Boy or girl?

New kit promises to tell you sooner, but some doctors don’t buy it


 
 
 
A new at-home test promises to tell expectant parents the gender of their baby with 99.9 percent accuracy as early as five weeks into a pregnancy.

But some doctors are skeptical of the accuracy claims, saying studies on the test have yet to be published in medical journals.

The Baby Gender Mentor Home DNA Gender Testing Kit costs $275—$25 for the kit, $250 for analysis. The kit includes two pregnancy tests, a blood specimen kit and a prepaid envelope for shipping the sample to Acu-Gen Biolab in Massachusetts.

Lab results are available at a password-protected Web site within two business days after the kit arrives.

Here is how it works: A woman pricks her finger with a lancet from the kit, dabs her blood onto special paper and mails it in. The lab tests the sample for the baby’s DNA, which is detectable by the fifth week of pregnancy. If the Y chromosome—found in male DNA—is detected, the baby is male. If not, it’s female.

Doctors typically advise traditional testing—amniocentesis, ultrasound and chorionic villus sampling—which are 99 percent accurate and can be done starting the 10th week of pregnancy.

Acu-Gen Biolab claims even higher accuracy—99.9 percent. If the test is wrong, the company will refund double the cost.

Not everyone is convinced, though. "I would be skeptical about the gender test until it was published in OB/GYN literature," says Dr. Ralph Kazer, chief of reproductive endocrinology and infertility at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine.

In the next few months, a research paper on the test will be published, allowing doctors to review it, says Sherry Bonelli, president of PregnancyStore.com, the lab’s official Web resource.

Morgan Lord

 
 







 
 
 
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