Mums-to-be can now reliably find out their baby’s gender at just seven weeks through a simple blood test.
The tests are sold privately in many countries, including the UK, but up until now their reliability has not been confirmed.
Experts in the US have examined over 6,000 test results and found the blood test, which looks for foetal DNA in the mum’s blood, is reliable 98% of the time.
“If you can test from seven weeks of pregnancy then that means knowing the sex a month before a scan could tell you, which is helpful,” said Professor Richard Fleming, reports the BBC.
The tests will be especially helpful to check for sex-linked genetic conditions earlier. However, there are concerns that the technology will be used for social reasons.
“In the UK we would not normally approve of someone who decided to terminate because it was a ‘blue’ pregnancy rather than a ‘pink’ one,” said Dr Gillian Lockwood. “Sex selection for social reasons is illegal in the UK. But there’s the danger that this is part of a slippery slope.”