Ramzi's Method to Find Out the Sex of Your Baby at 1st Ultrasound

Woman and her doctors at an ultrasound

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Most people in the United States find out the sex of their baby before birth. There are numerous ways to find out if you're having a girl or a boy. Some of these ways are more reliable than others.

Unproven Methods of Sex Determination

Many parents want to the know if they are having a boy or girl as soon as possible in pregnancy. This has led to a huge increase in the number of families who try unproven methods of sex determination like the Intelligender Kits sold in local drug stores that can be used, according to the instructions, as early as ten weeks into pregnancy. While the accuracy of these kits leaves something to be desired, it's the choice of many parents.

Waiting for Reliable Methods

If parents don't want to use unreliable methods, the option of waiting for the regular mid-pregnancy ultrasound is usually performed between eighteen-twenty weeks gestation. Though some families are offered other tests earlier in pregnancy that can identify the boys from the girls. These tests, because they pose risks to the pregnancy, are usually done only in the case of parents who have reason to worry about genetic problems. These tests are the chorionic villus sampling (CVS) test and the amniocentesis (amnio).

Ramzi's Method

The internet is abuzz with a "new" method of determining if you're having a boy or girl as early as six weeks into pregnancy. The new method has been dubbed The Ramzi's Method.

The Ramzi's Method is original research done by Dr. Saad Ramzi Ismail. In this multi-center prospective cohort study, more than five thousand fetuses were scanned for placental location and gender. These scans were done over a ten-decision making year period in Canada. The same sonographer did all of the exams. In the first trimester, six weeks gestation, twenty-two percent of the mothers had transvaginal ultrasounds performed. Seventy-eight percent of the mothers chose to have a regular transabdominal ultrasound done. They measured both gestational age as well as where the placenta was located. The mothers returned between weeks eighteen-twenty and were rescanned using the abdominal ultrasound. 99% of the fetal genders were confirmed at this point and one hundred percent of the results were confirmed at birth. This study did not include twins, ectopic pregnancies, and other complications.

In using this data, Dr. Ramzi Ismail concluded that at six weeks gestation, ninety-seven point two percent of the male fetuses had a placenta or chorionic villi on the right side of the uterus. When it came to female fetuses, there were ninety-seven point five percent of the chorionic villi or placenta on the left side of the uterus.

This is amazingly accurate and has nothing to do with actual visualization of the sex organs, which is impossible this early in pregnancy. Parents want to know the sex of their baby for many reasons, including to figure out how to manage a pregnancy when there may be certain sex-linked diseases complicating it. Though the author encourages this to be used as a soft marker to be used between the physician and patient when earlier knowledge can help the team with decision making.

Noninvasive Prenatal Testing to Determine the Sex of Baby

Another potential way to find out the sex of your baby is to use noninvasive prenatal testing (NIPT). This testing screens the maternal blood for fetal cell free DNA. This will let the lab know, not only the sex of your baby but if your baby has certain genetic problems. This is not standard, but this type of testing is becoming more and more common. It is not recommended merely to find out the sex of your baby and because of this, your insurance company may not cover the costs. Be sure to talk to your provider to see if this test is right for you and your family.

Advantages to Using Ultrasound Over Traditional Methods

The biggest advantage here is that the use of two dimensional ultrasound does not pose the risks that other methods do to the pregnancy because it is non-invasive, unlike amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling (CVS). It can also easily be incorporated into other first trimester screenings and the results are immediately available. This can also prevent the waiting times that can cause much anxiety for families.

Warning About Do-It-Yourself Attempts to Determine the Sex

Though this is not widely used anywhere currently, parents wishing to know the sex of their baby may be trying to figure this out anyway. If you have an early ultrasound and are not trained, you may misinterpret the results, even if you can clearly see the screen. You would be better off asking the person doing the ultrasound which side the placenta is on than trying to guess yourself.

It would be wise not to make decisions that are irreparable because of this knowledge. The best advice is to make sure that both you and your partner want to know and know what you'd do with the information before finding out. Dr. Ramzi Ismail also recommends that both parents be told at the same time.

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Article Sources
  • Colmant C, Morin-Surroca M, Fuchs F, Fernandez H, Senat MV. Non-invasive prenatal testing for fetal sex determination: is ultrasound still relevant? Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol. 2013 Dec;171(2):197-204. doi: 10.1016/j.ejogrb.2013.09.005. Epub 2013 Sep 11.

  • Ramzi Ismail, Saad. "The Relationship Between Placental Location and Fetal Gender (Ramzi’s Method)." Web.