As a mother you can find out the gender of your baby during a routine mid–pregnancy ultrasound visit, generally during 16 to 20 weeks of pregnancy. However please note that Doctors or technician may not accurately determine whether you’re having a boy or a girl, if he or she can’t get a clear view of the baby’s genitals.
AS I researched during my pregnancy, I found that there are many options available to potentially determine the gender of my baby, however I also came to know that not all of them will be accurate at all times, so people advised me to consider an error factor for safe results and not take them for granted.
Of-course even I studied all options but I never asked my doctor or technician about the gender of my baby, since we (Bryan & me) thought of keeping it as a surprise for both of us as well as the grand parents 🙂 I mean we preferred it in all the traditional way, based on our guess and …..
Statutory warning: Some countries like India have banned baby sex determination and the doctor as well as pregnant women can be jailed for this illegal offense, so make sure that you are fully aware of the country’s laws you are residing in.
Mechanism of sex Formulation (of the penis or the vulva)
As early as 6 weeks, your baby’s penis or vulva begins to form, however till 14 weeks both the boy or the girl baby looks very similar on ultrasound. Although highly experienced doctors can guess the gender, but it could be hard to tell precisely till about 18 weeks.
By 18th week of pregnancy, when the baby’s position is suitably oriented (naturally due to its movement) then mostly the technician will be able to determine the sex of the baby. If the position is not suitable, you need to wait till the next ultrasound!
When do you find out the gender of the baby?
And What are the ways to find out the gender?
I will say there are predominantly three ways to determine the baby’s gender, Scientific, Traditional and Downright odd.
Lets see them one by one in detail. Again this is for information and I advise not to exercise them and keep the baby’s gender as god’s gifted surprise to you and your family.
Once you decide your doctor and / or hospital for delivery of your baby, they generally provide you with a routine check-up chart which contains Ultrasound scanning on decided intervals, which is to ensure the baby’s growth as per the expectations.
During routine ultrasound, the experienced doctors and technicians will be able to see and determine the baby’s sex, generally possible anywhere in between 16 and 20 weeks of pregnancy.
At the earliest, after about the 14th week of gestation you may be able to get a fair idea of the baby’s gender based on the specific shape & signs that technician can look for. Typically technician may look for the direction of the genital tubercle, rather than the actual external genitalia.
At the mid-pregnancy levels, the baby’s shape is something like more crowded and things are under developing state, hence making it more difficult to get precise view of genitals. So risk remains that an ultrasound may not provide very precise prediction of the genitals.
Remember that basic purpose of ultrasound is not to determine the genitals but to the screen the fetal abnormalities and so instead of insisting on finding the baby’s gender, stress on seeing if your baby is well and developing in normal stages as per the expectations of the doctor.
Well to me, an ultrasound is the least invasive way to guess and find out the baby’s gender.
You can also choose genetic testing during 10 and 13 weeks of pregnancy. However remember that these tests are generally done for identifying chromosome abnormalities or other inherited disorders and not mainly for determining the gender!
Amniocentesis and Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS) are two genetic tests that can be used in much early phases of your pregnancy to determine the baby’s gender. They yield better information about genetics.
Both of these tests can be exercised from the first trimester till anytime in the pregnancy for various reasons. However both are considered to be more invasive and there are possible health risks to your baby (or even the mother).
My own thinking is that you should not insist on these tests solely to determine the sex, but to leave it to your doctor to decide if at all they are needed to find out the baby’s health (for what-so-ever reasons). So best to let your practitioner decide whether to do or not these tests. If for any other reasons practitioner decides to do this test, then you may ask him to carry out baby gender determination too as a side-output and not the solely main purpose.
You must know the risks involved in Amniocentesis and hence if at all you have been suggested by your practitioner I will suggest you to read the information on Amniocentesis risks
Similarly CVS is also recognized as an invasive diagnostic test hence I suggest you to Read on CVS Risks and side effects on mother or baby.
