PUNE: Girls outnumber boys among children born through assisted reproduction in in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) centers in the city. Pune may have ranked low on the sex ratio scale in the 2011 Census, but the trend is quite the reverse in case of test tube babies.

Seven IVF centres in the city have shown a heartening trend – total 250 girls were born against 242 boys in the last three years – between 2009-10 and 2011-12. This is revealed in the data collated by Pune Municipal Corporation’s health department. from seven prominent IVF centres in last one month.

“We had collated the data from prominent IVF centres to ascertain the sex ratio in these clinics. It shows birth ratio is in favour of girls,” S T Pardeshi, city health chief, PMC told TOI on Monday.

There are 11 IVF centres in Pune. The health department collated and compiled data from seven prominent IVF centres between June 15 and July 6.

Gynaecologist and infertility expert Sunita Tandulwadkar, who heads the IVF centre at Ruby Hall Clinic, said, “There is no method to choose between a boy or a girl in IVF and it depends on pure chance. Among the IVF deliveries we carried out between 2009 and 2011, 30 were boys and 32 were girls.”

In IVF, an egg is taken from a woman and fertilised with a man’s sperm in the lab before putting it back into the womb of a woman.

Asked whether IVF can select sex of the foetus, Tandulwadkar said, “We cannot select the sex of the sperm in IVF by simply looking at the sperm through microscope. Since we can not determine the X or Y chromosome by studying the sperm under microscope, there is no room for sex selection.”

Tandulwadkar added: “To select the sex, one needs to have pre-conception genetic diagnostics (PGD) facility. There may be four or five such centers in India where the PGD facility is available

. The main objective of using PGD is to prevent genetic abnormality that runs in family from transferring it to a child. The procedure is very expensive. If the cost of IVF goes between Rs 1 lakh to Rs 1.4 lakh, availing PGD will cost an additional one lakh. Naturally, it is not affordable to many.”

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