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Thursday, February 13, 2014

Baby Girl or Baby Boy? When Will You Know For Sure?

The "for sure" way to know your baby's sex is to greet your baby on it's birth day! All other methods have some failures, although they are very accurate. The quickest way is to get a blood test of cell free DNA (cfDNA) at about -9 weeks after conception, and you will have a 98% reliable answer in about 10 days. The main purpose of this new test is to detect birth defects. This is detecting placental DNA fragments that are circulating in the blood stream, although often referred to as 'fetal' DNA. Not all fetal DNA is identical to the placental DNA.  In an article, about a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, discussed NY Times on Feb 27, 2014 they estimate that the new fetal DNA test was ten times better in predicting Down's syndrome than older tests. Even if the new test shows that there is a genetic abnormality, confirmatory testing, such as an amniocentesis, should be done as about half the cases that have an abnormal result have a normal baby.  If you do not have a cfDNA test that would determine the sex, the next quickest way to determine sex is to get a fetal ultrasound at 13-15 weeks after conception. It's fairly reliable with an experienced sonographer as well! Once only offered to high risk women, newest position statements are supporting testing for low risk women. And contradictory statements only supports this testing for high risk women.  
As with other tests, it's time to discuss with your own gyno what tests of the baby's health will be best for you when you conceive. 

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