Genetic blood test
Many claim predicting baby’s sex even during seventh week of pregnancy using the genetic blood test. However there is no enough data proving the effectiveness of this method and may be that is one of the reasons of not being so popular in the U.S.
Lets look at a study by Stephanie A. Devaney published in the Journal of the American Medical Association dated August 10, 2011 ( Read the complete analysis here )
To tell you effectiveness of genetic blood test, I am referring you to look at a study and analysis of about 57 studies which were published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
This study showed that genetic blood tests can detect small pieces of fetal DNA present in a mom’s bloodstream during pregnancy, and the results can be between 95% and 99% accurate.
However the sensitivity and specificity for detection of Y chromosome sequences was greatest using RTQ-PCR after 20 weeks’ gestation. Tests using urine and tests performed before 7 weeks’ gestation were unreliable.
In today’s market you get Screening kits, like the Pink or Blue Early DNA Pregnancy Test (available for about $25), which claims an easy way to find the baby’s gender, however I have not tested or used it, so will not be able to comment on effectiveness, if some of you have used it and got positive results, please let me know through comments in this post.
As they claim that take a few drops of blood through a finger prick, and the screening kit will indicate presence of male Y chromosome, if it’s there, you will have a baby-boy and if not, it’s a baby-girl. But I advise you to check if someone from your family or friends have used it and known if its that effective.
Ramzi’s Method (Detection during the first trimester!)
This is a newer method claimed to determine gender as early as 6 weeks and said to be reliable to the level of predicting the fetus gender in 97.2% of males and 97.5% of females.
Ramzi’s method uses placenta / chorionic villi location as a marker for fetal gender detection.
Ramzi’s Method, or Ramzi’s Readings method is recently gaining popularity for finding out a baby’s gender.
This uses ultrasound in early pregnancy, and predicts the gender of your baby by locating the placenta. However being new, its not available widely, but if you are interested, just check with your doctor during the first ultrasound.
I suggest you to read complete information on Ramzi’s method here
Maternal Blood Screening
Main purpose of Maternal blood screening tests are to determine any risk of birth defects or genetic condition, like Down syndrome well in advance using mom’s bloodstream or urine.
The tests measure the levels of three or four substances in a sample of the mother’s blood during pregnancy that look at cell free DNA, like the Harmony and MaterniT21.
These tests look for any baby’s cells that are being shed in mom’s bloodstream or urine, to quickly and fairly accurately tell if the baby is a boy or a girl. Again do not forget that as I said in the beginning, the main purpose of these tests are for screening the genetic issues.
However in-general these tests are done for mom’s over 35 years of age or any mom having a potential issue with genetics that requires screening.
Please Check : These tests may or may not be paid for by your insurance company, so better to check with the company before spending money!
Just for your information, Maternal blood screening tests are also called as serum screening tests or triple screen or quad screen tests.
Which is 100 percent accurate baby gender predicting method?
Well ultrasonic if done by an experienced doctor or technician with correct position of baby can provide you 100% accurate baby gender prediction. The time in number of weeks plays also a vital role in prediction.
From Olivia’s desk – After being a mother now, this is what I think!
My own thinking evolved during pregnancy about gender determination. I did not spent time in imagining if its a girl or a boy! but in loving my baby, so did Bryan.
Although many Americans tend to find out the sex of their baby before its birth, fortunately there are substantial American families who think in my line of not determining the baby’s sex.
May be some people have a specific reasons to do so, someone may find more in-depth bonding after knowing if its a boy or girl! who knows!!
Many want to do it simply to avoid any disappointment of their grand parents! or can’t sustain the pressure of waiting for nine full months to know if its a boy or a girl!
But remember none of the above tests which I have mentioned have a primary goal to find out baby’s gender, mainly all these tests are devised to know the baby’s health status or predicting any issues well before the birth and if possible to take some countermeasures. Gender determination can be the secondary or tertiary output of these tests.
