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


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#51 c.sanders

Posted 28 October 2015 - 05:43 PM

thank you for the replies. i'm so sorry if i've offended or distressed anyone. i came to ask this on EB because of all the different view points, ones that a doctor might not say etc. i dont want have a GP to really talk to this about.

i don't have any expectations of what a girl may or may not be, i wanted the experience for my family whatever that may be. i definitely want 1 more child to complete my family. if it's a boy that's good too. the most important thing to me is to give my kids a family.

i understand that gender selection for the sake of it is not legal in australia. i do realise that IVF isn't the perfect solution. i guess what I'm asking is that if i had the option in the IVF process to gender select, would that be wrong or immoral. can you even just implant 1 egg after testing that it is ok?

just to be clear, there were a number of suspected issues, possibly down syndrome, etc i dont quite remember the rest of the terminology. but it was only spina bifida which has so far presented itself in ds2.

i had all the tests and no answers. i was taking the vitamins and folate and everything else and no reason was ever given for the miscarriages. i just don't want to have to hold another fetus in my hand. the hospital refused to test anything so I don't know if they had other major problems etc.

i guess a big part of me is worried that trying to conceive again naturally means that the next baby could be sick or have a hard life.

#52 Groucho

Posted 28 October 2015 - 05:52 PM

To be fair to the OP, very few people really know the ins and outs of IVF and genetic testing unless they've been through them personally. They're both highly complex areas of medicine.

After suffering some miscarriages and health problems with a child it's perfectly natural to seek answers and go to great lengths to avoid that happening again. Genetic testing has moved forward in leaps and bounds in recent years. I know of a fertility clinic in Sydney and Brisbane that now offers preconception testing to test both partners DNA to work out if either has any genetic issues or disease markers that could impact on them going on to having a healthy baby. At $750 per person, it's expensive, but as prices come down as they no doubt will who knows if this will become a normal part of the 'getting baby ready' regime like other routine tests.

That's why I think a good chat with a trusted GP is the way to go. Book a double appointment so you can thrash out your concerns (It sounds like you have two separate issues) and work out the way forward.

#53 Froyo

Posted 28 October 2015 - 06:00 PM

Karyotyping is commonly run in cases of multiple miscarriages. It's not new or limited to selected clinics.

#54 mrsJacko

Posted 28 October 2015 - 06:25 PM

View Postc.sanders, on 28 October 2015 - 05:43 PM, said:



i understand that gender selection for the sake of it is not legal in australia. i do realise that IVF isn't the perfect solution. i guess what I'm asking is that if i had the option in the IVF process to gender select, would that be wrong or immoral.
You cannot Gender select with IVF in Australia, it is illegal


can you even just implant 1 egg after testing that it is ok?
Yes, unless you are over a certain age or your embryos are really bad quality a clinic will not implant more than 1

just to be clear, there were a number of suspected issues, possibly down syndrome, etc i dont quite remember the rest of the terminology. but it was only spina bifida which has so far presented itself in ds2.
I believe that both of these cannot be tested at embryo stage

i had all the tests and no answers. i was taking the vitamins and folate and everything else and no reason was ever given for the miscarriages. i just don't want to have to hold another fetus in my hand. the hospital refused to test anything so I don't know if they had other major problems etc.
who did the tests? you really need to see a fertility specialist not a GP.

i guess a big part of me is worried that trying to conceive again naturally means that the next baby could be sick or have a hard life.
IVF would possibly and quite probably have the same outcome as conceiving naturally.


#55 Lady Sybil Vimes

Posted 28 October 2015 - 06:28 PM

I wish you all the best, OP. I hope if you decide to try again that it all goes well for you.

