Baby Gender Selection Kits - Tucson News Now

Baby Gender Selection Kits

From the News 13 Newsroom
Posted:  5/27/04

Would you like a boy, or a girl?

New kits claim they can put the decision in your hands, helping you determine the sex of your baby.

No doctor's visit needed!

Do these at-home gender selection kits work?  And, more importantly, are they safe?

Veronica Moister has a son.  When it came time to plan baby number two, she knew she wanted a girl.

Veronica researched all the ways to possibly nudge Mother Nature, and put her hopes in a new at-home gender selection kit.

Veronica now is pregnant with a girl.

She used Genselect.

It's available online for about $200 and claims a 96% success rate, based on customer reports.

Jill Sweazy is with Genselect.  She says the kit comes with tools to create a gender bias, including ovulation predictors, douches, and specialized vitamins.

Sweazy says, "The three factors that Genselect addresses are intercourse timing, vaginal vault pH, and body chemistry."

However,  Dr. Joseph Sanfilippo, with the American Society for Reproductive Medicine says, "I would definitely say, buyer, beware."

He says there's little scientific evidence that these methods improve your odds.

Dr. Sanfilippo says, "The problem here is, there's a lack of such well-studied research when we look at these kits related to gender selection."

The Food and Drug Administration tells us this kit is not approved for gender selection, although some of the individual components are approved for gynecological purposes.

The Andrology Institute of America is selling another kit online for just under one thousand dollars.

It uses semen separation and insemination.

Institute founder, Panos Zavos, made headlines with his controversial human cloning experiments.

With this kit, you ship a sperm sample overnight in a Styrofoam cooler.

The male and female sperm are separated and your sample is mailed back, along with instructions on how to inseminate.

Zavos says, "Placing the semen inside the vaginal cavity when they receive it is not a rocket engineer's type of a procedure. But, in spite of that, we warn them that artificial insemination is a physician-prescribed procedure."

Embryologist Etta Volk warns that self-insemination can cause infection.

She also cautions, if sperm is not properly stored and shipped, your odds of getting pregnant drop.

She says "It could lose its motility. If it's exposed to extreme temperatures, it could compromise the viability of the sample."

Zavos dismisses the criticism and reports he has seen an 80% success rate for male selection and 72% for female.

Meanwhile, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine says it is waiting for more research before taking a position on gender selection.


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