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Boy or Girl? Selecting Your Child’s Gender is Now Possible with New Advances in IVF


Preimplantation Genetic Screening (PGS) and Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) are revolutionizing the IVF process. Any patient considering IVF should consider doing PGS and PGD on their embryos, prior to transfer. The Delaware Institute for Reproductive Medicine is one of a handful of clinics that specializes in IVF and genetic screening, and wants patients to understand their importance and how they work.


1. What are PGS and PGD? 

Preimplantation Genetic Screening (PGS) and Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) test the 23 pairs of chromosomes in the embryo prior to their transfer. PGS is used for general chromosomal screening. PGD is used to identify a specific abnormality. Both can be used for patients of all ages, who have difficulty conceiving or maintaining a pregnancy, or who are at high risk for having children with chromosomal abnormalities; it also dramatically reduces the risk of miscarriage caused by a genetically abnormal embryo.

2. PGS provides gender information!

By looking at the chromosomes of the embryo, PGS can not only determine whether there are any missing or extra chromosomes, but also tells us whether the embryo is male or female. Therefore, couples can be made aware of the sex of their baby before it is transferred into the uterus. For some couples, gender is an important part in deciding whether or not to have a child. There are also many couples who desire to have another child but have a strong desire to do family balancing. The Delaware Institute for Reproductive Medicine is one of a handful of clinics that offers the techniques, including IVF and PGS, for gender/sex selection and family balancing for nonmedical reasons.

3. How do PGS and PGD work?

On the fifth day of embryo development, two to four cells are taken (see video below) from the outside part of the embryo that will form the placenta. The inner cell mass, which will develop in the fetus, is untouched and unharmed. The DNA from that sample is then analyzed for any chromosomal abnormalities. The results from PGS describe the embryo as being either “normal” or “abnormal”; with abnormal embryos, the specific chromosomal defects are often identified.

4. Maximizing IVF success with genetic testing of the embryo provides the gender identification prior to embryo transfer.

IVF cycles that include PGS enable the identification of embryos with normal chromosomes, and are more likely to result in a pregnancy that leads to a healthy baby. PGS allows for single-embryo transfer by identifying the embryo that has the best chance of implanting and leading to a healthy child. Historically, physicians would transfer multiple embryos due to low implantation rates, which commonly resulted in twin or multiple pregnancies. Multiple pregnancies can cause increased risk for complications during pregnancy, such as preterm birth, abnormal placental function and preeclampsia. Combining the ability to successfully freeze embryos and allow the embryo testing results to be completed prior to embryo transfer now maximizes the pregnancy rate.

5. PGS is now done with the technique called Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS).

The Delaware Institute for Reproductive Medicine offers Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS) technology, which is the latest technological breakthrough in whole genome sequencing. NGS provides a comprehensive screening of all 46 chromosomes, with an accuracy rate of 98 percent.


"Having the opportunity to have PGS/PGD performed on our embryos relieved a lot of the stress and unknowns of the IVF process for us …" —Amanda P.

"… I would recommend PGS testing to anyone who can afford it." —Ashley B.

"We take extreme comfort and heart in knowing that we have paved a road as smooth as possible with the PGS testing. ..." —Bridget S.

"Preimplantation Genetic Screening (PGS) was an extremely important part of our baby journey. ..." —Cynthia A.

Click here to read more patient testimonials.


The Delaware Institute for Reproductive Medicine is one of a handful of clinics that offers the techniques, including IVF and PGS, for gender/sex selection for nonmedical reasons.

For over 30 years, Dr. Jeffrey Russell has provided reproductive technology, resulting in the births of over 6,000 babies to thousands of couples with dreams of starting or increasing their family. He is Yale University-trained and double board-certified in obstetrics and gynecology and reproductive endocrinology. He has always been on the cutting edge of reproductive technology, from the first IVF pregnancy in Delaware to the first ICSI pregnancy in the region. He continues to break ground, being the first to provide genetic testing on embryos (PGS/D) for both genetic disorders and family balancing. Dr. Russell practices in both Newark and Milford, Del.


4745 Ogletown-Stanton Road, Suite 111
Newark, DE 19713

Phone: 738-4600

556 South DuPont Blvd., Suite H
Milford, DE 19956

Phone: 424-6645

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