How Is Microsort Performed

Your partner's sperm is evaluated at one of the two MicroSort clinical facilities. It is then placed in the flow cytometer machine, which will sort and separate the sperm into those with X chromosomes and Y chromosomes.

For the sorting to be performed, sperm are first treated with a dye that temporarily attaches itself to the DNA within each sperm. Although the size of the actual sperm is the same, the size of the genetic material (DNA) that they contain is different, because the X chromosome is larger than the Y chromosome. When a special fluorescent light is shined on the treated sperm, those with X chromosomes show up brighter and pink because they contain larger DNA. The sperm with the Y chromosomes don't shine as brightly, and they give off a green tint. The flow cytom-eter machine picks up these differences in brightness and color and then separates the sperm as they move through the machine.

Once the sperm have been sorted for gender selection, they can be used with assisted reproductive technology (ART) to bring about a pregnancy. Most women use the MicroSort technique in conjunction with intrauterine insemination (IUI). Women who will be conceiving using IUI must go to one of these two facilities.

Patients who plan to conceive using IVF can elect to have their sperm sorted at one of the two MicroSort facilities and then frozen and shipped to a collaborating fertility clinic in or near their hometown.

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