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Baby Gender Testing: Is it a baby boy or baby girl?

Baby Gender Testing: Is it a baby boy or baby girl?

Couples awaiting the birth of a child are often absorbed by the thought of whether it will be a baby boy or baby girl. Baby gender tests are in fact often carried out in order to help couples cut short that probing question. In most cases, finding out the gender of a baby is done to purely appease one’s curiosity. Many couples just see baby prediction tests as pragmatic tools to begin making certain decisions and choices about their baby. These choices can include anything from picking the names they fancy, to buying toys and decorating nursery rooms.

In rare instances, couples might have discovered they have a hereditary or congenital disease which is sex-linked; this disease may only manifest itself in males or females, or might perhaps be more dominant in one sex than the other. By carrying out a baby gender test, couples can know whether their child may be affected by the disease or not, or at least get an idea of the risk the child has of suffering from the condition.  Diseases such as muscular dystrophy or haemophilia for example affect males. If couples suspect the baby might suffer from one of these conditions, the first thing they would do is establish whether the baby is in fact male. If the baby gender test results establish the baby is female, the couple can have their mind at rest that she will not suffer from either haemophilia or muscular dystrophy.

How does one discover the sex of their baby?

With every pregnancy, irrespective of the gender of the baby she might have had in a previous pregnancy, a woman has an equal chance of having a baby girl or baby boy. The first insight into the baby’s gender typically comes with the 18th week ultrasound where a fetal anatomy survey takes place. The baby’s sex organs are usually developed enough to know whether it is a he or a she.

It is sometimes hard to accurately confirm the gender of a baby with an ultrasound. The penis might not be pronounced enough; in such an instance, the person overseeing the ultrasound might erroneously confirm a baby girl. Before 18 weeks, chances of misattribution of baby gender are elevated because the female clitoris is around the same size of the male’s penis. Moreover, the fetal position might also inhibit the ultrasonographer from identifying the baby’s genitalia correctly. Luckily today many hospitals have 3D ultrasound machines available which enable more accurate results. There is nevertheless, always a margin of error with an ultrasound.

DNA Testing for baby gender

Couples expecting a baby have the option of DNA testing to determine baby gender. Many companies such as homeDNAdirect, International Biosciences and easyDNA offer these types of tests. Although these tests come at a cost, they have some important advantages, these namely being:

  • Baby gender prediction testing can be carried out far earlier than ultrasounds, enabling couples to undertake their choices far earlier.

  • Baby gender DNA testing is more accurate, meaning that couples do not have to have any worry whatsoever about an incorrect result.

DNA testing for baby gender can be done using blood samples or urine samples. The blood sample is not carried out by a medical blood draw but a few droplets of blood which are collected by the expectant mother by pricking her finger with a medical sterile needle and then collecting the ensuing drops on a special paper with a high absorbent capacity. Urine testing is pretty straight forward and is carried out like any other urine test. Once in the laboratory, DNA analysis of the samples takes place. The laboratories proceed to analyse the samples provided to determine whether there is any male DNA. In scientific terms, if any male specific Y chromosome is found in the urine sample or blood sample, the baby will be a boy. If there is no Y chromosome confirmed, the baby will be a girl.

Baby Gender with Amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling

Both amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling are extremely accurate baby gender prediction methods. However, these methods are there to determine fetal anomalies or abnormalities, detect birth complications and other related issues. Due to the innate risks of such tests, it is not recommended to carry out amniocentesis or CVS to know whether you will have a baby girl or baby boy. If you wish to know whether you are carrying a baby girl or boy, risk free DNA testing or ultrasounds are the best option.

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