Before science came to be the norm for baby gender tests, expectant couples could only rely on unscientific techniques and methods which have today been disproved and come to be referred as myths or old wives’ tales. Modern science has now taken over and several more reliable and scientific methods are available to help determine the sex of the unborn child. It is in fact possible to have an ultrasound scan or a DNA test in order to detect the gender with accuracy.
How is gender determined?
Males have 23 pairs of XY chromosome and females have 23 pairs of XX chromosomes. The Y chromosome encodes for males characteristics and is only carried by males. It is thus clear, that it is males who determine the gender of the baby as they can pass on either Y chromosome or an X chromosome. Females can only pass on an X chromosome.
In order to have a baby gender DNA test or an ultrasound scan the expectant mother needs to wait until at least the second trimester. Many expecting mothers can end up feeling quite impatient to discover the gender of their baby and might choose a gender prediction method such as the cabbage test or the Chinese calendar – two very popular methods of gender prediction. These tests however, only offer an accuracy of 50%.
How is the Cabbage Test carried out?
By bringing 450ml of water to a boil with half a head of chopped red cabbage for 11 minutes and mixing it with the expectant mother’s urine. The resulting color change should supposedly indicate the gender of the baby. The solution supposedly changes colour depending on whether it’s a boy or a girl. A Red solution means it’s a boy whilst pink water means that it’s a girl. The problem is with the colour change itself as it is often not quite distinct or clear-cut and different people often interpret the color change differently.
Scientists have noted how the color change observed is only due to the PH of the mother’s urine and not to do with the unborn baby’s sex.
What is the scientific evidence behind testing method.
No medical expert has given a conclusive opinion regarding the cabbage gender test and no evidence has been found to support the claims made by advocates of this test. Many doctors have noted however, that women have varying PHs and that it is the acidity of the urine that determines the colour change. There is no hard evidence proving that the PH in a pregnant woman changes according to the gender of the baby.
Cravings, Drano test and Chinese calendar are just three more baby gender testing methods that fall under the broad heading “myths and old wives’ tales”.
The latest advances in baby gender prediction – DNA testing.
The latest and most accurate way to determine the gender of your baby is through a DNA test. By submitting a DNA sample to a laboratory scientists are able to determine the sex of your baby by testing the fetal DNA in the maternal urine sample or a sample of blood. In terms of accuracy, both blood and urine testing provide highly accurate results; urine baby gender testing is 99% accurate whilst blood stands at around 95%. Analysis of either sample is carried out through a process known as the Polymerase chain reaction or PCR which enables scientists to confirm the presence of the Y Chromosome in the sample. The presence of this Y Chromosome would confirm that the mother is expecting a boy; if no Y chromosome is detected, then the baby is a girl. This how the baby gender test works.