WYOO IVF with gender selection?

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WYOO IVF with gender selection?

Post  Moomin76 on Sat May 09, 2009 10:21 am

Once an embryo has been created using IVF it is possible to 'screen' it to determine its gender. This practice is illegal in the UK, but such treatment can be bought privately in Europe and America. Should it be allowed here?

I don't mean for religious or cultural reasons, but for family balancing. Should someone who has say three or more of one gender be allowed to guarantee the other gender? Or should they be made to keep going the 'natural' way and hope for the best?

WYOO?
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Re: WYOO IVF with gender selection?

Post  beadyeye on Sat May 09, 2009 10:40 am

when it is for no other reason for family balance or so they can pick the sex then I believe that this is so wrong. and against mother nature. I do understand that with some people it could be for medical reasons and even then I dont know if I agree with it even then.
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Re: WYOO IVF with gender selection?

Post  Moomin76 on Sat May 09, 2009 10:53 am

beadyeye wrote:...and against mother nature

Yes, that's a very good point. Do you believe that to be the case for all IVF though?
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Re: WYOO IVF with gender selection?

Post  beadyeye on Sat May 09, 2009 10:57 am

I dont think that is the case for all IVF, Mother nature needs a little help some times. IVF is just helping mother nature get started after that it is up to her. But gender selection for no valid reason , If everyone did that the human race could be in trouble as eventually the could be a lot more of one sex than the other.
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Re: WYOO IVF with gender selection?

Post  c1nd3rs on Sat May 09, 2009 12:21 pm

beadyeye wrote:I dont think that is the case for all IVF, Mother nature needs a little help some times. IVF is just helping mother nature get started after that it is up to her. But gender selection for no valid reason , If everyone did that the human race could be in trouble as eventually the could be a lot more of one sex than the other.

I completely agree with this.

I don't agree with Gender Selection at all because in my opinion it is taking things too far and messing with things we shouldn't be. We can't always have what we want and I see no argument for it that will convince me otherwise. As for medical reasons, hmm, still not convinced.
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Re: WYOO IVF with gender selection?

Post  phoenix on Sat May 09, 2009 12:36 pm

Gender selection for family balancing is unethical. To be honest, I think gender selection for cultural reasons is unethical too. The only reason to select embryos based on gender is when there is a medical reason, eg a sex-linked genetic disease. (Even then, surely it would be better to screen for the disease itself).

There are already gender imbalances in various countries around the world, and allowing gender selection through IVF will surely exacerbate this, and reinforce gender bias.

Gender selection also opens the door to far stickier conundrums - basing embryo selection on aesthetic ideals? Basing a decision to select a baby on sex just because we CAN, opens doors to all sorts of future consumer "demands".

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Re: WYOO IVF with gender selection?

Post  Moomin76 on Sat May 09, 2009 12:37 pm

For me, it is not very much on from ivf in general. If we are going to mess with mother nature enough to create a baby which she chose not to create, then it makes very little difference whether it's a boy or a girl. I don't believe that parents should be able to choose it for their first child - but only because the system would be open to abuse for cultural and religious reasons, not because I disagree with gender selection in general.

It shouldn't be available on the NHS, but if parents want to buy it privately, then I would have no problem with that. I do believe that gender disappointment is a very real phenomenon, which has been swept under the carpet because people are so afraid to express their feelings for fear of being branded ungrateful for the children they do have. I think it is irresponsible to go on having children in the hope that you will get the gender you 'want', but it does happen - far more than the general public realises.
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Re: WYOO IVF with gender selection?

Post  c1nd3rs on Sat May 09, 2009 12:45 pm

Moomin76 wrote:It shouldn't be available on the NHS, but if parents want to buy it privately, then I would have no problem with that.

So the rich get to pick and choose their children while the poor ones get on with what they are given and are grateful for it? Or the poor ones end up in ridiculous amounts of debt and are unable to afford their "perfect" child. What happens when they realise they didn't really want the gender they specifically chose?
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Re: WYOO IVF with gender selection?

Post  Moomin76 on Sat May 09, 2009 12:48 pm

c1nd3rs wrote:So the rich get to pick and choose their children while the poor ones get on with what they are given and are grateful for it?
You could apply that argument to IVF in general. Nobody gets limitless cycles on the NHS - there are extremely strict requirements to get it at all and if you do qualify, then you only get one cycle. After that, you have to go private.
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Re: WYOO IVF with gender selection?

Post  phoenix on Sat May 09, 2009 12:52 pm

NICE guidelines give three IVF attempts, and unlimited attempts with other fertility treatments, eg IUI.

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Re: WYOO IVF with gender selection?

