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Everything you need to know about the gender blood test

By MomMed | 14 October 2022 | 0 Comments

Waiting until your 20-week ultrasound to learn your baby's gender can feel like a long wait. But, in the past few years, there have been significant improvements in the timing and simplicity of learning your baby's sex.

Even though gender prediction is not its primary objective, non-invasive prenatal testing or NIPT can assist you in discovering the genetic and chromosomal conditions of your baby as early as ten weeks into your pregnancy.

So, does it get your attention? Let us learn more about how a gender blood test works and how it is beneficial.  

What is a gender blood test?


Non-invasive prenatal testing, or NIPT, is a blood test used to check for various chromosomal disorders, including down syndrome. You must keep in mind that not all chromosomes are tested for.

It is sometimes referred to as MaterniT21 or cell-free DNA screening. NIPT analyzes the baby's DNA fragments present naturally in the mother's blood. These DNA fragments are known as cell-free DNA.

If we go back in time, two genetic screenings were done in the first trimester to check a baby's genetic status: amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling. However, because these procedures are intrusive, they carry some risks, such as there is chance of miscarriage, even though they offer precise results.
They allow you to learn your baby's sex before the 20-week ultrasound, but they are not ideal or worth taking the risk. However, you don't have to worry about that because now you have a different non-invasive choice.


How does NIPT screening work?

Similar to other blood tests, a gender blood test procedure involves going to your doctor's office and providing a sample of your blood.

The idea behind this test is that your baby's DNA will show signs of genetic anomalies associated with the three
chromosomal disorders: Down syndrome, Edwards syndrome, and Patau syndrome. You must be pregnant for nine to ten weeks to receive this test.
Doctors can determine whether your baby is more prone to have specific problems by looking at the chromosomes. Usually, each chromosome has two copies.

So, when there is an extra pair of chromosomes, that situation is known as trisomy. Down syndrome is also known as trisomy 21 because, in this condition, there is an extra copy of chromosome 21.

Is NIPT accurate?

Because the procedure is so simple, you might be concerned about the test's accuracy, but rest assured that NIPT is highly accurate. But this test might not be the best bet if you're worried about other, more uncommon disorders. Additionally, the false positivity rate for NIPT is low.

Is NIPT safe?

NIPT is risk-free and won't hurt your baby or you. If you are expecting twins, you will have the same screening options as if you were expecting a single child. NIPT is not recommended if you are expecting three or more babies.
Although this test is referred to as a gender blood test, you cannot use it to determine the sex of your child specifically. It is not the primary goal. NIPT can determine sex, and it is because some genetic disorders depend on sex. This test is a primary tool for genetic screening.

Method to determine the gender

After taking the pregnancy test and finding out that you are pregnant, most parents are excited to know the gender of the baby. There is one non-blood technique to find out the gender of your child. If you haven't made the sex selection via IVF, you can find the gender by abdominal ultrasound.
Your baby's genitals can be seen on an ultrasound around the 14th week of gestation. However, you will have to wait until your anatomy scan is planned, if any difficulties prevent you from having an ultrasound at this time.


Benefits of NIPT

The NIPT is a straightforward process that produces a lot of valuable insights. The popularity of the test is due in part to the following factors:

• This test's most significant and crucial benefit is that it is not intrusive. You only need a quick blood test during a routine pregnancy exam.

• It bears none of the possible risks of other testing and is completely risk-free for you and your baby.

• Although you will need additional diagnostic tests to validate the results, negative results are highly accurate and reassuring for various diseases.

• You can take this test when the pregnancy is just 9 to 10 weeks.

• Results are delivered within a couple of weeks and frequently earlier.


Things To Consider

The moment after the pregnancy test comes positive is precious; however, to ensure that you provide the utmost care for your baby, you must look at your family history. There could be a high chance of your baby having a birth defect if your family's medical history involves a child's previous pregnancy or some genetic disorders or birth defects.
Before becoming pregnant, learning more about your family's medical history can allow you time to address any worries. Remember to take into account both possible parents' family medical histories.

Remember to share any worries you have with your healthcare professional. You must consider how you'll use the findings of your blood tests in your prenatal care.

With this information, families have more time to research genetic diseases and make plans.

Final Words

In conclusion, a non-invasive prenatal screening test, or NIPT, checks a pregnant woman's blood to assess the chances that the fetus will have a particular genetic condition. A little amount of the fetus' cell-free DNA is present in the pregnant woman's blood during pregnancy. This DNA quickly departs the body after delivery.
One of the main benefits of a gender blood test is that it frequently eliminates the need for invasive prenatal diagnostic tests, lowering the risks to the patient's mental health and physical health that come with them. So, after your pregnancy test, when the recommended weeks have passed you can opt to go for the gender blood test.

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