Ericsson method

The Ericsson Method is an assisted reproductive technology for sex selection, used before implantation. In this method, sperm that will give rise to male versus female children are separated by moving at different speeds through a protein solution.

When used to increase the likelihood of a female child, studies have resulted in between 70% and 80% female children.[1][2][3]

When used to increase the likelihood of a male child, studies have resulted in between 50%[2] to 75% male children.[3]


The Ericsson method is based on the belief that X-sperm swim slower than Y-sperm. Sperm are placed atop a "column" of increasingly thicker layers of albumin, and allowed to swim down into the solution. After a certain time period has elapsed, the sperm can be separated into the faster and slower swimmers. If the couple desires a male baby the faster swimmers are artificially inseminated, and if the couple desires a female baby the same procedure is enacted with the slower swimmers.[citation needed]

This method differs from the Shettles method, which does not utilize artificial insemination.


Describe in layman's terms how the Ericsson Method works.

Albumin Methods works. A fresh semen sample is provided to the laboratory for processing. Seminal fluid is separated from sperm by centrifugation. Sperm, in a known amount, are layered over a solution of human serum albumin (main protein in blood; egg white is also an albumin) in a vertical column. These sperm swim downward due to gravity and to their ability to swim. After several layers of albumin the final sperm fraction is collected, washed and re-suspended in a medium for artificial insemination. Most of the sperm have been eliminated, whereas those sperm that reach the bottom fraction are of the highest fertility and quality. These sperm are then inseminated artificially at the time of ovulation. In addition, for those couple that want a daughter the drug to induce ovulation (clomiphene citrate) is administered.

The method by Shettles is like all of the other methods that make claims without direct evidence of effectiveness. That is it works one half of the time like anything else. The two clinical trials that tested the method by Shettles (Singapore and Australia) found no difference in the sex ratio. They further concluded that even if the method was valid to skew the sex ratio the steps are too complex for most couples to follow correctly.


It was developed and patented by Dr. Ronald Ericsson. The method has been in use since the mid-1970s.


  1. ^ Silverman, A.Y. (2002). "Female sex selection using clomiphene citrate and albumin separation of human sperm". Human Reproduction. 17 (5): 1254–1256. doi:10.1093/humrep/17.5.1254. ISSN 1460-2350.
  2. ^ a b Jaffe, Sharon B.; Jewelewicz, Raphael; Wahl, Eric; Khatamee, Masood A. (1991). "A controlled study for gender selection". Fertility and Sterility. 56 (2): 254–258. doi:10.1016/S0015-0282(16)54481-1. ISSN 0015-0282.
  3. ^ a b Beernink, Ferdinand J.; Dmowski, W. Paul; Ericsson, Ronald J. (1993). "Sex preselection through albumin separation of sperm**Presented in part at the 44th Annual Meeting of The American Fertility Society, Atlanta, Georgia, October 8 to 13, 1988". Fertility and Sterility. 59 (2): 382–386. doi:10.1016/S0015-0282(16)55681-7. ISSN 0015-0282.

Further readingEdit

The below references were taken from 123 published papers. These references represent the initial scientific research, the concepts behind altering the sex ratio, the clinical results and the social and demographic history of people who elect to use this technology for a wanted sex selected child.

  • Ericsson R J and Ericsson SA. Human sex preselection: compilation of worldwide clinical results using the albumin method. Today's Therapeutic Trends 16(2):107-119,1998.
  • Beernink FJ, Dmowski WP and Ericsson RJ. Sex preselection of sperm. Fertil. Steril. 59(2):382-386, 1993.
  • Ericsson SA and Ericsson RJ. Couples with exclusively female offspring have an increased probability of a male child after using male sex preselection. Hum. Reprod. 7(3):372-373, 1992.
  • Rose GA and Wong A. Experiences in Hong Kong with the theory and practice of the albumin column method of sperm separation for sex selection. Hum. Reprod.13(1):146-149, 1998.
  • Pyrzak R. Separation of X- and Y-bearing human spermatozoa using albumin gradients. Hum. Reprod. 9(10):1788-1790. 1994.
  • Claassens OE, Oosthuizen CJ, Brusnicky J, Franken DR and Kruger TF. Fluorescent in situ hybridization evaluation of human Y-bearing spermatozoa separated by albumin density gradients. Fert. Steril. 63(2):417-418. 1995.
  • Ericsson RJ. Sex selection via albumin columns: 20 years of results. Hum. Reprod. 9(10):1787-788,1994.
  • Ericsson RJ, Langevin CN and Nishino M. Isolation of fractions rich in human Y sperm. Nature 246: 421–424, 1973.
  • Cui Ke-hui. Size differences between human X and Y spermatozoa and prefertilization diagnosis. Molecular Hum. Reprod. 3(1):61-67, 1997.
  • Liu P and Rose GA. Social aspects of >800 couples coming forward for gender selection of their children. Hum. Reprod. 10(4):968-971, 1995.
  • Ericsson RJ and Ericsson SA. Sex Ratios. In: Knobil E, Neill JD (Eds.). Encyclopedia of Reproduction. Academic Press, CA. Volume 4, pages 431–437, 1999.
  • Silverman AY, Stephens SR, Drouin MT, Zack RG, Osborne J and Ericsson SA. Female sex selection using clomiphene citrate and albumin separation of sperm. Hum. Reprod. 17(5):1254-1256. 2002.