Fun Ways to Find out the Sex of Your Baby

When Do You Find out the Sex of Your Baby?

Pregnant woman holding up pink and blue baby socks
Boy or girl? Here is the scoop on how to find out in pregnancy. John Lamb/Photodisc/Getty Images

Old Wives Tales & Fun Ways to "Guess" Girl or Boy

There is no shortage of people out there telling you non-medical ways to find out the sex of your baby. Many of these ways are inaccurate old wives tales. They are fun to play with, and most of them don't involve anything dangerous. Some of the more common ones involve wedding rings spinning or swaying, the size or shape of your pregnant belly and other questions about pregnancy cravings or bed positioning. Do watch out for some of the sketchy ones that include chemicals like Drano.

When Do You Find Out the Sex of Your Baby?

The most commonly used method to find out the sex of your baby is ultrasound or sonogram. This method is most accurate between 18-22 weeks. It is normally done at the fetal anatomy survey or mid-pregnancy ultrasound, done in the mid-second trimester.

At this point, it is usually easier to tell the sex of the baby. Earlier dates in pregnancy are usually too difficult to tell and later dates become difficult because of crowding in the uterus.

However, there is a method of determining the boys from the girls that is based on the location of the placenta in early pregnancy, called Ramzi's Method. Since this doesn't look at the baby's anatomy it may be more accurate, where other early methods are not as accurate.

What Other Ways Can You Find out the Sex of the Baby?

Other methods of sex prediction are more accurate but carry more risk to the pregnancy. These methods can usually be done slightly earlier but are usually only done if other factors are involved that require genetic testing.

The most commonly used methods are amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling (CVS). These tests can be used earlier in pregnancy. They are also much more accurate than ultrasound, with results very close to 100%. Most practitioners will tell you 100%, but there have been lab errors. These are most often done in the first trimester or early second trimester.

What Factors Determine If Ultrasound Is Accurate?

There are many factors that can play a part in whether or not the ultrasound is accurate in predicting the sex of your baby. They include:

  • the gestational age of the baby
  • the equipment being used
  • the training of the person doing the ultrasound
  • mother's weight
  • baby's position
  • other factors

Sex Selection Techniques: Choosing the Sex of Your Baby

There are families who have such strong sex preferences that they choose to do sex selection. Using techniques like preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) and Haplotyping (PGH), Shettles, O+12, and other methods of sex selection, they attempt to influence nature. Some techniques are very accurate while others are not as reliable.

Sex Preference for Baby

Let's face it, there are people who have very strong preferences for the sex of their baby. Sometimes it comes from really feeling a strong connection to raising a son or daughter. There are also families who have had a loss and feel that a specific sex would be better for their families. Family balancing is another reason that some families have a sex preference for one or more of the children.

Do You Want to Know If Your Baby Is a Boy or Girl?

About half of people surveyed say that they do want to know the sex of the baby they are carrying. Some people want to have a surprise. Sometimes they want to know but only in a second or subsequent pregnancy.

The most often stated reasons for finding out in pregnancy are planning reasons and why not know. Some people want to plan for a nursery for their baby or buy clothes for a specific sex of baby rather than wait until after the birth to find out the sex. It's a personal issue and one hotly debated.

One of the most exciting parts of pregnancy or birth is finding out if you're having a boy or girl. Until fairly recently, you would have to wait until the moment of birth to reveal the sex of your baby. As technological advances have occurred, it has become increasingly common to have the opportunity to find out before the birth of your baby if you're expecting a son or daughter. The technology has gotten more accurate and works at earlier times, particularly when you add genetic testing to the mix.

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