Published: 2016-12-15

Knowledge, awareness and attitude about prenatal sex determination, pre-conception and pre-natal diagnostic techniques act among pregnant women in the South Indian union territory of Puducherry

Vijayan Sharmila, Thirunavukkarasu Arun Babu, Darendra Singh


Background: This study was conducted among pregnant women in the Union territory Puducherry, South India with the aim of studying their Knowledge, awareness and attitude regarding prenatal sex determination and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act (PCPNDT) Act.

Methods: The present cross-sectional study was conducted on 160 consenting pregnant women selected using convenience sampling, attending the antenatal Out Patient Department of our hospital. The data was collected using a pre-tested semi-structured questionnaire consisting of 4 sections, Section 1: Participants general information, section 2: Awareness about pre-natal sex determination, Section 3: Awareness on the PCPNDT Act, Section 4: Attitude towards prenatal sex determination.

Results: Out of a total 160 pregnant women who filled the questionnaire, 128 participants returned completed questionnaire which was used for analysis. Media was the main source of information (66.4%) followed by friends and relatives (22.66%) and health care personnel (10.94%). Ultrasonography, as a method of sex determination was known to 87.5% of pregnant women. Sixty eight percentage of participants were aware of a government act for prevention of sex determination and 84.3% knew that prenatal sex determination is a punishable offence. Seventy one percent participants knew both patients and the doctors are punishable if involved. Eight one percentage participants were willing to educate people about PCPNDT Act.

Conclusions: Though higher proportion of our study participants knew about the prenatal sex determination, they were not fully aware of the punishment for prenatal sex determination. Pregnant women have to be educated about the penalization for violation of the Act and ethical issues related with female sex selective abortion and feticide. Similar studies in other settings on a larger sample size should be done for in depth understanding of this issue.


PCPNDT Act, Pre-natal, Sex determination, Pregnancy, Women

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