Jack or Jill, pink or blue?

MOST expectant parents cannot wait to learn the sex of their baby, while some expectant parents are content to wait until their baby is born. For those eager parents, there are gender prediction tests to do just that.

Dalmeyer Fertility Unit Medical Practitioner Dr Wendy Sieg explains how urine prediction tests work, saying at this stage the tests should be considered a fun experiment and not be used for decision-making regarding what colour to paint the nursery.

“Intelligender is a home based urine test kit which may use hormones excreted in the urine of a pregnant woman to test for fetal gender. There are many other prediction tests that can be ordered online but this one can be found at a few local pharmacies,” Sieg said.

Gender prediction tests on the market include Gender Maker, Jack or Jill and Pink or Blue.

The tests are designed to give expectant mothers an early glimpse, when they just cannot wait to know the gender of their baby any longer.

“The urine prediction test uses first morning urine that you combine with the supplied chemicals. These react with hormones in the urine to indicate the gender of the baby, by changing colour.

“Presence of the male Y chromosome in the urine stream indicates that the fetus is male and if there is no male DNA, it indicates that the fetus is female. A male determines the sex of the baby.

“The accuracy of Intelligender was quoted to be 91.3% with a higher accuracy in predicting girls. According to the company some factors such as multiple pregnancies and intercourse within 48 hours of performing the test may decrease the accuracy of the result.

“Although the accuracy of these tests are still not reliable for use in clinical settings to rule out sex-linked disorders, this does open up a field of non-invasive screening for patients at an affordable price.

“These tests can be performed around 10 weeks gestation but do not test for chromosomal abnormalities.

“Screening for chromosomal abnormalities is currently being done between 10 and 12 weeks gestation by means of a blood test measuring placental hormones in conjunction with an ultrasound of the fetus.

“Soon these tests will be strengthened by a commercially available maternal blood test where fetal DNA can be detected and tested further.

“This will probably substitute current testing of chromosomes by invasive means such as amniocentesis.”

Sieg used a urine gender prediction test out of curiosity and said she had secretly hoped it failed.

“My personal experience with the urine gender prediction test was merely just for fun and curiosity.

“I tried it the day before my detailed scan in my second pregnancy, knowing that I would get confirmation of gender the next day. Unfortunately, the tests corresponded.

“It is extremely important to remember that the urine test is at this stage not a definitive test for gender. They should be viewed as a ‘fun to do’ experiment.

“Expectant parents should go and see their doctors for a proper examination and not be painting nurseries or naming babies based on the results obtained,” she said.

Is it a boy or is it a girl test proves intelligent

Angela Daniels

AT 32 weeks pregnant and having seen the “evidence” with my own eyes, I am in little doubt that I’ll be giving birth to a baby boy but in the interests of readers I gave the Intelligender test a bash.

I am pretty certain that newly pregnant moms- and dads-to-be would find buying the test very exciting – especially since the test claims to be able to predict baby’s gender as early as six weeks and doctors don’t like to commit before about 16 weeks.

For me however, the most entertaining part of the trip was having a sales consultant point me in the direction of the pregnancy tests. I’m not sure if she thought I was in major denial or just very, very stupid.

After explaining myself more successfully, the staff rustled up the last test on the shelves.

Once bought, for R300, I took the test home and duly waited for morning. According to the packaging, early morning is the best time to take the test.

I presumed it would be like a pregnancy test – wee on a stick and you’re done, but the Intelligender test is a bit more complicated.

In the box you get a polystyrene cup, a syringe and a plastic bottle filled with some sort of chemical mix. If the mixture turns yellow or orange – you’re having a girl – and it’s green for boys.

The instructions are simple. Wee in the cup. Draw out 20ml of the urine and insert it into the plastic bottle. Gently swirl the bottle and place it on a white paper plate or serviette (to avoid colour distortion) and wait no longer then five minutes to read the results.

My daughter, who had been watching the process with interest (OK, it might have been disgust but we’ll say interest) and I waited.

And, voila! The mixture went green.

So, the test was correct. But, being the skeptic I am, I couldn’t help thinking that there was always a 50/50 chance it would be correct.

I’m still not 100% convinced and at R300 a test I think I’d wait for my doctor to tell me whether I should be saving up for soccer boots or ballet shoes.

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