Pink Or Blue? Get A Blood Test And Find OutAugust 10, 2011 1 Comment
Whether it’s because they want to start decorating their baby’s room, pick out names, or they just hate surprises, some couples want to know the sex of their baby as early as possible.
If you fall under any of these categories, a simple blood test can do the trick. Blood tests that are done around seven weeks show 95 percent accuracy in revealing sex, according to new research. But like any controversial medical test, the blood test detecting fetal DNA in the mother’s bloodstream earlier than other (and generally more invasive) tests is not without its pros and cons.
It could be a “breakthrough for women at risk of having babies with certain diseases, who could avoid invasive procedures if they learned their fetus was a gender not affected by those illnesses,” but it also “raises concerns about couples using such tests for gender selection and abortion,” according to health experts.
Most of us would agree that it would benefit the parents and doctors to find evidence of disease as early in the pregnancy as possible to look at treatments, but it’s difficult not to be suspicious of people wanting to determine sex at such an early stage. Other than medical concerns, for what reason do you have to know whether your baby is pink or blue?
The study’s authors believe that couples should be asked, pre-testing, why they want to determine their baby’s sex. If their medical history reveals disease, they should be able to. If not, testing for sex is just not necessary.
Still, it’s hard to say what’s right and what’s wrong. Women should be entitled to as much information as possible during their pregnancies. Why should they be deprived of their right to know the sex if technology can give them the answer? We can’t assume that blood tests will become family planning standard procedure. On the other hand, the sex of their baby is not exactly pertinent information.
At the end of the day, the concerns are valid. Sex selection practices have led to serious imbalances in countries like India and China. I can’t help but conclude that the health of the baby, male or female, should always be the primary concern.
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