An exploratory study of the views of Ugandan women and health practitioners on the use of sonography to establish fetal sex
Introduction: Ultrasound is now part of routine care for pregnant women in Uganda, and is one of a range of techniques used in screening during pregnancy. However, it differs from most others screening procedures because it allows women to view their babies. Unfortunately, the recipients of this technology are seldom asked about it. This study aimed at finding out the knowledge, attitudes and practices of pregnant women towards prenatal sonography. Methods: The study was exploratory and descriptive, using interviewer-administered questionnaires. Thematic analysis was employed. Results: The health professionals interviewed discouraged the idea of disclosing fetal sex unless it is justifiably indicated for medical reasons. However, the women in this study supported the idea of being told the sex of the baby in order to plan for the necessary items they need. Conclusion: There is need for a policy to be made not to disclose fetal sex to parents as this raises numerous ethical concerns. Health workers, women and the general public need to be sensitized about the dangers of this practice as well.
Key words: Fetal sex, sonography, Uganda