Infertility, Our Infertility story

XX or XY?

January 31, 2013

After having my genetic consultation with Reprogenetics the other day, I realized that the embryo testing results will also reveal the gender — XX or XY.  Whoa!

When I shared this news with my infertility friends, I got mixed responses.  Some that said they wouldn’t want to know and some said they thought it was super cool.

Erick and I have decided that we think it’s pretty cool.  To me, it’s something pretty much nobody else gets to know this early, so it’s something special for us. Sort of an added benefit and since nothing else about this whole process even remotely resembles a benefit, we embrace it.

My surrogate, on the other hand, does not want to know. She feels that this information would make it harder for her if she didn’t get pregnant or were to miscarry. We completely understand her feelings.

But, for us, a loss is a loss. It would be hard no matter what. If we knew the gender, it would be the most information we’ve ever had for any of our babies and we’ll take it.

Now, will we actually select a gender? Doubtful.  We will feel lucky if we end up with one normal, healthy embryo to transfer.  Beyond that, I have no idea.  If we have several normals to select from, we will take the embryologist’s advice on which one looks the best.

It’s weird to find myself possibly in this situation right now because a month or so ago when I was interviewed for an infertility segment on HuffPost LIVE, the topic of gender selection came up.  My colleague Jen and I were both perplexed as to why this was being brought up in the context of infertility because it really has nothing to do with infertility.  Gender selection is something that rich people do to have designer babies.  Infertility patients don’t care.  We just want a healthy baby.

So, now it’s interesting that we’ll have this information.  But, we are NOT testing the embryos for this purpose.  We are testing to find the euploid (normal) embryos and this is just an added piece of information.  One that we’ve decided to embrace given all of our troubles.


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  • Brooke

    Wow! Designer babies? Really? I, too, struggle with immunologic implantation dysfunction. My husband and I have chosen the same genetic testing for chromosomal health purposes and gender selection. My husband has a son from his previous marriage and prefers a daughter since given the option. I am also a healthcare professional. Given the very public platform you have chosen to broadcast your journey, you may want to educate yourself before making ridiculous and invalid statements. While I realize the controversy this type of genetic testing has created given the gender selection option, no “designing” is involved. It does not allow one to choose eye color, height, IQ, etc… You know the process so, surely you know this. We have been blessed with the financial resources to fund our infertility journey. My husband sacrificed and risked a lot to attain the financial success our family now shares. I am sorry to read of your financial frustrations during your infertility journey but, please do not downgrade the emotional plight every woman and family goes through regardless of intention. A little research will show that the majority of patients opting for this type of genetic screening do not do so for the sole purpose of gender selection. So, turn off the movie Gattaca and research a bit more before perpetuating the ignorant slang that defames the science you so dearly need.

    • Whitney Anderson


      I know perfectly well there is no designing involved. It was said tongue-in-cheek. Really.

      My whole issue in bringing this up was that gender selection has NOTHING to do with infertility, infertility patients or infertility treatment.

      If people have the money and the desire to do testing purely for gender selection purposes, then that’s great. It’s just not an infertility issue.

      I’m surprised at the fervor in which you are all out attacking me for one small, unintentional, sarcastic comment.

      Anyway, best wishes to you.