DNA testing for baby for birth defects? — The Bump
1st Trimester

DNA testing for baby for birth defects?

Okay so I am 8 weeks and 4 days pregnant. My doctor had asked me if I wanted to do a DNA diagnostic test at 10 weeks to see if my baby is at risk for any birth defects. I agreed and he gave me the paperwork to go draw blood on 12/2/16. I was reading online about the test and heard that you can also find out the gender through the DNA testing. Has anyone done this before and found out the gender? Was it accurate? I didn't know about this before hand so I didn't get a chance to ask my doctor about it. Will they automatically know through my blood work what I'm having? I'm super anxious to find out. I have 3 boys and hoping for a girl

Re: DNA testing for baby for birth defects?

  • Yes; the concept of the blood test is that it will collect fetal cells and analyze the DNA, so it can determine the sex of your baby. However, since you already have 3 boys, you may get a 'false positive' for a boy if the test happens to pick up any lingering DNA from your previous children. 

    I had the testing done with my son but elected not to find out the sex, so I cannot speak for the accuracy of my own test. Most people that I know who have elected to find out the sex have had accurate results, but my cousin's told her she was having another little boy when she wound up having a girl. Your anatomy scan ultrasound should be able to confirm the sex.
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  • The focus here shouldn't be on learning the sex...you can just as easily do that at your anatomy scan.  The focus is on the genetic testing and what it can tell you.  But I will warn two things: one is that if you aren't considered high risk, your insurance is unlikely to cover it, so I'd advise you to call the company that does the testing to ask if they have discounts for uninsured people or for people who have insurance that just won't cover the procedure.  Some do and some don't, and it can cost out of pocket anywhere from $150 to $1k depending on the test and what kind of insurance you have.  Two is that if you are truly just interested in the sex, I wouldn't bother - if you already have boys there is absolutely a risk of inaccurate results from this test.  The reason for that is that research has shown that Y chromosome from having a son can remain in the mother's blood for quite some time after he is born.  The way that these tests determine sex is simply by looking for the presence of a Y chromosome.  If there is no Y chromosome, it's a girl.  if there is a Y chromosome, it's either a boy, or you still have some Y remaining from an existing boy, and it's technically inconclusive, though it will give you a boy result.  FWIW I just had blood drawn for this last week, and I currently have only a daughter, so I expect the sex to be accurate, but I'll still have them confirm it at my anatomy scan.  Really it's only a few extra weeks of waiting, it's not that big of a deal.
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