Ultrasound gender determination — when and how?
The desire of future parents to determine baby gender as early as possible is understandable. You really need to know how to paint the baby room or what color of sliders to prefer among the existing galore.
I want to remind demanding dads, who insist on a particular baby gender, that it is the man, who determines the baby’s sex, not the woman. If the sperm carries X-chromosome, there will be a little girl, if Y-chromosome — a baby-boy. If women reproduced themselves by parthenogenesis (asexual means), they would have only girls, as they have only X chromosomes.
I want to warn you against doing a special ultrasound to determinate your baby’s gender. Very rarely doctors recommend gender ultrasound. The two reasons for it are:
- possibility of any hereditary diseases associated with the X chromosome (hemophilia),
- the need to identify specific genetic conditions.
According to international health standards, pregnant women without complications should have ultrasounds in a strictly defined period. During one of the scheduled ultrasounds, you will learn the baby’s gender.
How early can gender be determined by ultrasound?
The certainty of ultrasound gender determination depends primarily on de facto pregnancy duration and on the skill of your specialist. Up to the 8th week, the genital organs of the fetus are not differentiated. This process ends by the 12th week. At this time, a good doctor can already tell you your baby’s gender providing that he has a good ultrasound machine.
However, do not distress you doctor with a standard question, «Who will I have?» during the first ultrasound (12−13 weeks). According to most scientists, accurate gender identification is only possible at 15 weeks pregnant.
The best time to answer the cherished question is the 23rd — 25th weeks of gestation. Now the baby is mobile enough and any patient doctor will most likely tell you the gender. After the 37th week, it again becomes challenging to determine gender because of the size and low mobility of a baby.
How to determine baby gender by ultrasound?
If a gender sonogram shows a scrotum and penis — you’ll have a boy. If large labia — a girl.
The most common mistakes in ultrasound gender determination are:
- mistaking a loop of the umbilical cord or a finger for the penis in girls;
- mistaking swelling labia for the scrotum in girls;
- mistaking clenched legs for the labia in boys.
Learn about other ways of gender determination.