#56 Paddlepop

Posted 28 October 2015 - 06:42 PM

View Postc.sanders, on 28 October 2015 - 05:43 PM, said:

thank you for the replies. i'm so sorry if i've offended or distressed anyone. i came to ask this on EB because of all the different view points, ones that a doctor might not say etc. i dont want have a GP to really talk to this about.

i don't have any expectations of what a girl may or may not be, i wanted the experience for my family whatever that may be. i definitely want 1 more child to complete my family. if it's a boy that's good too. the most important thing to me is to give my kids a family.

i understand that gender selection for the sake of it is not legal in australia. i do realise that IVF isn't the perfect solution. i guess what I'm asking is that if i had the option in the IVF process to gender select, would that be wrong or immoral. can you even just implant 1 egg after testing that it is ok?

just to be clear, there were a number of suspected issues, possibly down syndrome, etc i dont quite remember the rest of the terminology. but it was only spina bifida which has so far presented itself in  ds2.

i had all the tests and no answers. i was taking the vitamins and folate and everything else and no reason was ever given for the miscarriages. i just don't want to have to hold another fetus in my hand. the hospital refused to test anything so I don't know if they had other major problems etc.

i guess a big part of me is worried that trying to conceive again naturally means that the next baby could be sick or have a hard life.

You say you want to give your children a family. They already have a family. They have you, their father and each other. That is a family. My family is a family with DH, DD and myself. Before we had DD we were a family of just DH and myself. Do you mean a larger family than they already have?

I still don't understand what you mean by the experience of having a girl. Gender should be irrelevant. Just embrace the individual that the child is, regardless of sex or gender.

If you understand that gender selection for non-medical reasons is illegal in Australia then why on earth didn't you make that clear in your OP? Were you trying to stir up interest in your thread? You've been on EB for long enough to know what a contentious issue it is.

I did IVF to conceive my child. She's having a hard life and has a diagnosed disability and some comorbid conditions. It didn't guard against that. IVF can only help to eliminate conditions that have a clear genetic marker that can be tested for at the embryo stage.

Most embryo transfers are only single embryos as they should be. The government ordered fertility clinics to stop transferring multiple embryos due to the high amount of twin or higher order multiples that were being born. Twin pregnancies are risky for mother and babies. A good clinic will only transfer one embryo at a time until a woman has had repeated transfer failures or is over 35yo. If a clinic will happily agree to transfer two or more embryos at a time for a woman under 35yo and no history of transfer failures then they are a dodgy clinic and you should run far far away from them.

As for your question as to whether using IVF and doing gender selection is immoral or wrong then my answer is yes, it is in my opinion. I personally believe that gender selection purely for the parents' desire for a child of a particular sex is wrong. Embrace the child, not their genitals. Every embryo that gets created in IVF is precious. I cannot fathom just discarding the ones that happen to be the wrong sex.

#57 Owliegirl

Posted 28 October 2015 - 06:48 PM

gender isn't irrelevant though. acting like it is is bollocks. Sure people shouldn't be discriminated against because of their gender but different gender situations have unique qualities to them.

#58 Groucho

Posted 28 October 2015 - 06:50 PM

OP you say you don't really have a good GP to speak to. Can I suggest you go out of your way to find one? Ask around your girlfriends, work colleagues, anyone they recommend. I see a GP who specialises in women's health, and she does pregnancy shared care. She's worth her weight in gold and I'm so glad I found her. Plus it's always nice to have buily a rapport with the same doctor when you have kids.

It is also possible that if you want to investigate IVF that you may need a doctor's referral anyhow.

#59 c.sanders

Posted 28 October 2015 - 06:52 PM

thank you Lady Sybil Vimes.

I was under the care of an obstetrician and a GP who had extensive experience in miscarriages etc. but i cannot go back to them for now hence no one to talk to. but at the time i had spent there, conceiving again was the last thing on my mind. but at the same time it's hard going to a GP when i'm not even sure what I am okay with.

I agree with you Paddlepop. sometimes when you have so many thoughts in your head it's hard to make sure you have mentioned every single thing you should in the original post. i do try and end up with super long posts but things get missed nonetheless.

both sets of my parents and my dh's parents have up to 10 siblings each. the relationship they have with each other and me is very special and was very formative for me. so i guess i'm referring to having a big family. i want my kids to have a sister, my grandkids to have an aunt. i know nothing is set in stone, but at least i want to think i tried to give them that. my mum had a number of abortions for reasons I cant be okay with, especially since i was old enough to remember her going through them and I have only 1 sibling 10years younger who it is very hard to relate to because we are at such different roads in life

#60 Froyo

Posted 28 October 2015 - 06:52 PM

OP if you see a Dr see a FS.