Post  Moomin76 on Sat May 09, 2009 12:54 pm

phoenix wrote:NICE guidelines give three IVF attempts, and unlimited attempts with other fertility treatments, eg IUI.
NHS Trusts are free to depart from the guidelines and frequently do. I don't know of any Trusts in my region who give more than one cycle.
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Re: WYOO IVF with gender selection?

Post  phoenix on Sat May 09, 2009 1:00 pm

IVF availability depends on the PCT and on all the involved circumstances.

You are skewing the argument - which is that gender selection is unethical, not whether IVF is.

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Re: WYOO IVF with gender selection?

Post  Moomin76 on Sat May 09, 2009 1:03 pm

phoenix wrote:You are skewing the argument - which is that gender selection is unethical, not whether IVF is.
I'm not skewing anything - merely exploring different viewpoints. I already stated that I don't see selecting the gender of an embryo as being very much different from creating it in the first place.
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Re: WYOO IVF with gender selection?

Post  phoenix on Sat May 09, 2009 1:05 pm

So, in your opinion, it is completely right and proper that the rich may have endless cycles of medical intervention to obtain the family they wish for?

Money can indeed buy happiness and all that?

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Re: WYOO IVF with gender selection?

Post  Moomin76 on Sat May 09, 2009 1:12 pm

phoenix wrote:So, in your opinion, it is completely right and proper that the rich may have endless cycles of medical intervention to obtain the family they wish for?

Money can indeed buy happiness and all that?
I didn't say it was right and proper. It's not right and proper that the rich can have private medical treatment that is ten times faster than people who can't afford medical insurance. Sadly that is the way it is.
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Re: WYOO IVF with gender selection?

Post  Anybugger on Sat May 09, 2009 4:29 pm

Ok, I read this earlier but have gone away to think about a response.

Firstly I would say that I am totally in favour of IVF, I am also in favour of Gender selection for medical or family balancing reasons.

I do not think that GS should be funded on the NHS.

I expect to get totally flamed for my thoughts but please bear with me while I try to explain them clearly.

Gender disappointment is a real issue. It can send many women into a deep depression. Unfortunately it is also a taboo subject, a woman cannot stand up IRL and say that she wanted the opposite gender.

When I was told that DS2 was a boy I was devastated. OF COURSE I was glad that he was healthy, and OF COURSE I would rather have a happy healthy child of the "wrong" gender.

However the desire to have a girl consumed my EVERY thought. I woke up regularily unable to sleep. I cried ALL the time, DH and I rowed constantly about the need to have a 3rd child. Over the course of two years I decided that I wanted a third child as much as I wanted a girl. Evenually DH agreed to try for a girl.

There are many natural methods to try to sway for a gender of your choice, some based on science and some based in wives tales.

If you wish to know more visit the boy/girl board on the old style BC. But please keep any negative thoughts to yourselves as there are women there who are suffering from very taboo feelings.

I have also followed stories of women who turn to gender selection to assist in their dream of a mixed family. From the little I know I do not believe it is available (other than for medical reasons) for first children. I agree with this. If it were legalised here it would give the opportunity for proper supervision and trials, the way it is in the states,

A pp said that it is not fair that the rich have access to this but not the poor. I would say that, unfortunately that is true with most things in life, I would love to have a shiny ferrari on the drive but its actuallya boring brown passat. In actual fact the women that I have seen on the internet that have gone through pgd have, on the whole, struggled and saved for something that would change their lives forever. It is not just a whim decision.

In sumary I would not like to condemn anyone without having experienced what they are feeling. I am lucky I got my girl. I cannot tell you how my life changed in that scan room, Of course I love all my three children equally but she makes me and my family complete.

There are many people out there who aren't complete and I don't think anyone should stand in the way of their dreams.

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Re: WYOO IVF with gender selection?

Post  Moomin76 on Sat May 09, 2009 5:22 pm

No flaming from me H - only thanks and appreciation for your honesty. As you've probably realised, I am also a lurker on the board you mention and have followed the various stories - which is where my interest in this topic originally came from.

I don't think that anyone can truly understand gd unless they've suffered from it themselves. I swayed for a boy, but was blessed with my dd. I would NEVER swap her for a boy now, I love and adore her dearly. That doesn't take away from the fact that I would have chosen a boy if I could have when we were ttc. I have always dreamed of having a boy first. In fact, my 'ideal' family is exactly what you have - two boys and then a girl.

I often wonder what I would have done if my dream was for a boy, rather than a boy first. My dream is over and there's now nothing I can do about it, but what if it wasn't? Would I be going for a second child now even though I'm not in a position to have another? I truly don't know the answer to that.
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Re: WYOO IVF with gender selection?

