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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Tests for Sex Determination in Womb and Implications in Indian Perspective

Posted by Dr Prahallad Panda on 8:07 PM Comments

Indian government has banned sex determination of foetus in mother's womb; it came from the fact that many societies/communities and some parents do not want female child. They go for abortion of the foetus.
There is already a gender imbalance in India and severe in many states.
Law allows safe abortion within 12 weeks of gestation, if there is likelihood of possible congenital deformities in the baby and if, pregnancy might give rise some mental agony in mother; and several other clauses.

The human fetus moves throughout its entire de...Image via WikipediaBut, it disallows abortion of female foetus on the basis that the parents do not want a female child.
There are several incentives, now declared in India for having a female child; starting from educational support to reservation in jobs. But, still female feticide is continuing.
To know the congenital anomalies in the foetus in womb, presently tests available are:
  • Amniocentesis, where amniotic fluid is taken for cell examination having slight risk to baby in womb.
  • Chorionic Villa Biopsy, where a small bit from placenta is taken for examination, again have small risk
  • Ultrasoogram
All these tests can predict sex from 10 to 13 weeks after gestation.
Another controversial blood test, which claims to be nearly accurate in sex prediction from 7 weeks after conception is available in other countries; that is based on Polymerase Chain reaction (PCR) technology. Here the finding of foetal DNA in maternal blood is analyzed for determining sex.
There has been a lot of awareness among the Indians regarding foetal sex determination and many are welcoming baby girls, even where the first child is also happens to be a girl. Again many are preferring one and some two child norm, be it male or female.
Still, there are some pockets in India, where the killing of female foetus is going on allegedly in nexus with some unethical medical professionals. I think more awareness is required at present in this regard
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