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The role of ultrasound in determining fetal sex

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Abstract:

Background: The gender of a fetus is necessary to know for many different reasons. There are different ways of determining it during pregnancy. The recently developed method, which is relatively easy and noninvasive, is done by ultrasound of the fetal perineum. This can be done starting from 16 weeks of pregnancy in an average clinic. Objective: To assess the accuracy of ultrasound in determining fetal sex in a routinely used ultrasound machine and setup. Methods: Obstetric ultrasound and ultrasound of the perineal region of the fetus was done on 435 pregnant women to detect the sex of the fetus, with gestational age from 16 weeks to term, but only 269 mothers, who were available on the phone after delivery were included in the analysis. Ultrasound results were registered on pre-prepared form at the time of examination. The sex of the babies was confirmed at the expected time of delivery through a phone call to the mothers. Actual sex and ultrasound findings were compared to determine the accuracy. Results: Out of 275 fetuses ultrasound was able to determine the sex for 260 (94.5%); 110 of whom were confirmed female and 150 were male. Overall accuracy was 93.8%. Accuracy for males was 91.3% and for females was 97.3%. When probable male and female cases are excluded in the analysis taking only definite signs of female and male gender the accuracy was found to be 100%. Conclusion: Ultrasound is a safe and a relatively accurate method of determining fetal gender that can be used at the ordinary clinic level in Ethiopian situation. [Ethiop. J. Health Dev. 2011;25(3):216-221]

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