A New Blood Test That Can Reveal A Developing Baby's Sex As Early As Seven Weeks Gestation Has Some Experts Concerned.

A new blood test that can reveal a developing baby's sex as early as seven weeks gestation has some experts concerned.
A new blood test that can reveal a developing baby's sex as early as seven weeks gestation has some experts concerned. The new blood test - cell-free fetal DNA - checks the mom's blood for small pieces of the male chromosome. If those are present, the woman is having a baby boy. The test is already used in some European hospitals, but it's not available in the United States yet. Some experts are happy about the possibility of determining a baby's sex that early, as many genetic disorders are sex linked and occur in boys. If an expectant mom was aware that she was having a girl, she wouldn't have to undergo more invasive tests, like an amniocentesis. If a woman must undergo an amniocentesis, she is at a greater risk of having a miscarriage. For that test, some of the amniotic fluid that surrounds the fetus is removed from the uterus. According to Mayo Clinic, the miscarriage risk of a second semester amniocentesis is between on in 300 and one in 500. Dr. Diana Bianchi, from Tufts University School of Medicine, was a part of the study. Along with her colleagues, she analyzed over 50 existing studies that reviewed the blood test for determining sex. It had been conducted on 6,500 expectant moms between those studies. The test turned out to be quite accurate:
  • 98.8% accurate when the blood test determined the baby was a boy
  • 94.8% accurate when the blood test determined the baby was a girl
The cost: Just $413. However, some doctors worry that some people might want to know the sex of their baby that early so they can decide whether to continue a pregnancy.
“What you have to consider is the ethics of this,” Dr. Mary Rosser, an obstetrician and gynecologist at the Montefiore Medical Center in New York, told Reuters. “If parents are using it to determine gender and then terminate the pregnancy based on that, that could be a problem,” she told Reuters Health. “Remember, gender is not a disease.”
What do you think? Do you feel this is a great resource to rule out genetic abnormalities, or do you worry that it could be used as a way to select sex? (Source: MSNBC)

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