In his experience, the number of people who are going to terminate a pregnancy simply based on the finding that the fetus is the ''wrong'' sex is not an issue, although it is a concern voiced by some experts.
"It's a bogeyman everyone raises but I'm not sure it's valid in America," Simpson tells Web MD.
This content has not been reviewed within the past year and may not represent Web MD's most up-to-date information.
To find the most current information, please enter your topic of interest into our search box. 9, 2011 -- Using fetal DNA from a mother's blood to determine the unborn baby's sex is highly effective, according to a new review of the research.
"Many different labs can in fact verify when a male pregnancy exists.
This helps to confirm that the next steps down the path are taken on some firm ground," he says.
For about a decade, experts have known that maternal blood contains fetal DNA.
Overall, the tests using blood detected the Y chromosome indicating a boy 95.4% of the time.
As the pregnancy went on, the blood test became more reliable.In all, the research represented 3,524 pregnancies bearing boys and 3,017 pregnancies bearing girls.The studies looked at tests of fetal DNA in maternal blood and urine."After seven weeks of gestation, the accuracy of fetal sex detection is very good using maternal blood," says researcher Diana W.Bianchi, MD, a reproductive geneticist and executive director of the Mother-Infant Research Institute at Tufts Medical Center in Boston. "After 20 weeks, it was nearly perfect." The research involves tests done by hospital or research groups worldwide.Eventually, Bianchi says, the blood tests may help detect, early in pregnancy, fetuses with certain medical conditions that affect one sex more than the other.For instance, she says, a condition called congenital adrenal hyperplasia can make girls' genitals appear masculine-like.Depending on those results, it could delay or rule out the need for more invasive tests such as amniocentesis.The review is published in the Journal of the American Medical Association."It shouldn't be confused with what the direct-to-consumer companies are advertising [to help parents find out the gender of their unborn infants]," she says.The hope, Bianchi says, is to use these research-based tests to detect unborn babies at risk for sex-linked disorders, such as hemophilia, and other genetic disorders early in the pregnancy.