#61 Froyo

Posted 28 October 2015 - 06:57 PM

OG the point many of us are making is that IVF is a very difficult thing to go through, regardless of the reason for doing so.

#62 Mose

Posted 28 October 2015 - 09:16 PM

View PostOwliegirl, on 28 October 2015 - 01:15 PM, said:

I didn't need a psychologist to cure my gender disappointment. I had a baby girl. GD gone. Just a thought.


How is this a useful thought to people experiencing either infertility or gender disappointment? (Which seems to be the majority of posters in this thread)?

#63 SkeptiHandsOnMum

Posted 28 October 2015 - 09:23 PM

I do not doubt that gender disappointment is very real. But I think the fixing it lies not in producing a fine specimen of a child of a given gender, but addressing the underlying thinking behind the "problem".

Comes back a bit to the logic behind "The Happiness Trap" and other similar books. Is not being "happy" the problem? Or the thinking that we must always be happy?

Likewise ... is not having a girl the problem? Or the whole  thinking behind the perceived "need" to have a girl?

#64 Acidulous Osprey

Posted 28 October 2015 - 09:48 PM

What's 'perceived' about a desire to have a child of a particular gender?  Granted if you wanted to be patronising you succeeded admirably--of course all of us who know we would preferred a family of a different mix of gender are remarkably stupid, insensitive and spend our time making the lives of the children have a misery.

And of course none of us have made peace with our outcomes either.  We needed someone with children of each gender to come and post that at us.

My grandmother BTW had 5 daughters desperately trying for a boy after a tragic loss of her first pregnancy.   Her daughters all know they were mostly born to see if she could get a boy but I think she is an exceptional cow in very many ways and I've never seen any of my fellow posters on EB post as I have heard her talk.  My sons OTOH do not know that their father and I would have preferred daughters.  It's simply never ever been discussed in front of them ever.

#65 ekbaby

Posted 28 October 2015 - 10:01 PM

I'm sorry for your loss of your two previous pregnancies OP. I suggest seeking medical advice. Some hospitals have a recurrent miscarriage clinic, however my understanding is that experiencing 2 miscarriages in a row is considered bad luck (and awful to go through) but not necessarily a sign of a medical problem. There's a 20 % chance of miscarriage with any pregnancy and a 4% chance of having 2 in a row. Having 3 in a row is much rarer and this is where doctors would be recommending further investigations. I know there are additional issues with your DS having Spina bifida but this may or may not be related to miscarriage. With Spina bifida I don't think you can do PGD, but may be advised to take very high level of folate (specially prescribed) and have more monitoring. A doctor would be best- maybe ask here for recommendations ?

#66 SkeptiHandsOnMum

Posted 28 October 2015 - 10:37 PM

View PostAcidulous Osprey, on 28 October 2015 - 09:48 PM, said:

What's 'perceived' about a desire to have a child of a particular gender?  Granted if you wanted to be patronising you succeeded admirably--of course all of us who know we would preferred a family of a different mix of gender are remarkably stupid, insensitive and spend our time making the lives of the children have a misery.

And of course none of us have made peace with our outcomes either.  We needed someone with children of each gender to come and post that at us.

My grandmother BTW had 5 daughters desperately trying for a boy after a tragic loss of her first pregnancy.   Her daughters all know they were mostly born to see if she could get a boy but I think she is an exceptional cow in very many ways and I've never seen any of my fellow posters on EB post as I have heard her talk.  My sons OTOH do not know that their father and I would have preferred daughters.  It's simply never ever been discussed in front of them ever.
Right. Because I said all of this. You read well between the lines. Selectively.

