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Q. When you finish your last pack of birth control pills and then have your first period, are you ovulating yet and able to conceive?
A. Some women ovulate within weeks after stopping the use of oral contraceptives while others take months to get back to a normal cycle and ovulate again. If you're trying to become pregnant, it may happen in a month or two after discontinuing the birth control pills. Don't get discouraged if it doesn't happen right away. It could take several months.
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Q. I am 35 and got my tubes tied five years ago after having three girls. I now understand that one can have the baby's sex predetermined by in-vitro fertilization, or spinning the sperm. If done by in vitro, can I select the baby's sex? Is this 100% foolproof? Would it matter that my tubes are tied? Is the spinning of the sperm a more reliable method of sex predetermination? I only want to get pregnant if I am nearly positive it would be a boy. Can you refer me to any web sites where I can learn more?
A. Sure, it is possible for you to get pregnant with in-vitro fertilization, even with your tubes tied. As far as I can tell, there is no 100% guarantee of gender selection with sperm spinning, washing, filtering or any other fertility procedure. Sperm spinning (or the Percoll density gradient centrifugation procedure) can be a costly and time consuming method for separating the X (female) from the Y (male) sperm. Success rates of gender selection with sperm spinning range from 60-65% and it costs roughly $600 per attempt. Another variation of sperm spinning, the Ericsson Albumin Method, has a success rate of 73-85% and costs about $600-$1,200 per try.
If you're not willing to risk having another girl, sperm spinning may not be for you. If you are interested, here are a few web sites with more information about how and where you can have the procedure performed: Gametrics Limited and The Reproductive Specialty Center.
p.s. Beware of "all-natural" or "100% guaranteed" gender selection secrets, methods, potions or drinks. I wouldn't buy anything online that offers information or methods that can predetermine your baby's sex. The best, most honest information is free.
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Q. If a person received a tubal ligation and it has been 10 years since the procedure, is it possible that the human body will heal itself from the surgery and go back to normal? Could a person conceive after this many years, or is this procedure lifelong?
A. A tubal ligation is considered a permanent sterilization and is more than 98% successful in preventing pregnancy. Some women may develop ectopic pregnancies if they've had a history of tubal pregnancies, but most will not become pregnant again after the procedure. I've heard of no studies or instances of a woman's body repairing the fallopian tubes after a tubal ligation, but I suppose it could happen. The chances of that happening must be extremely small. If you do wish to get pregnant again, the procedure can be reversed, but the reversal procedure is not always successful. The rate for pregnancy after a reversal procedure is about 50-80%
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