Although these are scientific tests which are fairly accurate than the traditional old wives’ tales and I suggest to exercise them wisely only if needed. And if your doctor doesn’t recommend getting a test done, its best to follow the advice.
And if at all needed, better to go for noninvasive prenatal testing (NIPT) methods.
And I suggest carrying our invasive tests ONLY if your doctor has suggested them to you for some specific reasons, since it comes with some risks!
Now lets look at some other methods which are popular, and there is no harm in trying these since it will not have any physical impact on your baby!
Chinese gender predictor
There are many Chinese Gender Predictor websites which claims to predict sex of an unborn baby!
Generally the inputs needed are something like mother’s date of birth and the date of conception.
And if you are not sure about the date of conception, you may choose an expected due date.
Again this is more of a traditional method and I am not sure how well it predicts. I could not find any data based proof of this method working accuracy, but this is simple to try out.
Now just for fun I am giving you traditional gender prediction methods! But just for FUN!!
Old Wives’ Tales?
I am enlisting these methods which I have heard from years from my childhood from grandparents and relatives and friends … I thought of recording them for future, so that at least our next generation would know that something like this used to happen ages ago!
So I suggest to take it as a fun rather than seriously thinking on determining the baby’s gender!
If you suffer from morning sickness in the first three months of pregnancy, in indicates you’re having a baby girl. And a boy causes pain after the first trimester.
As per the legend, 140+ beats per minute means your little one is a girl. Below 140? It’s a boy. The old wives’ tale say that lots of energy mean you’re having a little boy.
If your skin getting spotty : Its baby girl
Glossy hair locks = baby boy.
Dull and tired hair = baby girl.
Hair on legs!
If the hair on your legs are growing faster than ever, means you’re expecting a boy.
If your hands are dry = baby boy.
If they are soft = baby girl.
What are you craving for?
If you’re craving sweet things = baby girl.
If you’re craving salty / sour things = baby boy.
If the right breast looks bigger than the left =baby boy.
Vice versa, it’s a girl!
The old wives’ tale says that boys have more energy than girls! so if the womb movements are too fast means its a boy. Although I disagree with that one!
If you walk with your right foot first, you’re probably having a boy and the opposite indicates a girl.
The skull theory
Now this needs some technological help too! It is said that rounder skulls apparently indicates a baby-girl, and a more squarish skull indicates a baby boy.
The Gold Ring
Traditionally take your wedding ring, tie it to a string. Suspend it over a pregnant woman’s belly. If the ring swings Side to side its a boy, if circular its a girl.
Its fairly simple tests performed traditionally at home.
Place a key in front of expecting mother and tell her to pick it up.
If she grabs the key by the fat end, she’s having a boy, and by the narrow end, a girl.
The myth says, if the father piles on the weight during the mother’s pregnancy, then she’s carrying a girl.
Sprinkle some salt on expecting mothers head while she is sleeping.
When she wakes, keep a watch of the name she calls first.
If she calls upon a man’s name it’s a baby-boy and if she calls a woman’s name it will be a girl !
From the desk of Olivia (Author and mother of newborn)
Well I enjoyed a being mother and thought of determining the gender for a moment, but later dropped the idea of ever asking my doctor! I think it was a wise decision and I could create a lovable bond with my baby during the period of nine months and when the doctor placed my baby girl in my hand and I saw her for the first time, the feeling was indescribable and I’m glad about my decision of not knowing my baby’s gender as the surprise element would otherwise be lost. 🙂
Although the technology is there to help all of us, i personally think it should be used to determine the baby’s health rather than its sex.
Do you agree with me?
Interesting facts about World Population, female (% of total)
World Bank staff estimates based on age/sex distributions of United Nations Population Divisions World Population Prospects: 2017 Revision shows below graph which is self explanatory in itself!
Graph is taken from data.worldbank.org website, Visit here if you wish to see the details.