About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Gender Selection With a Difference – Looking for a Girl, They Travel Abroad!

by Gopalan on October 30, 2008 at 12:57 PM
Font : A-A+

 Gender Selection With a Difference – Looking for a Girl, They Travel Abroad!

It is gender selection with a difference. Many UK couples travel abroad to get a girl child. In that country itself, gender selection for non-medical reasons is not permitted.

As the Human Fertility and Embryology Bill will make any kind of gender selection illegal, dozens of couples travel abroad for fertility treatment to ensure their child is the gender they want.

Advertisement

And unlike in the more backward countries, it is the desire for a girl child that prompts couples to opt for such a move. For many have had three or four boys and dearly wish for a girl to balance the family.

However, experts have warned they are putting themselves at risk of major complications by seeking unregulated treatment abroad.

Sex selection can be done in two ways. The first is a relatively straight forward method of sorting sperm to separate those that will make girls from those that make boys.
Advertisement

The second is a more sophisticated pre-implantation genetic diagnosis which involves taking cells from early stage embryos to establish the sex and implanting only embryos of the gender of choice in the womb.

Until July last year sperm sorting did not fall under the remit of the fertility regulator, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, and so could be freely practised.

But last year changes were made so the clinic offering any sort of sperm processing had to be licensed for the HFEA and offering sex selection for non-medical reasons would be in breach of the licence and so couples could no longer choose the sex of their child in the UK.

The new Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill will enshrine this in law for the first time.

Selecting one gender over another can still be carried out for medical reasons where a couple carry a serious genetic disorder which affects only boys such as Duchenne muscular dystrophy and selecting embryos by sex is the only way to avoid creating a child with a life limiting condition.

This is becoming less common as more sophisticated genetic diagnosis techniques can identify the affected gene and discard those embryos carrying that gene, rather than avoiding all male embryos.

The Commons Science and Technology Select Committee recommended in 2005 that sex selection for family balancing should be allowed as there was no evidence that the gender mix of society would be adversely affected.

Couples are getting round the ban by seeking treatment abroad often advertised over the internet. Sex selection for non-medical reasons is not banned in America or Russia.

But often clinics abroad are not regulated to the same degree as in the UK and couples may undergo procedures that are not recommended in the UK because they are too risky.

Clinics abroad may implant multiple embryos in the womb and this substantially increases the risk of having twins or triples which is the single biggest risk to the mother's and babies' health during IVF.

A poll conducted by the HFEA during a consultation on sex selection found 80 per cent of people were against allowing it for non-medical reasons.

Professor Lisa Jardine, Chairman of the HFEA, said: "At the front of every patient's mind when they seek treatment is the desire for an own child. Our job, as the UK's regulator, is to make sure that desire does not put the patient at risk.

"Those who seek treatment outside the UK do so because they believe they can make treatment choices, such as sex selection, that are unavailable in this country. However, my deep concern is that these patients thereby also remove themselves from our help and protection."

Source: Medindia
GPL/SK
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Advertisement
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Memory Loss - Can it be Recovered?
International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2021 - Fighting for Rights in the Post-COVID Era
Effect of Blood Group Type on COVID-19 Risk and Severity
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Travel Travel Health 

Recommended Reading
Govt.’s Concern With Sale of Gender Identification Kits in India
The declining sex ratio in India is a matter of great concern and calls for concerted action from ....

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use