Knowing that you’re expecting can be quite an exciting time. In fact, you might be considering prenatal testing to determine the gender of your unborn child, but it’s important to note that there are several options available.
Here are the three common methods to identify the gender of an unborn baby:
Invasive DNA Testing (Amniocentesis & Chorionic Villus Sampling)
Both of these tests are the most precise methods for predicting a child’s gender during pregnancy. Within the process of amniocentesis, a needle is used to obtain an amniotic fluid sample from the fetus by inserting it into the abdomen of the mother. An ultrasound is used to guide the insertion of the needle in order to prevent harming the baby. The extracted amniotic fluid contains the genetic composition of the baby, making it possible to detect the gender.
A similar process of DNA testing prior to birth is done with chorionic villus sampling. This involves taking a sample of tissue from the placenta by inserting a needle via the mother’s genitals. However, since high risk is present in both methods, they are not recommended solely for detecting the sex of the child.
This is the most popular method of predicting a child’s sex, which is usually done between 18 and 22 weeks of pregnancy. The results of ultrasounds are almost 100% correct if conducted by a professional, as scans are almost always accurate. While little risk is involved, prolonged exposure to an ultrasound can be harmful due to the radiation it emits.
Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing (NIPT)
Also called cell-free DNA (cfDNA), NIPT is the most recent form of DNA testing before birth. It entails no risk to both the mother and the child. Only blood drawn from the expecting mother is enough to analyze in the laboratory. The fetal cfDNA, coming from the placenta, is known to be found in the mother’s bloodstream, which is genetically identical to that of the unborn baby.
This testing can be used to determine the sex of the fetus by examining for Y-chromosome cell-free DNA fragments. If the Y-chromosome is present, it is more likely that the baby’s gender is male. Otherwise, the gender is most likely female.
Curious to know your baby’s gender? Contact Prenatal Genetics Laboratory for risk-free non-invasive baby gender testing.