not uncommon and as many IVF parents know, IVF is not a cure all. There is a process called PGS (pregenetic screening, similar to PGD) that is used in conjunction with IVF that can help weed out embryos that are not chromosomally normal before implantation and thus reduce the potential for miscarriage. But it's expensive (approx $5000 on top of IVF cycle cost) and no guarantee that you won't miscarry.

Also PPs are right, IVF for gender selecting (unless for avoidance of a sex-linked genetic disorder) is illegal here but the NHMRC is currently conducting a review to decide whether to permit it for family balancing. It is calling for public submissions.



#15 Soontobegran

Posted 28 October 2015 - 08:06 AM

View PostJanetKing, on 28 October 2015 - 07:56 AM, said:

I totally understand wanting a daughter, I felt like I won the lotto when I had my first girl, i had my son first, we are very close but of course the relationship is just different.  I think if it's important to you and you can afford it just go overseas.  I would do it in a flash,  my girls are so worth it.
Just wondering if this is something you'd be happy for your son to read ?

#16 Lady Sybil Vimes

Posted 28 October 2015 - 08:21 AM

I think you're looking to IVF to address problems it can't solve. As others have said it won't prevent miscarriage and, in Australia, you can't sex select.

When it comes to gender I'm in camp "you get what you get and you don't get upset". I dont understand gender disappointment or the longing for a particular gender and I find the term "family balancing" offensive. I have two sons. My family isn't unbalanced. I'm expecting a daughter next year. It won't be her job to balance our family or to fulfil some fantasy idea of what daughters do. I think those kinds of expectations can only lead to disappointment.

#17 HRH Countrymel

Posted 28 October 2015 - 08:24 AM

I have created more than 60 embryos.

I have 0 babies.

My friend created over 100.

She has one child.

We have both spent years, and years, and years and thousands and thousands, and thousands of dollars to end up in the places we are in now.

Your relationship gets put under incredible strain and many do not survive.

PND is higher for IVF pregnancies.

There is also a raised risk of developing breast cancer and a host of other medical conditions after you have undertaken IVF treatment.


IVF does not prevent miscarriages.  In fact there is a higher rate of miscarriage with IVF pregnancy

You cannot chose the sex of your embryos in Australia, so if you were to attempt this idea you would need to go to another country for months at a time.

IVF is not the 'easy fix' you appear to think it is.

If you have unlimited financial resources, a relationship that is more than rock solid, careers that can withstand huge disruption and the children you already have are adaptable and willing to have their lives turned upside down for possible years?

Hell why not... I mean little girls are really cute aren't they?

#18 daybreaker

Posted 28 October 2015 - 08:49 AM

People get so offended when women express their desire for a girl. I don't know why. I have 2 boys and longed for a girl too.

When I did have one I was overjoyed and so excited and have not hidden that fact. What's wrong with that? Girls are different to boys, whether they're a tomboy, girly or not. I think as women maybe it's because we can relate to girls more and I know many men who also would like to have a son.

It doesn't mean I love my boys any less and prefer my girl over them because I don't.

#19 Ellie bean

Posted 28 October 2015 - 08:55 AM

View PostSoontobegran, on 28 October 2015 - 08:06 AM, said:

Just wondering if this is something you'd be happy for your son to read ?
To be fair, EB can be anonymous, I'm sure I've written plenty of things about my kids and DH that I would not be happy for them to read.

#20 Ellie bean

Posted 28 October 2015 - 09:00 AM

View PostLady Sybil Vimes, on 28 October 2015 - 08:21 AM, said:


When it comes to gender I'm in camp "you get what you get and you don't get upset". I dont understand gender disappointment or the longing for a particular gender and I find the term "family balancing" offensive. I have two sons. My family isn't unbalanced. I'm expecting a daughter next year. It won't be her job to balance our family or to fulfil some fantasy idea of what daughters do. I think those kinds of expectations can only lead to disappointment.

I have to say I hate these comments, to me its the same as saying "I didn't have PND so it must not exist." Just because you would not have suffered gender disappointment, does not mean it is not real for many. Of course it is in no way comparable to the heartache of not being able to conceive, nowhere near it, but that doesn't mean it doesn't exist and just dismissing it as something you shouldn't feel isn't going to make it go away.
(By the way I am not saying gender selection should be available, I think if it was it would be open to abuse.)

