In our latest expert article, we answer some common questions about baby gender testing – including “can a blood test determine gender?” and “how does baby gender testing work?”
When can a blood test determine gender?
A simple blood test can be used to determine a baby’s gender from just 8 weeks into a pregnancy. The blood sample, which is usually taken from the mother’s arm, is analysed to determine if any foetal DNA is present.
This is a non-invasive DNA test, which is 100% safe to both mother and unborn child.
Non-invasive baby gender testing costs just £199 with results in 7 working days. We also offer an express service where results can be returned in just 4 working days (for an additional £60).
How does baby gender testing work?
If foetal DNA can be found within the mother’s bloodstream, a technique known as Next Generation Sequencing is used to look for any Y-chromosomal DNA. Because the Y chromosome is specific to males, any presence in the foetal DNA is indicative of a baby boy. If foetal DNA is detected without a Y chromosome it would suggest a female child.
This baby gender test can even be performed in twin pregnancies. If Y-chromosomal DNA is present, it will mean that at least one of the babies is male. If absent, it will mean that all babies are female.
The mother must be at least 8 weeks’ pregnant to ensure that any Y chromosome present is at a detectable level. If the blood sample has insufficient DNA then another blood sample will need to be collected a minimum of 2 weeks after the original one. Our pregnancy calculator can help a mother work out how many weeks pregnant she is.
The advantage of the baby gender test is that it can be performed at a much earlier stage than waiting for the mid-pregnancy ultrasound scan (from around 16 weeks) to determine whether the baby will be a boy or girl. In addition, the test is highly accurate. Statistics show that ultrasounds can be wrong up to 10% of the time. Mistakes are made when determining gender because it depends on the clarity of the ultrasound image and the expertise of the technician interpreting it. The baby also needs to be in a good position as the technician needs to have a clear view of the baby’s genitals to be able to tell the gender for sure.