Baby Gender Testing: Whom to Expect When You are Expecting
In the olden days of yore, there were plenty of different ways to try to determine what gender of child to expect. People speculated left and right about different ways to do it, as I’m sure you have felt a strong curiosity, as well.
Some people believed that you could tell by the cravings you had during pregnancy. People believed that if you were craving sweets such as chocolate, you should be expecting a little baby girl. These people also believed that if you were craving savoury foodstuffs, especially meat, you could be expecting a boy. Another fun way to know if you’re having a girl is to eat garlic. According to doctors from centuries ago, if you could eat a lot of garlic but not smell like it, you have a daughter on the way. In China, there is a series of charts you can use based on your age at conception and the month of conception to determine the baby’s gender. Acne was an old way to determine gender, too. If you find yourself breaking out, you’ll probably be having a baby girl whose name is Agnes or Dolores. Morning sickness can determine this, too. If you find your morning sickness gets much better after the first trimester, expect lots of blue on the day you give birth.
In China, there is a series of charts you can use based on your age at conception and the month of conception to determine the baby’s gender. Acne was an old way to determine gender, too. If you find yourself breaking out, you’ll probably be having a baby girl whose name is Agnes or Dolores. Morning sickness can determine this, too. If you find your morning sickness gets much better after the first trimester, expect lots of blue on the day you give birth.
There are more modern wives tales, too. According to many people, you should ask your doctor to tell you your baby’s heartbeat when they listen. Anything under 140 beats per minutes most likely means you have a baby girl on the way. Other people believe that you can tell by adding Drano to your pee. When you add the Drano, look to see if the mix changes colours. Green means you’re having a girl, and blue means you’re having a boy. You can use your keys, too! Only on someone who isn’t you, though. When handing your other pregnant friends a key, look to see what part they hold. If she grabs the key by the top (the part that you put on the keychain), she has a nice, totally not dirty ever, a baby boy coming!
Of course, these odd methods are called myths and wives tales for a reason. There’s no real scientific method behind it, and you could very well find yourself sick in the second trimester but still having a baby girl when the day comes. You may find, in doing your research, that most of these methods have a fifty percent chance of being correct. That is because you always have a fifty percent chance of having a child of any gender, not because of some weird supernatural effect.
There is absolutely no science behind any of these methods. Neil deGrasse Tyson recently and famously said, “The wonderful part about science is it’s true, whether you believe in it or not.” I’m not here to tell you that these methods will never work. What I am here to tell you is that when they do or when they don’t, it is not for the reasons they say. As science teachers have repeated over and over in their lives, correlation does not determine causation.
The good news, you live in 2017 and modern medicine has gender determination and gender causation more than figured out. While you should still look for genitalia during the ultrasound, there are more advanced methods to fall back on if that doesn’t work out.
It should be noted upfront that the method I want to tell you about will only work during the second trimester, so you should try to avoid worrying about it before then. Modern medicine isn’t necessarily easy to understand, but it’s imperative that you do so as to avoid making any huge mistakes. Listening to your doctor is a must. As much as it won’t seem like it at times, trained medical professionals probably do know more about having baby than you do your first time, so be sure to listen to their every word and never do through with anything they tell you not to. Pregnancy is a complex and fickle thing.
It is also important to understand before we discuss what we are about to discuss, how a baby’s gender is determined when the baby is conceived, or what the cause of the baby’s gender really is. Women carry twenty-three pairs of chromosomes, one of which is referred to as the double X. Men also carry twenty-three, however, they have a Y chromosome paired with their singular X. Because of this, every female will pass an X chromosome on to her child. Men, on the other hand, have a fifty percent chance of passing down an X or Y. The baby’s gender is then determined by which gender chromosome is carried on by the man’s sperm as it meets the woman’s egg at the moment of conception.
Finally, it’s important to understand why baby gender tests happen. While the most common cause is just curiosity, there are plenty of less trivial reasons to do so. One of the biggest is gender selection. Practised mostly in China, gender selection occurs when a pregnancy is terminated because of the gender of the baby to come, or when the pregnancy is otherwise tampered with in an attempt to increase the likelihood of one gender over the other. This is rampant in China because of their infamous one-child policy, and the way Chinese culture works. In Chinese culture, the man rules the family. When women marry, much like in Western civilisations, they give up their family name for that of their husbands. Because of the importance placed on family in Chinese culture, it is important to many that their family name is passed down. The one-child policy, just as it says on the tin, is a policy put in place by the Chinese government in an attempt to reduce overpopulation. With each couple only being able to have one child, many will go out of their way to have a boy, even by the most dubious means. To these people, gender testing as early as possible is very important.
