The Ericsson Method
Gender selection has been more prevalent in the media lately, but men and women have been using various methods to try and tip the odds to a certain gender for a long time. In the medieval times, many men would even tie off or cut off one testicle because girl sperm and boy sperm were believed to come from separate testicles. One of the methods used is the Ericsson Method.
Where did the Ericsson Method originate from?
Dr. Ronald Ericsson developed the Albumin Method, commonly called the Ericsson Method, in the 1970’s while doing research in Berlin. Dr. Ericsson patented his method and started the company Gametrics Limited in 1975. Gametrics Limited has centers in California, Florida, Maine, Michigan, New Jersey, and New York.
How does the Ericsson Method work?
Centers that use the Ericsson Method take a sperm sample from the male and suspend it in a solution. The solution is then put into a centrifuge and spun to separate the male from the female sperm in layers. Male sperm are slightly lighter than female sperm (about a 3 percent difference in amount of DNA.) The sperm that carries the preferred chromosome (X for female and Y for male) is then inserted into the women through IUI or into an egg via IVF.
What is the success rate?
The rate of success is not 100 percent because the sperm that is remaining after spinning is not 100 percent female or male chromosome bearing. According to the Gametrics website, their success rate is 78-85 percent in couples seeking a boy, and 73-75 percent for girls. However, according to some researchers and experts, sperm spinning did not truly elevate the success for gender selection.
What are the risks?
While there may not be “real” risks to sperm spinning, experts warn that parents should not place all of their hopes on an unproven science. Parents should research their fertility clinic, as the solution used to suspend the sperm may not be regulated. Sperm spinning or sorting is regulated heavily in the UK and is not typically allowed, except for in cases where a certain gender may carry genetic diseases.
Check with your local fertility doctor about the Ericsson method, and check the licenses, as well as the ratings and reputation, of any center you choose for gender selection.