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To wish they could tell me the gender of my baby but understand the reasons why?

(93 Posts)
scottishegg Tue 05-Feb-13 16:02:56

Hi all I have just had my 20 week scan with my 3rd pregnancy and would have quite liked to find out the gender just to prepare and plan in advance, I already have a boy and a girl and would have just liked to have found out the gender this time to give me a difference experience as I didnt find out with my other two.

Though due to hospital policy within the area I live (Shropshire) I cant find out the gender within a routine scan I will have to have one done privately and pay 45 pounds in order to do this though in the next county they are willing to give this information out free as part of the routine scans.

I appreciate that the reason they do this is to supposedly stop certain members of society terminating foetusus that arent the preferred gender which is tragic and abhorrent but I feel that if people really wanted to do this unfortunately they would just pay the £45 and have a private scan( though I admit it has put me off)

I suppose my issue is that different counties have different policies and selfishly I would have liked to have found out but havent the cash to do it.

I am not starting this thread to cause a bun fight or be controversial I promise.

I guess I shall have to wait to be surprised.

Pobblewhohasnotoes Tue 05-Feb-13 16:40:55

Isn't it more to do with avoiding litigation if the patient is told the wrong sex?

How and why on earth would you sue over that? It's never 100% accurate. Although boys are obviously easier to identify.

EuroShagmore Tue 05-Feb-13 16:43:58

Why would there be litigation for the wrong sex, Zola? What are you going to do? Sue the hospital because your blue isn't your baby daughter's colour?

It's definitely because there is a trend among certain sections of the population to abort girls, sadly.

VinegarDrinker Tue 05-Feb-13 16:45:57

Cailin yes, some (thankfully few) GPs will make their own judgement and refuse to refer patients. They do not have an obligation to refer or suggest a colleague who can (although the vast majority of GPs with a conscientious objection to abortion will at least provide details of where they can get help eg Marie Stopes, BPAS or refer to a colleague).

Sadly many women don't know they can approach organisations without their GPs "consent".

Obviously Drs who choose to work in places which provide abortions would not be working there if they thought women should not have abortions.

I think personally it would be a brave Dr that thought they could prove there would not be a significant risk to a woman's mental health (or future child's health) of being forced to continue with an unwanted pregnancy.

The gestation cut off varies but it is generally quite a lot harder to find anywhere that will provide abortions after about 18 weeks.

JustinMumsnot Tue 05-Feb-13 16:52:19

I had my children at St George's Hospital in Tooting, where members of the communities that people are hinting coyly are believed to be potental girl-aborters abound, and they have no problem telling parents the gender at the 20-week scan. Yet in Shropshire, which is a hell of a lot less ethnically diverse it is seemingly a huge issue. What a load of bollocks. (Not you OP, the hospital.)
Just ignorance and racism on the part of the hospital IMO.

scottishegg Tue 05-Feb-13 16:55:35

Yeah fairly certain its because of the potential terminations a close friend asked during her last scan and was told it was because of this very reason.

CailinDana Tue 05-Feb-13 16:57:14

Am I right though Vinegar that basically there's no realistic situation where a woman who was, say, less than 18 weeks pregnant just couldn't obtain an abortion at all? As in, she might be refused by one GP but she still has plenty of options and as long as she's willing to ask elsewhere she will get an abortion? The reason I ask is that it does appear to me that there is "abortion on demand" in the UK, not in legal terms but in practical terms - essentially, if you want an abortion you can have one. It's not the easiest thing in the world but it can be done.

fromparistoberlin Tue 05-Feb-13 16:57:27

since when is shropshire a hot spot for foeticide?? baffling

Trills Tue 05-Feb-13 16:59:17

I agree that it makes no sense for the NHS to tell the sex in one area and not in another.

crashdoll Tue 05-Feb-13 17:09:40

The reason I ask is that it does appear to me that there is "abortion on demand" in the UK, not in legal terms but in practical terms - essentially, if you want an abortion you can have one. It's not the easiest thing in the world but it can be done.

Being 100% pro-choice, I think this is way it should be.

Hippymama Tue 05-Feb-13 17:23:35

Op, is this at the Royal Shrewsbury?

I had my 20 week scan there and when I asked the reason why they couldn't tell me the sex of my own child, I was told it was because they "couldn't tell" at 20 weeks. Funnily enough, hospitals all over the country can tell at 20 weeks, yet in Shropshire they can only tell at 23 weeks, meaning they can charge parents for an extra scan hmm It is just a money making exercise. If you really want to find out, I can highly recommend babyvision, who are based at upton magna.

CailinDana Tue 05-Feb-13 17:23:56

I'm not disputing that, crashdoll, but I do think it's weird if there is essentially "abortion on demand" yet they won't tell parents the gender of a baby in case they abort for that reason. It seems hypocritical somehow.