Post  Jeliwobble on Sat May 09, 2009 5:44 pm

Rich people get everything that they want but I'm not sure they're any happier than poor people, and that includes those who can afford endless cycles of IVF. Can you IMAGINE going through endless disappointing cycles of IVF? Really?

As for gender selection for family balance, I can kind of see why one would want to try to do that, especially as the human need is to at least replace ourselves and that requires one of each. But the coming apocalypse in China (where there is a lack of something ridiculous like 30 million women for the maturing generation) proves that removing one gender in preference for the other is pure and unadulterated idiocy.

From a personal perspective, I was hoping that dd2 was a girl but from the date of her gender scan I found myself have a growing sense of dissatisfaction, which I couldn't explain. I didn't WANT a boy and I'd been blessed with the girl that I desired. Why on EARTH was I dreaming about having a boy (horrible, awful dreams) and feeling that I wouldn't be able to connect with her?

Those feelings are a great deal behind the reason we have a third child. I'm not sure what would have happened if he had been a girl, especially as I'm less able to have any more now. I don't think I would have loved a third daughter less. Thankfully, I didn't need to find out.

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Re: WYOO IVF with gender selection?

Post  Anybugger on Sat May 09, 2009 5:59 pm

I just wanted to add that the board on the BC site is not just for people going "High Tech" but also for general tips on swaying etc.

SIlly things like Dad wearing tight pants and taking hot baths, all things I made my DH do,

I would disagree with GS if, a couple were trying to prevent a certain sex for any other reason than family balancing or medical reasons, for example religious reasons where a boy is held in higher regard than a girl.

From what i have seen on an American website the "desired" sex tends to be a rough 50/50 split, which surprised me.

Emma, I'm really glad you are happy with your DD, It is such a small % of people who suffer GD. It would be such a positive thing if it were to become accepted and understood.

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Re: WYOO IVF with gender selection?

Post  Cadiva on Sat May 09, 2009 6:19 pm

It's tricky and I'm not sure, really, where my feelings lie on the whole IVF situation at all. I don't believe it's a God given right that everyone is entitled to have children, but I do accept that a lack of children is a very real and traumatising issue for a lot of couples. So, I guess I don't have a problem with a limited amount of IVF being able to people via the National Health Service.

However, I think there should be a limit to it as the resources that go into it aren't finite and there's an enormous demand on the NHS as it is and something that's not "vital" for want of a better word, to someone's continued existance - ie they won't die if they don't have a child but they most likely will if they don't get that heart transplant - shouldn't have unlimited funds.
I think if people can afford to pay for it privately, well that's no different than someone being able to pay for their knee replacement privately. It's not a fair world and the rich have always been able to get things the poor can't so it's no different in the world of IVF either.

I do, also, think there is a vast amount of unwanted children stuck in the care of the local authority through no fault of their own (in many cases) who should be given the chance of a better life with a family that would appreciate them.
My former deputy editor and her husband tried for children from the moment they got married at the age of 30, including five IVF treatments (some NHS, some paid for by themselves privately) and still didn't conceive. They adopted two siblings, aged 18 months and 3 years old, who had been removed from their 22-year-old mother because of neglect and the very high suggestion of abuse. Those kids have gone into a fabulous family where they are appreciated, nurtured and loved.

I think choosing an embreyo on gender grounds for medical reasons is just about acceptable. I think choosing one on gender grounds is a far more complex argument and I do agree with PP that there is a very real issue about gender disappointment and that a lot of women feel marginalised by the fact that they have ended up with the "wrong" sex child and do feel unable to express their feelings. I don't think they should be criticised or made to feel they're ungrateful either for being unable to control their emotions over the situation.

Yes, some women can't have children. Yes some women do have children who most definitely should never be allowed to have children, but unfortunately that's the way of the world.
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Re: WYOO IVF with gender selection?

Post  phoenix on Sat May 09, 2009 7:48 pm

Hannah,

Thank you for your very honest reply, it was thought provoking. I think many people have preferences and images of the "ideal family", whether they voice them or not, whether they attempt the "old wives tales" or not. I've never had an issue with timing intercourse, or eating certain things or whatever - "natural" ways to influence gender selection. That sort of thing comes with no guarantee and - as far as I am aware, the resulting baby is still much loved and wanted. People are choosing to have a baby and trying to influence the sex, not choosing to have a son or daughter - which is a fine distinction, I know, but still a distinction. You said it yourself - "I decided that I wanted a third child as much as I wanted a girl".

I don't understand and cannot empathise with the depths of depression a woman can sink to, if she doesn't have a baby of the "right" gender, but I can sympathise with any woman going through depression and longing for something that she wants with all her heart.

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Re: WYOO IVF with gender selection?

Post  Anybugger on Tue May 12, 2009 12:50 pm

Ooh It occured to me yesterday that Sarah Jessica Parker may have had PGD done during her surrogacy IVF.

