Washington: Parents-to-be usually find out whether they are having a boy or girl around 20 weeks of pregnancy, but a review study has suggested that tests using cell-free fetal DNA obtained from the mother``s blood could accurately predict fetus gender as early as seven weeks into a pregnancy.Review and analysis of previous studies have indicated that blood tests performed well, while urine-based tests appear to be unreliable.Non-invasive prenatal determination of fetal sex could provide an important alternative to invasive cytogenetic determination, which is currently the gold standard for determining sex and single-gene disorders. Amniocentesis has small but measurable rates of procedure-related pregnancy loss; and sonography can be performed as early as 11 weeks`` gestation to determine fetal sex, although not reliably, according to background information in the article. “The availability of a reliable noninvasive alternative to determine fetal sex would reduce unintended fetal losses and would presumably be welcomed by pregnant women carrying fetuses at risk for disorders,” the authors write.Using cell-free fetal DNA as a noninvasive method for prenatal determination of fetal sex provides an alternative to invasive techniques for some heritable disorders.
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