Sperm Sorting – What does it mean for choosing the gender of my baby?

mum dad and baby lying down together

When undergoing the process of gender selection, families want to give themselves the very best chance of falling pregnant and holding their precious baby boy or girl in 9 months!

PGD (Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis) is a proven method for testing the embryos for gender but are there any other options to give families a greater chance of having a male or female embryo? Many families have heard of sperm sorting, but can this really increase your chances?

What is sperm sorting?

Sperm sorting is a gender selection method that has been widely used for over 30 years. A centrifuge is used to spin the sperm sample, which contains both X and Y sperm. Each sample generally contains about 50 percent of each kind. As sperm has different levels of density or weight, they separate when spun. Female sperm is generally heavier than the male sperm. Once the sample is ready, it will be separated in the centrifuge, and only the sperm containing the desired chromosome will be collected. Then the embryos identified as either male or female will be used to fertilise the eggs.

If I am hoping to have a boy, does this mean all my embryos will be male?

Although sperm sorting is a good method it isn’t 100% accurate so it should be used in conjunction with IVF/PGD. The benefit of sperm sorting is you will generally have more embryos of the desired gender available. PGD will still be used to test the gender of the embryos before one is selected for transfer.

What percentage can I expect?

Generally, each cycle will result in a 50/50 split of male/female embryos but using sperm sorting in addition to PGD will increase your ratio to about 65/35.

What are the risks of sperm sorting?

There is minimal risk of using sperm sorting techniques with research determining that there is a similar risk of birth defects as children conceived naturally or without sperm sorting techniques utilised.

Is sperm sorting legal in Australia?

Sperm sorting is still considered a method for selecting gender so although this method is available in Australia, it is illegal to use for the purpose of selecting the gender of the baby.

How much does sperm sorting cost?

Sperm sorting costs approximately $500 USD.


Whilst sperm sorting is beneficial in increasing the number of male or female embryos for selection it is not recommended as a single method of gender selection. To guarantee the gender of your baby, sperm sorting should be used to complement IVF/PGD which is the only method which 100% guarantees the gender of the embryo prior to transfer. Dr Potter now routinely offers sperm sorting as part of his treatment, free of charge giving you the very best chance of success.

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