The Internet and
the supermodel have moved on, but what the whole gender-selection incident shows is how little
people understand about fertility treatment.
Firstly, it is very, very difficult to actually have gender
selection done. You must commit to doing IVF, and as most people probably do know, the process of harvesting eggs by injecting yourself with hormones,
then having them extracted and finally transferred back to the womb is an expensive, sometimes
painful and often heartbreaking process. (Even Teigen confessed she doesn't
have as many embryos as she would like.)
If you want to know the gender of the embryos, the embryos
must be screened. PGS, or Pre-Implantation Genetic Screening, is a second
procedure after IVF—another costly and often heartbreaking process—that can check whether embryos are chromosomally normal.
After suffering numerous miscarriages, I did PGS on my
embryos to find normal ones that would not miscarry. Many women do. Couples who
are carriers of a specific disease can also genetically test the embryos to
create healthy babies.
Now it's true that some couples have their embryos tested
just for gender and not health reasons, but so what? It's a non-invasive
process that doesn't harm the embryos, which, by the way are not alive—only have the potential for life.
During my IVF I once met a woman who would only transfer
female embryos because her husband would divorce her if she did not have a baby
boy to be his heir. (And they weren't even royalty.)
But Teigen has said she is planning on having many children,
girls and boys. Since she had the choice, though, she just chose to have
a girl first.
Which is really remarkable, because most Americans prefer
boys to girls by a 40 percent to 28 percent margin, according to a Gallup
So let's raise a glass to the feminist Teigen for choosing
her own gender (you go, girl!) for being so public about her fertility
struggles (hurrah!) to a very ignorant public (sorry), and lay off her as she
gets ready to have her baby girl.
And in her own words, let's just be
happy for her. "I so badly want you to be happy so I can be