Can IVF influence your baby’s sex?

Mums who use IVF to conceive more likely to have a boy, new research suggests

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Using IVF to conceive may up your chances of having a baby boy, finds a new study. Scientists in Australia have reported the likelihood of having a boy after conceiving by IVF is 56%. This is up 5% from the chances of having a son if you fall pregnant without help.

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However, the study did find that a particular method of assisted conception, ICSI, was slightly more likely to result in a girl.

Scientists have warned this is not a way of choosing the gender of a child, though. “Patients should certainly not consider using this as a method of trying to have a boy or a girl, since the procedure used needs to be selected to try and maximize the chance of pregnancy,” said fertility expert, Dr Allen Pacey.

The editor of the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (BJOG) the publication that reported the findings, has warned that experts need to keep an eye on the gender balance of society as IVF becomes more widespread. It is currently known that the number of boys and girls born into the population varies depending on environmental factors such as famines or wars.

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It is not known why more boys are born due to IVF but it is possible that male embryos are better equipped to make it through the stressful process.

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