Published Jul 6, 2005
Hi everybody! I had heard on the news last night that there is now a new test available for parents to find out the gender of their baby at as little as 5 weeks pregnant. This just amazed me! I have two kids and I didn't want to know what they were until they were born - this drove all my friends and my mother absolutely bonkers, but I wanted to hear the doctor say "it's a boy" or "it's a girl" right after my child was born, not knowing any different beforehand. I am really glad I didn't choose to find out what my children were before they were born, it made that moment so special, but that is off topic.
I am curious to know what all of you think about this new testing available? Apparently something in the mother's blood (forgive me, I'm just a pre-nursing student and don't know much about all this yet - definitely not the technical jargon) will allow them to tell up to a 99.?% accuracy rate the gender of the baby. Some people were concerned that this method will be used for gender selection and others argue that this test is not meant for that. I personally could not imagine terminating a pregnancy simply because the child was not the sex that I wanted (over my dead body would be my perspective - I would give my life for my children!), but I know that I am not everybody either, which leads me to wonder what all of you think. I am curious on everybody's viewpoint.
I am curious on everybody's viewpoint. Thanks!
I don't think this test is a particular threat. There will always be people who use technology for purposes that the majority don't approve of, but I don't foresee that happening much here (USA). I think most people here, including those who are pro-choice, don't take termination lightly, and gender prejudice doesn't seem to be a huge cultural issue here.
That's good to know - thanks for the input!
wow, i was taught that the embryos were gender indifferent until about 6 weeks. If you think about embryology from A&P, the development of the gonads start about week 3 from the mesoderm and endoderm layers. the duct system is formed and both sexes have both a mesonephric and paramesonephric ducts, and unless the embryo is expsed to androgens it will be a female. If i remember correctly testosterone (an androgen) isn't produced by the genital ridge until sometime after week 6. This is interesting, I'll have to look for the article to see if further research was done and our books are already out dated. Just finished A&P this past spring.
Oh yeah it does (and will continue to) happen here in the good ol' USA. We, the American public, may not be privy to everything the USA dips its funds and underground work into, but every piece of my fiber tells me we are in the dark about much of what our country does and is capable of doing. Sorry, I love my country, but we are farrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr from perfect. :stone
I really wouldn't have wanted to know what gender my babies were going be. That capability wasn't available when I had my babies, but even if it were, I'm not so sure I would have wanted to know. I like the element of surprise "It's a Girl...." :) And, I heard that beautiful phrase THREE separate times. :)
I saw a TV segment on this test. It looks for Y chromosomes in mom's blood (apparently from the minute amount of blood that crosses the placenta). The presence of a Y chromosome means boy, and the absence means girl.
From what they reported (the Today show) it is very expensive, $20 for the test kit but $300 for the lab fee.
Hmm, how interesting. I am set up to take A&P I this fall, so I have no idea about the development of the fetus yet (well, at least in that aspect - I know the basic details from having babies myself, but I didn't know anything about when the sex was determined). I do recall something being said about placentas, but I really only caught blips because it was on the local news while I was making a salad to go with supper - that must've been when they were discussing that y chromosome presence or absence. My goal is to work with neonates eventually, but to possibly start out in L&D as well as a well-baby nursery which is why these topics intrigue me in the first place.
Thanks for the input so far -keep it coming. :)
Interesting. My very first thought was that it would be used for gender selection and termination before I even finished reading the OP. I absolutely think there would be people here who would use it that way...of course not to the extent in China or India, for example, but still. Many people would have a much easier time justifying terminating a pg. at 5 or 6 weeks than later. People already terminate for things like an extra digit in the pinkie, cleft palate, etc., so I don't see that it would be such a stretch for some.
PS I loved finding out in the delivery room the sex of my babies! But I certainly respect those who choose to find out before birth.
The birth rate continues to favor boys slightly in this country, and the number hasn't changed a huge amount in the last umpteen years (even with the availability of ultrasound and amniocentesis and legal abortion). I don't know what you're concerned about, but it doesn't seem to address the issue at hand which is not what our "country" does but what individuals are choosing to do with their pregnancies..
Interesting. My very first thought was that it would be used for gender selection and termination before I even finished reading the OP.
That was what I thought when I heard it too - glad it's not just me. :) The very thought sends shivers down my spine - but, like I said before, I am not everybody, therefore I guess I can't fully understand.
True, this hasn't been an issue yet...IMO because by the time you can have amnio results back, the baby looks like a baby on u/s and it is more difficult to justify termination at that point. But at 5 or 6 weeks it is much harder (for some people) to feel an attachment to a blob on the screen. Also, in this country I wouldn't be so much concerned about people terminating females...parents here who use the sperm-sorting machine thing (sorry, can't think of the real name for it and don't have time to look it up) usually select for girls.
The technology is really amazing though!
Wow with all the major health issues our race faces. The summation of our great and powerful, multibillion dollar health science reaserch has now developed to the point that we can detect winkies and who who's at 5 weeks gestation
:chuckle :chuckle I smell a Nobel peice prize :chuckle :chuckle
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