Hippymama Tue 05-Feb-13 17:25:23

If the reason was because of potential terminations then they would not tell parents the sex at all, no matter whether they paid or not. The fact that if you want to pay for a private scan you can find out confirms to me that the real reason is down to money making.

VinegarDrinker Tue 05-Feb-13 17:54:34

Hippymama I think from the OP it isn't the NHS trust doing the private scans - it's a private company. So I'm not sure how it can come down to money making?

Cailin I have seen plenty of cases where false information or no information means a woman falls the wrong side of the gestational limit by the time she gets to someone who could help. This is a particular problem with women who have limited English and/or literacy levels. BPAS have a sobering PDF with anonymised case studies of all their "late" abortions and the number who have wrongly been told at 15/16 weeks they are "too late for an abortion" by various HCPs is shocking. Other women are passed from pillar to post eg those with pre existing medical conditions, and can also then end up > 24 weeks.

Yes, the vast majority of educated, literate women will find their own way to an abortion even with unhelpful HCPs on the way.

We should have abortion on demand imho, but we don't.

I don't understand the policy as if you were that bothered you'd have an early gender scan at 15/16 weeks anyway, surely. Any reputable clinic would be very curious about a woman who had booked with a MW, had 2x scans and then changed her mind IME.

AlanMoore Tue 05-Feb-13 18:03:47

You can pay for gender scans at 16wks. It's about £80 here. Our trust will look, if there's time, at the end of the anomaly scan (20-23wks). There is huge south Asian pop here!
You should write & ask for the reason, see what they say!!

AlanMoore Tue 05-Feb-13 18:06:41

I meant to say, agree with pp who finds it bizarre that that's the reason given in Shropshire when they'll tell you in much more diverse regions. It's daft! If they think it's an inappropriate use of sonographers time that's fine but they should say that not some racist bobbins.

blobandsnail Tue 05-Feb-13 22:48:46

This policy has absolutely nothing to do with the risk of people having terminations due to the baby not being the sex they wanted. Its purely a money making exercise! It's the same thing as charging above cost price for scan photos and the money going in to the hospital system. The same way as most people will buy a scan photo, a lot of people will pay for an additional scan. £45 isn't really that much in the grand scheme of things Nd excited parents are easy to make money from.

Dromedary Tue 05-Feb-13 22:55:16

The hospital told me that it could not tell me that it was certain that it was a [insert gender] because of the risk of being sued in the extremely unlikely event that they were wrong! Apparently people wanted reimbursement for having bought blue clothes instead of pink!!

holidaysarenice Wed 06-Feb-13 02:09:11

If a doctor is refusing because of their stance they MUST refer to a colleague who is willing. That's the gmc ruling on docs abstaining.

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Wed 06-Feb-13 02:12:10


It's the SEX of the baby that can be determined on ultrasounds.

ripsishere Wed 06-Feb-13 02:19:27

But, I think people lose sight of the fact that 25 years ago there weren't scans to see into the murky world of a baby.
You got what you were given.
I do think that there should be a national set of guidelines, either reveal or don't.
I did not have my DD in the UK and sexing was not available where she was born.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 06-Feb-13 02:34:48

No matter what NHS national guidelines they have people can always choose to pay for a scan at one of many clinics sometimes as early as 12/13 weeks, so to be saying we won't tell for this reason is daft.

VinegarDrinker Wed 06-Feb-13 08:22:01

holidaysarenice - I wish that were true, unfortunately the wording is a bit more grey.

" Patients may ask you to perform, advise on, or refer them for a treatment or procedure which is not prohibited by law or statutory code of practice in the country where you work, but to which you have a conscientious objection . In such cases you must tell patients of their right to see another doctor with whom they can discuss their situation and ensure that they have sufficient information to exercise that right."

It is a very small minority who would deliberately delay/mislead/try to dissuade a woman, a much bigger problem is being told they are "too late" wrongly.

VinegarDrinker Wed 06-Feb-13 08:23:27

So at a minimum those with a conscientious objection should provide contact details for eg the FPA, but that isn't quite the same as being obliged to refer on..

Bluemonkeyspots Wed 06-Feb-13 08:28:59

I find it so strange that in this country so many people seem to be desperate for a little girl and having all boys is seen as some kind of negative (talking about people i have encountered not everyone)

Yet in the rest of the world it seems to be the opposite way round hmm

lazybastard Wed 06-Feb-13 08:47:24

IME blue people seem to disapprove of having all the one gender. Since dd2 was born I have met people who say 'you must be so disappointed' 'how unfair on your husband'. Vile people.

Back to the initial question, I too was told the gender thing was to do with some idiot trying to sue. We were told when asked but had to sign a disclaimer that we understood it was not 100% accurate.

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