IVF Gender Selection in Kenya


What’s the first thing comes to your mind after listening to ‘Gender Selection?’ Certainly, the desire to select the preferred gender of a child. In IVF, gender selection basically implies ‘sex selection,’ where the embryo of the specific sex would be chosen before being transferred into the woman’s uterus. A fertility specialist can determine the gender of a child before the implantation process via preimplantation genetic testing.

Gender selection is only recommended if a specialist may find the risk of sex-linked chromosomal disorder (X-linked recessive diseases), which is hereditary and transmitted from the abnormal genes on the X chromosome. As gender selection during IVF only occurs if there is a medical reason, our specialist will guide you to the procedure under medical applications. 

Are you curious to learn more about the role of IVF in gender selection? Here we’ve discussed the important screenings of Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) and Preimplantation Genetic Screening (PGS), how it works, and how successful they can be for you!


Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) 

Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) is used as screening in In vitro fertilization that includes extracting one cell from the embryo and examining its chromosomes. While the specialists do the test, the rest of the embryo is frozen. It is helpful for specialists to detect the risk before and make couples aware of the consequences of passing on diseases to their offspring. With PGD, one can have a fair chance of having a perfectly healthy child, but it shouldn’t be used for unethical practices. 


Gender Selection- PGD and PGS/PGT-A testing 

After insemination (eggs and sperm combines and are fertilized) IVF specialist examines the embryos. PGD (pre-implantation genetic diagnosis) is a type of genetic screening used to detect genes linked to specific diseases, like Cystic Fibrosis, Hemophilia, Sickle Cell Anemia, or an abnormal number of chromosomes. 

Whereas PGS is used to determine if the cells in the embryo have the correct number of chromosomes. It can detect conditions like Down Syndrome, too. The PGS test requires samples for 5 to 6 embryos. A healthy human must have a total of 23 pairs of chromosomes.

IVF specialist advises testing to determine if an embryo has any chromosomal abnormalities that could result in a birth defect or developmental issue. PGD/PGS/PGT-A tests can also detect potential congenital disabilities. Lastly, these tests can determine the gender of the child, where the specialist identifies if an embryo carries two X chromosomes (female) or X and Y chromosomes (male). Ideally, the term is advanced as ‘sex selection’ in IVF, where the gender (sex) of a child is confirmed. 

Success Rate of Gender selection – PGD and PGS/PGT-A testing

Whether the reason for gender selection is medical or elective, the success rates for gender selection are extremely high using PGD (preimplantation genetic diagnosis) and with PGS/PGT-A (preimplantation genetic screening). 

Not all couples produce healthy embryos for the procedure to achieve desired results. There are certain factors related to age, egg supply, or sperm quality restricting to acquire chromosomes of the “wished gender.” Here, egg or sperm donation increases the possibility of pursuing gender selection with hope. 

What happens to unused embryos? 

Even an unused embryo is viable. We ask patients not to dispose of and donate to an infertile couple or an individual. But, the procedure is only advised and conducted anonymously or openly under the wish of both parties, as preferred. 

Also, there is an option of embryo freezing which allows the couple to use it in later life. A baby can be born healthily from a frozen embryo even after years. 

Is gender selection right?

In Kenya, selecting a child’s sex (or gender) for medical reasons is unethical. IVF procedure provides the sex selection of embryos for several reasons, which could be personal, cultural, or medical.

  • Medical reasons

In light of certain sex-linked genetic diseases such as hemophilia, muscular dystrophy, or down syndrome, couples may prefer using sex selection to avoid the birth of a child with health complications. Sex selection allows couples to choose female or unaffected male embryos for giving birth to a child free of genetic disorders. 

  • Family balancing

A lot of people are interested in choosing the sex of their child to ensure a ‘balanced family.’ The couple might have two boys already wanting to have a girl child, or vice versa. Sex selection helps families to make a balance of both sexes. However, some intended parents who desire to have one child of their choice also want to undergo the process. 

  • Personal reasons

Couples may also choose to have a boy or a girl for other personal reasons. Like previous miscarriage, loss of their girl or boy child, and psychological desires, make people consider sex selection during IVF. 

All reasons, including non-medical ones, are respected, but not every purpose is served to couples choosing IVF under medical grounds. 

Discuss Gender Selection with the IVF Clinic

As we have discussed, there are many reasons why couples prefer gender selection. Following the guidelines, at Myra IVF, we do not get along with any unethical practices to cater to the couple’s personal preferences. Our fertility experts may guide and aware the intended parents of the outcomes and complications (if there are any) and guide them through the process with compassionate support. We are always there for guidance and help couples choose what’s right for them as per their situation.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

  • After PGS, what happens if a sample report shows no result?

Ans. Many times the sample needs to amplify the adequate DNA required for analysis. Performing a biopsy may give the desired result in such cases. However, the process involves thawing, biopsying, and refreezing the embryo. 

  • What happens to the embryos of the other sex?

Ans. Embryos are frozen, so there is an open option for the family to use the remaining one in the future if desired. At Myra IVF, we recommend a couple donate embryos if they aren’t willing to have another child. The process can be done anonymously or openly as desired. However, the ultimate decision for embryo disposition lies in the hands of the couple. 

  • Do people use gender selection in IVF more often to have a boy/ or a girl?

Ans. It’s a stated fact that there is a dominant choice for a baby boy over a girl in society. Many people try to fulfill the expectations of their family for a boy. However, the procedure is conducted to check if they risk passing on a gender-based genetically transmitted disease. In Kenya, gender selection is highly prohibited otherwise. 

Chat with us.