A recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association has shown that a maternal blood test, drawn through amniocentesis or other invasive procedure can determine the gender of a fetus at 7 weeks gestation. These blood tests are done at home by simply pricking the finger of the pregnant woman to collect a drop of blood. The sample is then sent to a lab where the chromosomal markers are analyzed to determine whether the woman is carrying a boy or girl – and with 95% accuracy, nonetheless.
While there have been tests similar to this online for years, this is the first to confirm with such accuracy, thus examining the potential for prenatal care, in both a positive and negative light. On one hand, parents could screen for gender-linked genetic diseases, but on the other side of the coin, it could allow for the very ethically controversial step of gender selection.
The New York Times reports, these tests are not yet regulated by the FDA because they are not used for medical purposes, and keep in mind this can cost upwards of about $250 for lab fees and other various processing.
I can say that I really do not see the need for finding out my unborn child’s gender at 7 weeks. My husband and I did find out what we were having, however, it was at 19 weeks and some odd days…and while that wait felt excruciatingly long, I do not think it needed to be any sooner. I had a connection to this baby, boy or girl, for half my pregnancy before ever knowing if “it” was a he or she. I strongly believe that finding out your unborn child’s gender at 7 weeks can open yourself to a lot of emotional anguish, as the first 12 weeks are a sort of tricky time and miscarriage risks are higher. If you know that you’re having a boy as early as you find out you’re pregnant, you might feel THAT much more connected to the baby, making a miscarriage that much harder.
What do you think about this test? Would you pay for it so early in your pregnancy? I’d love to hear thoughts on this!