New research revealed that widely available blood tests that predict gender are extremely accurate. Furthermore, the tests work more than seven months before the baby is born.
The Tufts University study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Researchers evaluated 57 published studies on gender testing involving more than 6,000 pregnancies. The researchers studied PCR, a test which detects genetic material in the bloodstream.
The study found that the test was 95 percent accurate in women who were at least seven weeks pregnant. Amniocentesis and ultrasounds, traditional tests used to determine a baby's gender, are accurate only later, researchers said.
The researchers also said the blood test may be a breakthrough for women at risk of having babies with sex-linked hereditary diseases. These women can now avoid invasive procedures used to determine gender in early pregnancy.
Which raises the questions: Should couples use these tests to select the genders of their babies -- and will this increase abortion rates?
Recent research revealed that Indian women with daughters use gender prediction to abort any additional girls. China, which has a one child per couple rule, aborts millions of girls and has a resulting gender imbalance.
It remains unclear whether gender prediction would affect abortion rates in the U.S.