Sex revealed in seven weeks

Submitted by Shelby D Burns Mon 01/25/2010

Babies Until now, most expectant couples had to wait until the second trimester to know if their bundle of joy was a boy or girl. A new test could cut that time in half, letting moms and dads everywhere know if they should paint the nursery blue or pink. The test, given as early as seven weeks, appears to be highly accurate. 100% accurate results were obtained from the 189 women who took the test between 2003 and 2009. The test sounds simple enough. Blood from the fetus mingles with the mother’s blood during pregnancy. A sample of the mother’s blood is taken and if genes unique to the Y-chromosome of males are present, researchers predict a boy. More importantly, the test is also good for revealing Down’s syndrome and Rhesus-D (RhD) disease. RhD sometimes results from a blood incompatibility between mother and child. For example, an Rh-positive mother and an Rh-negative child could have difficulty co-existing. If it goes untreated, it can lead to jaundice, brain damage or stillbirth. This blood test is less invasive than fetal blood sampling (FBS) which is known to cause amniotic fluid leakage and in some cases, even miscarriage. This test is currently not available to the general public but has been widely available in Europe. The authors of the report, published in Obstetrics and Gynecology, stated “The United States should begin to undertake clinical trials to bring this technology to patient care as soon as possible.”

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