The direct reason to understand the gender of your child before birth in countries without a one-child policy, however, is a sex-linked disease. These diseases can be very trivial or some of the worst that a child can have. For example, it is commonly known that men are more likely to be colour blind. This is because colour blindness is an X-linked recessive trait, meaning that the cause of colorblindness is found on the aforementioned X chromosome. Because colorblindness is a recessive trait, it will quickly disappear if the normal trait is apparent on the paired chromosome. However, men can’t rely on another X chromosome to help prevent colorblindness from appearing. The recessive trait will always show when they have it, whereas women conceived by the same parents may have a better chance of knowing the difference between red and green. Colorblindness isn’t the worst thing of all time, though… but many sex-linked diseases are close. Becker’s muscular dystrophy and Say-Meyer syndrome are two of the worst diseases known to man, and they work genetically the same way as colorblindness. Because of this, couples may want to have themselves tested and to try to determine the gender of the baby. In doing so, they can understand what sort of risks the baby is at, and be ready to deal with the consequences of those risks when and if they come up. To put it bluntly: knowing the gender of your baby and the dormant issues that may be in your genes could save your baby’s life. You can take just a few steps today to prevent major crises tomorrow. Why wouldn’t you?
In the modern age, performing a DNA test is so easy your unborn child could do it. All it takes is a simple prick of the mother’s finger and some lab analysis. You can find plenty of labs online that you can simply mail your DNA to, and even find kits to help you out with it on Amazon. With a few simple steps, you can determine your chance of conceiving a boy as early as nine weeks into the pregnancy. The newest and most innovative technology yet in dealing with pregnancies, this new DNA test is an easy and simple to understand the way to relieve your curiosity and improve your child’s future.
The DNA tests work by an analysis process called PCR, which is short for polymerase chain reaction. This process allows scientists to work with even the smallest of DNA samples to determine a slew of information. The easiest is to determine the gender of your baby, and from there and from other steps in the PCR process, scientists can figure out if your baby is predisposed to any genetic medical problems. This is a huge improvement over traditional DNA testing, which is a much longer process.
However, the PCR DNA test isn’t yet capable of completely eliminating traditional DNA testing yet. What is good is that you can use PCR testing earlier on in the pregnancy, and use the results to determine whether you may want to continue with riskier tests or not.
What might be most important about the PCR DNA tests, though, is that they’re the most accurate tests you can get to determine your baby’s gender. There are two different numbers floating around on the internet about just how accurate these tests can be. Some people will tell you that PCR DNA tests are ninety-nine and nine-tenths percent accurate. Others will give you a much lower, estimate, believing that these tests are only accurate ninety-five percent of the time.
“Wait,” you’re probably saying, “did you say ninety-nine or ninety-five percent?”
Yes, yes I did. These tests are so accurate, nowhere online or otherwise will you find a reputable source giving any estimate about the PCR DNA tests accuracy that is any lower than ninety-five percent. That means that at their worst, these PCR tests are only wrong once in every twenty times they’re taken.
That makes the PCR DNA tests are not only more accurate than an ultrasound, but they can be done much earlier in the pregnancy. When preparing for a child, it is imperative that you can prepare as much as possible. Every second counts in the countdown to baby time, so an extra nine to eleven weeks is a huge benefit. PCR DNA testing is the earliest DNA test you can take, and through it, you can learn a slew of information. Moreover, it is one of the fastest DNA tests you can take. Some labs will get your PCR DNA results back to you in twenty-four hours at their longest.
In addition, you can take this test at home. While some people may want to go to a doctor and get their blood drawn by a medical professional, most will appreciate the ability to simply poke themselves quickly and send it away. Do you want to know how easy this test will be? Go to wherever the nearest toy store is, and buy a microscope. Then, go home, and use a needle to prick your finger and put it on one of the microscope slides. Finally, go to your local post office and mail the microscope slide in an envelope to wherever you choose. The test is that easy, and likely much less expensive. There is not much simpler than taking the PCR DNA test and, I repeat, it can save your baby’s life.
To recap, PCR DNA testing is one of the easiest and most accurate ways to determine information about your baby, such as gender. You can perform the PCR DNA test as early as nine weeks into your pregnancy, and doing so could make you aware of your baby’s risk for diseases such as colorblindness or Becker’s muscular dystrophy. While odd and quirky tests such as grabbing a key or eating a lot of garlic may work some of the time to determine your baby’s gender, they will never be able to do so as accurately as PCR DNA testing, and they will never be able to tell you as much information as a DNA test can. There is no reason not to get you and your baby tested, but there is plenty of reasons to.
About the writer: Susy Richards is a lovely mother of 3 girls (3 years, 4 years and 5) and a simple woman who is ready to share her priceless experience with other mommies around the world. She is an Advanced Practice Provider who passed birth doula and postpartum doula courses at Childbirth International in 2013. Susy is passionate about providing holistic care and is involved in pregnancy research currently publishing her articles concerning pregnancy on site rocketparents.com
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