Apparently she has always wanted a girl, now they are having two.

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Re: WYOO IVF with gender selection?

Post  sarabone on Tue May 12, 2009 2:56 pm

IVF is something I have somewhat mixed feelings about. On the one hand I do see why people do it, why they want to do it and generally i completely advocate anything that brings people happiness without harming others. On the other hand I don't like the idea of people forcing their bodies to do something it clearly doesn't want to do. I can''t imagine the potential emotional impact of it failing, especially if you're only able to afford a limited number of cycles. And it bothers me that it's available on the nhs to older women rather than younger women. I personally think that a woman in her 20s who can't have children without IVF has more right to it than a woman in her late 30s who may very well have been perfectly fertile ten years ago. Oh sure society, pressure to have a career blah blah blah. I'm graduating in July, I have a 3 month old. I took 2 weeks off to have my baby and I am quite possibly the laziest person you could ever hope to meet. Really. Sometimes I persuade my husband to put my socks on for me cos i can't be bothered. If you want it badly enough you can make it work.

Sex selection makes me a little uneasy because in some ways it feels like it's othe first step towards Gattica babies. Though I don't think there's anything inherantly wrong with it beyond the possibility of it not working and people feeling differently about a child because it was the wrong sex but then there's always the possiblity of peoplenot getting the sex child they want and feeling differently. I'm pretty sure I would have felt slightly differently about Kitty had she been a boy. At the end of the day people have been trying to pre determine the sex of their babies for years, now there's a more effective way of doing it.

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Re: WYOO IVF with gender selection?

Post  Cadiva on Tue May 12, 2009 9:57 pm

sarabone wrote:And it bothers me that it's available on the nhs to older women rather than younger women. I personally think that a woman in her 20s who can't have children without IVF has more right to it than a woman in her late 30s who may very well have been perfectly fertile ten years ago. Oh sure society, pressure to have a career blah blah blah. I'm graduating in July, I have a 3 month old. I took 2 weeks off to have my baby and I am quite possibly the laziest person you could ever hope to meet. Really. Sometimes I persuade my husband to put my socks on for me cos i can't be bothered. If you want it badly enough you can make it work.

Sorry, I have to completely disagree with this. I'm 39 and my son is 14 months old, I was 37 when I got pregnant and 38 when I had him. I hope to have a brother or sister for him in the next year or two.
I have been a journalist for 20 years, since I left school at 18. I got pregnant when I was 28 and chose not to continue the pregnancy for a number of reasons including the fact that it had been a casual fling (using protection, clearly didn't work) and there was definitely no chance of a long term relationship, I also loved my job and did not want to give it up, even for a short while, to have a child. Selfish yes, but less so than giving birth to a child I didn't "want" and would have deeply resented.

Also, contrary to most peoples expectations, journalism is horrendously poorly paid if you're not a big name writing a column on a daily or in a magazine. I was on less than £20 grand a year working in London after 15 years in my profession. My friend, chief Northern reporter on the News of the World at the time, was on slightly more than £25 grand a year working for the biggest selling paper in the country. I would not have been able to afford childcare and work part time, fact of life unfortunately.

Now, after doing pretty much all of the things I wanted to do in my career, I have a son who I love beyond words, am in a long term and stable relationship with his father and am able to devote to my son the time and attention he deserves. I am far more patient than I was at 28 and I think I am a far better mother than I would have been at 28.

If we hadn't got pregnant with James, we weren't considering IVF but I don't think it's right at all that we would have been automatically excluded simply because of my age and the fact I wanted to have a career doing something I loved and something I was pretty good at.
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Re: WYOO IVF with gender selection?

Post  Moomin76 on Tue May 12, 2009 10:22 pm

sarabone wrote:Oh sure society, pressure to have a career blah blah blah. I'm graduating in July, I have a 3 month old. I took 2 weeks off to have my baby and I am quite possibly the laziest person you could ever hope to meet. Really. Sometimes I persuade my husband to put my socks on for me cos i can't be bothered. If you want it badly enough you can make it work.
Hats off to you for combining study with a baby. However, I think your pov is assuming things are very black and white (which they never are!) There are many many reasons why a woman might to choose to wait until her 30s - many of them have nothing to do with career building and are imo laudible and responsible.

I'll tell you my situation. I had my dd in my early 30s. I could have had a baby earlier - dh and I got together when I was 22. I chose not to. Deliberately chose to wait for a few years. I didn't want to have a child until I was in a stable financial position. Was that really so very wrong? Isn't it the duty of every mother to try to provide for her child the very best that she can? Are you saying that if it turned out that I had needed IVF, then I wouldn't have deserved it because I chose to wait??
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