You know nothing about my history other than what you read here. So you assume a lot about my journey and any basis for my opinion. But it is okay - so long as you bring out the yawn-worthy accusations of being patronising .... because no one can possibly have an opinion contrary to your own and based on their experiences.

For the record, I never said a DESIRE was "perceived". Quite the contrary. The desire is very real. It is confusing it with NEED that enters complex territory.

Yes. I have thought I NEEDED a child of a particular gender.  Just because my current situation is that I have one of each does not mean that my experience was not real and my opinion does not count.

Edited by SkeptiFERAL, 28 October 2015 - 10:47 PM.


#67 Fright bat

Posted 28 October 2015 - 10:56 PM

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.

Sounds like it was a self fulfilling prophecy. Of course you are closer to the children you wanted more.

Relationships are built on love and effort, not on gender.

OP, I understand your feeling about a girl. As the mother of two (beautiful) boys, and someone who always wanted a girl, we thought seriously about giving the dice one more roll. For a variety of reasons we have decided to stop at two, and for me, that decision really saddened me for a time.... And then one day, the boys rushed at me to give me kisses and cuddles before I left for work, and I realised that in hoping for a girl, I was questioning my sons ability to love me enough. And my ability to love them enough. Which was unfair to both of us, but especially them, because they DO love me as much as any daughter might. And I could either squander that love and try and get it from a girl instead (like the PP above), or I could just get on with loving the children I have. It was very easy when I thought of it like that.

You have to earn your children's love and a good relationship. You don't just get it because they are one gender or the other.

#68 Fright bat

Posted 29 October 2015 - 12:47 AM

View PostOwliegirl, on 28 October 2015 - 01:15 PM, said:

I didn't need a psychologist to cure my gender disappointment. I had a baby girl. GD gone. Just a thought.



Just to add, this is a bad thought.

Gender disappointment can be very real and very disabling. Like all things, lumping it into one homogenous group is pointless - every person who experiences it does so for very specific reasons. For some people, those reasons are very real and I changeable, like AOs heartbreaking story. Or for my mother, who prayed to never have sons after years of being violently physically abused by her brother (she got her two daughters). For some people it may be cultural. For other people, it is a 'preference'. Assuming that one person is experiencing gender disappointment for the same reason as another is silly.

But the comment above is even sillier. It's like saying that the easy cute for heroin withdrawal is more heroin. Or the solution to OCD is to keep washing your hands every 30 seconds.

If someone feels VERY strongly that they would prefer one gender over another for non-medical reasons, then in my opinion, that needs to be properly explored, whether or not another child is on the cards.

#69 Owliegirl

Posted 29 October 2015 - 03:27 AM

It's  not a silly thought at all. Is was in response to a pp that not every one with gd should forgo trying for a baby of a desired gender nor does every one with gd have deep psychological issues. Sometimes having a child us the answer. In fact a lot of the times that is the answer. I know it makes people uncomfortable to recognize that.

#70 Fright bat

Posted 29 October 2015 - 04:18 AM

View PostOwliegirl, on 29 October 2015 - 03:27 AM, said:

It's  not a silly thought at all. Is was in response to a pp that not every one with gd should forgo trying for a baby of a desired gender nor does every one with gd have deep psychological issues. Sometimes having a child us the answer. In fact a lot of the times that is the answer. I know it makes people uncomfortable to recognize that.

It makes people uncomfortable because preferring one gender to another is discriminatory behaviour. It is a cause of terminations and infanticide all over the world. And can be a cause of significant mental health issues for those who cannot 'just have another baby'. And is a source of childhood sorrow for many children who were not the 'preferred gender', because of course kids can tell.

Preferring one gender over another is like preferring a smart kid over a dumb one, or a heterosexual child over a gay one, or preferring a light skinned child to a dark skinned one, or a pretty child to an ugly one. These are all things a child cannot help, and choosing to be a parent is choosing to partake in the genetic roulette wheel that is making a baby.

