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IVF Increases the Odds of Having a Baby Boy

In vitro fertilization affects baby gender

IVF makes boys more likely than girls

A study in the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology finds that women using in vitro fertilization are more likely to have a boy. The research looked at data from almost 14,000 births following fertility treatments in Australia and New Zealand between 2002 and 2006.

The odds of having a boy went from 51 out of 100 births (with natural conception) to 56 out of 100 after IVF. And the longer the wait before the fertilized egg was implanted, the higher the odds of having a boy.

One caveat is that if a couple uses a specific fertility treatment — ICSI, in which a single sperm is selected and used to fertilize the IVF egg — the odds of having a boy decreased slightly below normal.

We know that the environment can tip the gender balance slightly — like the case I talked about earlier today of natural disasters leading to more girls, for example.

But in this case, it’s man-made factors that skew the ratio. The editor-in-chief of the British journal, Phillip Steer, said he didn’t think there was evidence so far of a national trend towards more boys since the introduction of IVF.

But he also said “It is important that we don’t allow such imbalances to occur unintentionally, simply because we have neglected to study the factors that influence the secondary sex ratio in the increasing proportion of the population who use assisted reproductive technology.”

Image: Buffalo News

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