Find baby’s sex early & risk of gender-linked diseases via blood test

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The most commonly used method to find out sex of the baby is ultrasound or sonogram. This method is most accurate between 18-22 weeks. It is normally done at the time when fetal anatomy is done in the mid-second trimester. At this point, it is usually easier to tell the sex of the baby. Earlier dates are usually too difficult to tell and at later dates become difficult because of crowding in the uterus. According to a research, you can find out sex of your baby by utilizing a blood test at seven weeks of pregnancy.  This blood test can also reveal many gender-linked abnormalities.

Obstetric sonography
Obstetric sonograph
 (ultrasonography) is the application of medical ultrasonography to obstetrics, in which sonography is used to visualize the embryo or fetus in its mother’s uterus (womb). The procedure is often a standard part of prenatal care, as it yields a variety of information regarding the health of the mother and of the fetus, as well as regarding the progress of the pregnancy.

All embryos have a small bud or swelling. It’s known as the genital nub or protuberance. In case of a boy, testosterone starts being produced when you are about seven weeks pregnant, prompting the bud to grow and develop into a penis and scrotum. In a girl, the genital nub will become the clitoris and labia.

A blood test to determine baby’s sex early
A new research has found that a simple blood test can determine the baby’s sex for expectant parents at just seven weeks, much earlier than procedures like ultrasound. It is even with far less risky than invasive tests like amniocentesis, which can trigger miscarriage.

The research has been published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. A review was done for 57 previous studies of the test, called cell-free fetal DNA. Between 7 to 12 weeks, overall results were correct about 94% that of a boy would be born and 98% that a girl would be born. After 20 weeks, the results were almost 100%.

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The test scans the mother’s blood test for fetal DNA finding for fragments of the X and Y chromosome to determine the baby is a son or a daughter, between 7 to 12 weeks of pregnancy. While ultrasound procedure is not conducted before second trimester, the other procedures like chorionic villus sampling or amniocentesis have some risk of miscarriage.

Families with a history of gender-linked diseases will certainly like to avail this test, since it can help in identifying at-risk babies early. However, there is a worry that some couples will misuse it for sex selection of the baby.

For now, the debate is going on in the U.S., where the test — estimated to cost more than $400 — is not as widely available as it is in Europe. “It is being used in Europe for medical indications, and there’s no reason why it shouldn’t be used in the U.S.

The blood test seems useful to determine sex of your baby as well as gender-linked ailments. There is always a debate about exposure of the fetus to ultrasound waves. Looks like the limiting factor for insurance companies is the cost of the test itself.  In my opinion, if the test offers determination of gender-liked diseases, it’s cost can be justified.

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