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Pink or Blue After Just 8 Weeks

Pregnant women now have an additional 8 weeks to plan their baby rooms after local molecular technology firm DNAlysis Biotechnology licensed a foetal sexing test that has cut the time it takes to determine a baby’s gender from 16 weeks to 8 weeks.

According to Dr. Daniel Meyersfeld, PhD, “Our new Pink or Blue test detects the sex of a baby by characterising minute quantities of foetal cellular material which is released into the maternal bloodstream as part of normal foetal development.”

Not only has the safe, accurate and non-invasive test helped minimise the anxiety experienced by many pregnant women eager to know the sex of their baby, nurses are available to administer the test wherever convenient and the rapid turnaround time of 4 to 5 working days further eases what can be a stressful time in a women’s life.

“It’s becoming increasingly attractive and acceptable to know the gender of one’s baby before birth because people understand that the pressures of modern life make planning ahead not only desirable but essential,” said Dr. Meyersfeld.

According to Dr Haroun Rhemtula, an Obstetrician / Gynaecologist from Johannesburg, there is a further genetic reason for pregnant women to undergo the Pink or Blue test however this is only accurate for first time mothers. “For parents who are carriers of sex-linked disorders, such as muscular dystrophy, early gender identification is extremely valuable, and can be followed up timeously with procedures such as CVS (Chorionic Villus Sampling) if necessary. Confirmation of a diagnosis can allow termination, if necessary, at a much earlier stage.”

Available from February 2009, the Pink or Blue test from DNAlysis Biotechnology is accurate 95% of the time. Getting tested is as simple as phoning the call centre of Unique Nursing Services (011 675 0600) and arranging a convenient time for a nurse to meet with you to draw a small blood sample. Alternatively, you can visit your nearest Pick ‘n Pay Pharmacy.

“In years gone by, there was a romantic element attached to a traditional pregnancy where most women preferred to wait until birth to find out their baby’s gender. Unfortunately this saw the rise of superstition and dubious means of determining gender,” added Dr. Meyersfeld.

The reasons pregnant women would want to know the sex of their baby before birth are varied and occasionally complex. For Kirsty Galliard of Parkhurst, knowing the gender of the expected new arrival had less to do with planning and more with the curiosity of friends and relatives who had difficulty understanding why she wouldn’t want to know the gender of her baby as soon as possible. “Eventually I realised that being able to plan ahead would eliminate much of the stress of childbirth. Once I knew it was going to be a girl, I could get all the practical things in order and concentrate on experiencing the joy of bringing a new life into the world,” she concluded.

Only the Pink or Blue test at 8 weeks, CVS at 10 weeks, amniocentesis at 15 weeks or ultrasound at 16 weeks are reliable indicators of an unborn baby’s gender.

The advantage of the Pink or Blue test is that not only is it available much sooner, but it is also usually more accurate than ultrasound, which depends largely on the technician's skill and the position a baby is in at a particular time.

DNAlysis Biotechnology was founded in 2007 with the aim of bringing state-of-the-art molecular technologies to the South African healthcare and wellness markets. Core services include gene profiling analyses to determine predisposition to chronic illness and highly sensitive assays for identifying foetal gender. The company’s combined expertise encompasses the fields of Human Genetics, Gene Mapping and Molecular Biology.

Please see www.dnalysis.co.za for more information.

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