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Simple Blood Test Reveals Babies' Gender Early, Non-Invasively

The new test can extract the baby's DNA from the mother's blood

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A new non-invasive test can reveal a baby's gender in the early stages of pregnancy. The test can also detect if there are chromosome abnormalities early on, like down syndrome. Orange County couple Quinton and Naeko Karst found out they will be having their third boy through the test. Dr. Bruce Hensel reports for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on May 9, 2013.

    In the past, Naeko Karst would not have been able to find out the gender of her baby without going through some invasive tests, and she might have to wait until she was 18 to 20 weeks into the pregnancy.

    She is about two months pregnant, and she and her husband were really eager to know whether she’s having a boy, or a girl.

    “So nervous, so excited,” Naeko Karst said, “I just like to prepare.  I think there are different kinds of preparations involved for each gender, and to be honest, the main reason is I just would just love to know anything as soon as I possibly can.”

    A new test will allow her to find out in half the time. It’s called Materni T21, and according to Dr. Mazin Abdullah at American Reproductive Centers in Costa Mesa, it uses cutting edge methods to detect the baby’s gender.    

    “There’s called free circulating DNA, the fetus, some of its DNA gets into the maternal blood and we can actually detect that DNA -- the accuracy of these tests are about 99 percent,” Dr. Abdullah said, “We can do this test around 10 weeks, so it’s very early in the pregnancy.”

    The test will also detect whether there are chromosome issues early on, like Down syndrome. 

    “It’s testing for three major chromosomes -- 13, 18, and 21, and they’re responsible for a large number of chromosomal abnormalities," said Abdullah. "These are the ones that can go all the way to term, they’re responsible for a high number of miscarriages, they’re responsible for a number of unhealthy babies being born."

    For peace of mind, the test is non-invasive. A simple blood draw from the mother is all it takes, unlike more invasive tests that have potential for miscarriage like amniocentesis.

    Naeko got her blood test, and found out that the newest addition to the family is a boy. 

    “I knew it!  We make good boys,” she said.

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