image001There are many reasons why you may want to find out the gender of your unborn child. For some parents, it’s to begin choosing an appropriate name while for others it could be to find out if the baby has a higher risk of developing genetic abnormalities that are gender-related. Whatever the reason is, the method of detection used determines how early during pregnancy you can identify the gender of your baby. A medical test is the only guaranteed way to tell the gender of your baby. How you carry the baby and other myths on identifying the gender of the baby are merely myths.

When Can I Find the Sex of My Baby?

Most expectant mothers are able to find out the sex of their baby during their ultrasound. This is normally at mid pregnancy between the 16th and 20th weeks. Of course the choice is usually the mother’s and the ultrasound technician can only tell if they have a clear view of the genitals. Aside from using an ultrasound to identify the baby’s gender, some parents choose to undergo genetic tests such as amniocentesis or CVS. However, it is important to know that these tests have slight risks and could lead to a miscarriage. Their main purpose is to identify if the child has a chromosomal abnormality such as Down Syndrome or a genetic disorder.

How Can I Find the Sex of My Baby?

After learning the answer to when can i find the sex of my baby, the next question is how is the sex of a baby found out? 

1. Traditional Ultrasound

The most common way of identifying an unborn child’s gender is through an ultrasound. With the ultrasound procedure, some gel is placed on the mother’s abdomen to help conduct sound waves. An ultrasound technician will then use a transducer which produces sound waves through the uterus. The purpose of these sound waves is to bounce from the body tissue and bones to the transducer where they generate the fetus images in black and white.

2. 3D Ultrasound

3D ultrasounds are also used and these can help detect the gender of the child much earlier than the traditional ultrasound. A study published in the British Journal of Radiology came to the conclusion that 3D ultrasounds produce 85.3 correct predictions. The study was conducted on 150 women who were in their first trimester between 11 and 14 weeks and out of the 150, 128 received accurate gender predictions. This shows that 3D ultrasound is highly effective identifying the baby’s gender much earlier.

3. Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS)

CVS known in full as chorionic villus sampling is yet another test that can be used to identify gender. This test is mainly used to test pregnancies that have a higher risk of developing chromosomal or genetic defects and it is conducted on pregnancies between 10 and 12 weeks. The procedure involves removing a small part of the placental tissue so as to examine the chromosomes and identify the baby’s gender. It can be conducted two ways and these are transabdominally and through the cervix. According to the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the transcervical method is riskier as it carries a higher likelihood of having a miscarriage.

4. Amniocentesis

Amniocentesis may be used but only when the baby is at a higher risk of developing birth defect and genetic disorders. It is also an option if the pregnant woman is older. It is performed on older pregnancies when compared to ultrasounds since the pregnancies are ideally between 18 and 20 weeks. Amniocentesis is conducted on by taking out amniotic fluid sample for cell analysis. This helps in identifying any impending genetic problems and of course the baby’s gender.

5. Preimplantation Genetic Testing

Preimplantation genetic testing known simply as PGD can be used to tell the gender of the baby even before a test of positive pregnancy. PGD is not supported by many health professionals because it is basically sex selection. The test involves removing the embryo before implantation so as to allow for chromosomal microscopic evaluation. This evaluation predicts the gender of the baby. The reason why we call this sex selection is that only the desired sex embryos are implanted. Medical professionals only support the procedure if it is used to prevent genetic defects like hemophilia.

6. Urine-Based Gender Test

You can also identify the gender of your baby using a urine test. This test is fairly new in the market and it is based on your urine to help predict the baby’s gender. The test is known as Intelligender and it can predict the gender of your baby as early as 10 weeks. The convenient test conducted in your privacy has been proven to be 90% accurate.

Myths and Facts About the Sex of a Baby

Many myths have been said about how you can identify the sex of a baby and below we will be dispelling some of the most common.

Myth 1: Carrying High/Wide

Myth: If your belly hangs high/wide—it is a girl; otherwise—it is a boy.

Fact: How you carry a pregnancy has more to do with your muscles, body shape and weight. Gender has no relation with this.

Myth 2: Heart Beat

Myth: It is a girl if the baby’s heart beat exceeds 140 beats per minute.

Fact: This myth may actually have some truth in it. Studies show that there are no differences in the heart rate during the first trimester. However, there are differences as the pregnancy develops and girl’s heart beats are usually faster than boys’ fetuses just before delivery. You cannot use the heart rate to determine gender accurately.

Myth 3: Rings on a Hair

Myth: Dangle your wedding ring on a strand of the father hair or a pin over your wrist. If the ring/pin sways back and forth, you are expecting a boy. If it swirls in circles, it’s a girl.

Fact: This myth is as ridiculous as it sounds and has no scientific backing.

Myth 4: The Drano Test

Myth: Stir Drano into an expectant mother’s urine. If it turns green, she is expecting a boy.

Fact: Studies have been conducted to refute this myth and it’s in fact not safe to be inhaling Drano while pregnant since it is a caustic chemical.

Myth 5: Sweet Tooth or Sour Food Cravings

Myth: Sweet tooth cravings while pregnant--it is a boy; sour food cravings—it is a girl.

Fact: Cravings are common in pregnancy, but not due to the gender of the child. They are results of hormonal shifts which identify your sense of smell.

Myth 6: Sever Morning Sickness

Myth: If you suffer from intense morning sickness—it is a girl.

Fact: There is some truth to this myth and studies have shown that women who suffer from a severe form of morning sickness known as hyperemesis gravidarum mostly give birth to girls. This is because an increase in HCG pregnancy hormones leads to intense morning sickness and this is normally higher with female fetuses. However, expectant mothers carrying boys also suffer from severe morning sickness which means that the myth is unreliable.

Myth 7: Use a Calendar

Myth: You can use the Chinese lunar calendar to predict the gender of a baby.

Fact: The Canadian researchers who conducted the Drano test also tested this myth and found that it’s as accurate as a random guess.