#21 Milly Molly Mandy

Posted 28 October 2015 - 09:15 AM

View PostJanetKing, on 28 October 2015 - 07:56 AM, said:

I wouldn't think IVF would prevent miscarriage?  

I totally understand wanting a daughter, I felt like I won the lotto when I had my first girl, i had my son first, we are very close but of course the relationship is just different.  I think if it's important to you and you can afford it just go overseas.  I would do it in a flash,  my girls are so worth it.

Yuk.

#22 dolcengabbana

Posted 28 October 2015 - 09:17 AM

I have no opinion on gender picking but I know unless you have a medical hereditary condition that would be passed down to a boy a fertility specialist won't even have the discussion with you. Since you have two boys I think that point is moot.

We have no choice but to do IVF. 4 years of treatment 9 cycles and 6 miscarriages later (no live birth from IVF) I have learnt with absolute certainty that IVF doesn't decrease your chance of miscarriage. IVF isn't the answer to bypassing that possibility. IVF doesn't have a guarantee just because you can afford it doesn't mean it will work. Let alone give you a child of a certain gender.

Everything HRH Countrymel said is pretty much spot on for how I feel.

#23 Nobody Cool

Posted 28 October 2015 - 09:26 AM

View PostLady Sybil Vimes, on 28 October 2015 - 08:21 AM, said:

I find the term "family balancing" offensive. I have two sons. My family isn't unbalanced. I'm expecting a daughter next year. It won't be her job to balance our family or to fulfil some fantasy idea of what daughters do. I think those kinds of expectations can only lead to disappointment.

Well said.

#24 mrsJacko

Posted 28 October 2015 - 09:26 AM

View PostPaddlepop, on 28 October 2015 - 12:36 AM, said:

It is illegal to gender select embryos in Australia unless there is a serious gender-linked disorder that the embryos are likely to suffer from. You cannot select the gender of the embryos simply because you believe that you want a girl to "balance" your family. You would need to head to America to do that.

IVF doesn't prevent miscarriages. IVF assists conception for those of us who otherwise wouldn't be able to conceive a child. Once you're pregnant via IVF whether you miscarry or not will be beyond your control just like a naturally conceived pregnancy.

It sounds like you have no infertility problems so you are unlikely to receive Medicare rebates for any IVF treatment. This would increase the cost per cycle by thousands of dollars.

Getting rid of unwanted spare embryos is not likely to be as emotionally simple as you might think.


I have more I want to say but I'll restrain myself. I'm a mum thanks to IVF. It's not something to be done lightly. I did it because I'm infertile and it was the only way I was ever going to get pregnant and have my child.

This ^^ I wanted to say all of this....

You cannot select the Gender in Australia, it is illegal.

IVF does not prevent a miscarriage, they will select the healthiest embryo to implant and you can have extra genetic testing for disorders but many women still miscarry.

You could potentially go through an IVF cycle and fertilise 5 eggs and all might be boys! but you will never know because the clinic is not allowed to tell you the sex before implantation.

I have two frozen embryos and I do not know what I am going to do with them yet but I certainly wont just 'get rid of them'. they are potential babies, my potential babies and either I will have them or I will donate them to a family that cant have their own.

and going through IVF I would not wish it on anyone that doesnt actually need it, also I think the PP is correct that unless you have infertility and HAVE to have IVF I do not think you will get a medicare rebate.


I can understand your desire for a little girl, or someones desire for as little boy but IVF is not like going shopping for a puppy, these are human baby lives and  perhaps with more thought if you really want another child you will try your luck for a girl but what is meant to be will be and if you have another boy I am sure you will love him wholly.

#25 Owliegirl

Posted 28 October 2015 - 09:28 AM

View PostSoontobegran, on 28 October 2015 - 08:06 AM, said:

Just wondering if this is something you'd be happy for your son to read ?

Why would her son be reading EB? Seriously lay off with the attempt to guilt trip people.

I would have thought you would understand that people get gender disappointment and how it affects women. Have some compassion.


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