Kim Kardashian announced via social media this week that she is expecting a baby boy with her husband Kanye West, and a new report indicates that the upcoming baby’s gender was no surprise to the expecting parents. A source told Us Weekly that the couple engaged in the controversial practice of ‘gender selection’ only implanting male embryos when they did IVF.
According to the source, who the magazine reports is close to the family, “Kanye loves Nori more than anything, but to make his world complete, he wanted a little boy, an heir [to the throne].” Kardashian has always wanted a son and a daughter, too, the source said.
The process of gender selection, which entails undergoing IVF and doing preimplantation genetic screening (PGS) – a “fairly invasive procedure” in which doctors take several cells out of an embryo and do a DNA analysis of all 23 pairs of chromosomes – is “really controversial,” according to Dr. Eve Feinberg, medical director at Fertility Centers of Illinois’ Center for Fertility Preservation. “Some clinics have taken the stance that that they don’t even address gender. Other clinics say ‘we will give you that information but it won’t alter the selection of what gender we will implant,’” she tells Yahoo Parenting.
The reasons why couples undergo gender selection are varied, Feinberg says. For some parents who are carriers of sex-linked diseases, there are medical indications for the practice. “If you are a carrier of hemophilia and you have a boy, there is a 50-50 chance that boy will be affected, and it is much rarer in girls,” Feinberg says. “People who are carriers of the BRCA mutation [which increases the likelihood of breast and ovarian cancer], if they find out all their embryos are carriers, they may elect to transfer a carrier boy rather than a girl because there is a markedly reduced risk of breast cancer and no ovarian cancer risk.”
But some couples choose gender selection for more personal reasons, and that’s where the controversy lies. Kim Kardashian, 34, may not have taken the testing but there’s high chance in some media’s opinion.
Even with gender selection process, a parent isn’t always guaranteed the sex they are hoping for – as a patient’s embryos may be all boys or girls. “Sometimes you don’t get what you want, and all your embryos are one gender or another,” Feinberg says. But if an embryo of the desired gender is transferred and implants, the baby’s gender is guaranteed – making it a foolproof plan.
In Kardashian’s case, everything seems to have worked out in her favor. As the source told Us Weekly, “Kim would have happily taken a healthy baby, but being able to choose the sex is the cherry on top!”
Kardashian has spoken publicly about her struggles to conceive with baby No. 2, so there is no indication that she only got IVF in order to select her baby’s gender. Still, including the genetic screening and gender selection adds $5,000 to $7,000 to the cost of fertility treatment, which runs about $12,000, not including the cost of medication, according to Feinberg.
Heavy price tag for the ideal pregnancy..