When will my results be ready?
Your sample will be taken directly to the laboratory at Forensic Genomics Innovation Hub, Southampton. You will therefore receive your results by email within 2-3 working days of your appointment, as the sample does not go overseas nor travel via the postal service.
What kind of sample do you need?
We only need a blood sample from mum. Fetal DNA cells are found to be circulating in mum’s blood from as early as 6 weeks of pregnancy and between 6-8 weeks is there usually foetal DNA present to identify the baby’s sex. As the amount of fetal DNA in mum’s blood increases as the pregnancy continues, so testing from 8 weeks is more advisable.
How does the Gender Reveal test process work?
We will ask you to complete a consent form for the test alongside a consent form form for the ultrasound scan. We will then complete the ultrasound scan first, prior to the blood draw, to confirm that the pregnancy is viable and dates over 6 weeks.
How does the test work?
Unlike most of our DNA, found inside a cell’s nucleus, when a woman is pregnant tiny pieces of the DNA from her developing baby are present in her bloodstream. These fragments are free in the circulation and called cell-free DNA (cfDNA). Our sex chromosomes determine whether we are male or female. Females have 2 X-chromosomes (XX) and males have an X-chromosome and a Y-chromosome (XY). As a woman has only female sex chromosomes in her blood if we analyse the blood of a pregnant woman and find a Y-chromosome then we can assume the baby she is carrying is a male. The test cannot, however, identify a possible sex chromosome abnormality. Sex chromosome abnormalities are very uncommon, but could affect the result.
Does the test work if I am expecting twins?
- If both babies are female, no male DNA will be found, and we can assume that both babies are girls.
- If male DNA is found in mum’s blood then either one twin is a boy, or both are. It will NOT be able to tell the difference between a girl and boy, and two boys.
How accurate is the test?
The presence of the Y-chromosome in the mothers blood can be detected at extremely low levels but no molecular test will ever be 100% accurate. There are a few rare circumstances where the test will not work. They include: placental mosaicism, a sex chromosome abnormality, a bone marrow or organ transplant by a male donor, or testing too early in pregnancy. It is essential we know the date of when mum’s last menstrual period started. To make sure there is enough fetal DNA in the sample the test must only be booked when mum is at least 6 weeks pregnant.
Please note, it is a fact that mum’s weight can affect how much fetal DNA is in her blood. Mum’s over 85kg should only do the test after 10 weeks pregnant, as there is a slightly higher chance that there will not be enough male DNA in her blood to be detected between 6 – 10 weeks.
Is there any risk for mum or baby?
Not at all. It is completely safe for both. The test only requires a single blood tube from the mum’s arm, no different to going for a routine first or second trimester blood test.
What if the ultrasound shows something different?
In this situation the only way to really know the baby’s gender is waiting until birth. There are two reasons why they may differ;
- the ultrasound relies on looking for a penis or a vulva, alongside other subtle changes. These can be highly dependent on the position of the baby at the time of the scan. Whilst scans have improved over the years they are still much more subjective than DNA.
- The DNA test result is incorrect as not enough DNA of the baby was present in mum’s blood at the time the blood was taken. See “how accurate is the test” for more information.
Can I do the test if I am still breastfeeding?
Yes! Breastfeeding does not affect the test results. The Gender Reveal test looks for male chromosomes in mum’s blood. Breastfeeding is a hormonal change, which has no impact on genetics, and therefore it has no impact on the Gender Reveal test accuracy or results.
What if I had a boy in a recent previous pregnancy or miscarriage, will that affect the result?
It won’t affect the Gender Reveal test results. Fetal DNA is eliminated from mum’s blood stream within a few hours after birth and disappears completely after 2 days.
Can the Gender Reveal test be used as a pregnancy test?
Gender Reveal cannot confirm a pregnancy. The test is only looking for male DNA in the blood. You must confirm your pregnancy before doing the Gender Reveal test. It is essential to know dates of mum’s last period before doing the test.
Does Gender Reveal Test replace an ultrasound?
No, ultrasounds are essential to monitor a babies development during the pregnancy.
Are results guaranteed?
If your test result does not match the gender of your newborn, you’ll receive a full refund.