Thursday, January 21, 2010

Foetal Sex determine easily...?

Just a blood test can tell foetal sex in early pregnancy

Normally, parents who want to know the sex of their baby before it's born find out through ultrasound done in the second trimester. A blood test that can be done early in pregnancy is highly accurate at determining the sex of the fetus, however, a new study finds.
The test is important, write the authors of the study, because in some cases, there are medical reasons to determine fetal sex earlier. That has traditionally meant invasive tests, like amniocentesis, which carry a small risk of miscarriage.
Consequently, maternal blood tests that pick up certain markers of fetal sex have been developed and put into use in recent years. So far, research has shown the accuracy of these tests to vary widely, depending on the methods used.
In this latest study, published in the journal Obstetrics & Gynaecology, researchers in the Netherlands found that the testing method used at their centre was 100% accurate in determining fetal sex among nearly 200 pregnant women.
Part of what's new about the findings is that they show the effectiveness of blood testing as it is done in routine practice — and not just in the research setting, Ellen van der Schoot, of Sanquin Research Amsterdam, said. The study does not discuss costs, nor when the test might be available to the general public.
Still, the findings support using the tests in cases where fetal sex is important in detecting or managing certain inherited medical conditions.
For example, congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) is a genetic disorder that causes girls to develop abnormal external genitalia and male-like characteristics like a deep voice and excessive body hair. REUTERS

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