I think preferring one thing over another is not ideal but probably human nature - but being so incredibly disappointed about it that you cannot rest until you rectify the 'problem' (that 'problem' being a beautiful human that you chose to make that has no control about the features they were born with) except with ANOTHER child - I cannot accept that as a society we would ever accept this as normal or acceptable. I would argue that that as a society we should always consider this to be pathological, and the onlg acceptable resolution is to advocate love and acceptance of both genders. To do any less is failing our children.

Edited by Fright bat, 29 October 2015 - 04:18 AM.


#71 **Manning**

Posted 29 October 2015 - 06:35 AM

I have two girls....never wanted boys. If i was ever pregnant again (which won't happen lol) but i would be hoping for another girl.  But i would never ever consider going out of my way to make it happen.

You get what you get and you don't get upset!

#72 ~Bob~

Posted 29 October 2015 - 07:12 AM

View Post**Manning**, on 29 October 2015 - 06:35 AM, said:

You get what you get and you don't get upset!

I don't have a horse in this race, but you don't see the contradiction in saying that you got what you wanted both times, but other people who didn't shouldn't get upset?

#73 Owliegirl

Posted 29 October 2015 - 08:42 AM

View PostFright bat, on 29 October 2015 - 04:18 AM, said:

It makes people uncomfortable because preferring one gender to another is discriminatory behaviour. It is a cause of terminations and infanticide all over the world. And can be a cause of significant mental health issues for those who cannot 'just have another baby'. And is a source of childhood sorrow for many children who were not the 'preferred gender', because of course kids can tell.

Preferring one gender over another is like preferring a smart kid over a dumb one, or a heterosexual child over a gay one, or preferring a light skinned child to a dark skinned one, or a pretty child to an ugly one. These are all things a child cannot help, and choosing to be a parent is choosing to partake in the genetic roulette wheel that is making a baby.

I think preferring one thing over another is not ideal but probably human nature - but being so incredibly disappointed about it that you cannot rest until you rectify the 'problem' (that 'problem' being a beautiful human that you chose to make that has no control about the features they were born with) except with ANOTHER child - I cannot accept that as a society we would ever accept this as normal or acceptable. I would argue that that as a society we should always consider this to be pathological, and the onlg acceptable resolution is to advocate love and acceptance of both genders. To do any less is failing our children.

Surely most parents want a smart kid over a dumb one if they had a choice. Surely you wouldn't set out to choose a dumb child, or a child with significant issues/SNs etc. But that has nothing to do with GD and is just a distraction from what GD is about. Having GD doesn't mean not loving the children you have. Having GD doesn't make you a monster

Let's be clear: it is completely acceptable for people to have GD. Just as it is completely acceptable for women to go through PND or for women to experience parent guilt, to even not love being a parent. Who are you to say what is acceptable or not?  To act like it isn't is stigmatising to people who experience. You  may not like it but it isn't wrong to have GD. People get it, for a myriad of reasons. Yes there are a  lot of factors for it but to demonise the people who experience it is wrong. It's also wrong for you to demonise women who have another child to get their desired gender and for that to be "the cure".

I'm happy that I had my daughter after I experienced a great sense of loss over not having a daughter. I'm not sorry for having GD and for my daughter being "the cure".

And personally I would prefer a person to want and plan a child that they want, rather than have an accidental pregnancy that they keep out of a sense of duty to continue on with the pregnancy and have a child in less than ideal circumstances.

#74 Cimbom

Posted 29 October 2015 - 09:26 AM

I think gender disappointment is probably the brainchild of some creative person in the pharmaceutical industry - let's pathologise everything!

Is there such a thing as job disappointment? health disappointment? marriage disappointment? economic disappointment? No, it's just disappointment and it's part of life - at some point in time we're all going to be disappointed with something!

We're turning into a precious snowflake culture where everyone needs their own special "condition" to feel validated. I'm sorry but it's bizarre.

#75 Owliegirl

Posted 29 October 2015 - 10:34 AM

A yes. Tell people that what they feel and experience isn't real/ good on you. Sound like my father in law who thinks people with depression can just shake it off and stress isn't a thing. Your one of those people who tell those with anxiety to just get over it and deal with everything. It's insensitive and wrong.


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