Want to Know the Sex of Your Unborn Baby?

Figure Out if Baby is a Boy or Girl

Pregnant woman having ultrasound scan
Andersen Ross/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Are you the type of person who has to plan everything? Do you like to be surprised? Or are you the type who opens your birthday presents when you find them hidden in the closet?

Well, when it comes to finding out the sex of your unborn baby, about 70 of people are the present openers.

Ways to Know the Sex of Your Unborn Baby

How do people determine the sex, why do people want to know, and what impact does it have on their pregnancy?

Determining the sex of your unborn baby can be detected through ultrasound (routine or diagnostic), or genetic testing (Chorionic villus sampling (CVS), cell free DNA tests, or amniocentesis).

While the potential risks of ultrasound are thought to be minimal, it's not recommended to simply to find out the sex of your baby. There is also the question of accuracy. Ultrasound is less accurate than genetic testing. Ultrasound is available to the majority of pregnant women, despite the warning against the routine use of ultrasound. Ultrasound testing for the express purpose of determining the gender is not recommended.

Genetic testing is 99.1% accurate in determining the sex of your baby. However, genetic testing carries the risk of losing the pregnancy or harming the pregnancy. The loss rates of amniocentesis and transabdominal CVS (which is how the vast majority are done) are generally reported to be about a half a percent (i.e. 0.5%) assuming an experienced physician. The loss rate for transcervical CVS is slightly higher.  There have also been reports of CVS and disorders such as amniotic banding syndrome; recent studies suggest that this problem is lessened if done after 10 weeks.

You generally need a referral for either ultrasound or genetic testing.

Why People Want to Know the Sex of Their Unborn Baby

Knowing the sex of your unborn baby can be for carefree reasons, such as decorating a nursery, or it can be for medical reasons, such as a sex-linked chromosomal disorder.

The impact of knowing the sex of your unborn baby can be anywhere from minimal (decorating a nursery) to high impact (deciding to terminate a pregnancy because of a sex linked disorder). There is also the question of accuracy and bringing your new baby boy home to his pink room and closet full of dresses.

There are ways of predicting the sex of your baby that are not as accurate, and should not be used for diagnostic purposes, but are fun never-the-less. Examples would be:

Either way you go, whether or not you choose to know... the surprise will eventually be revealed at that magic moment when you hear, "It's a.... "

Ideas for Finding Out

Despite what you may hear, there is more to the story than just finding out. You may choose to find out when you're in a room filled with people, like in the gender reveals which are growing in popularity. Or you might opt to find out alone, even after the ultrasound is over and you've gone home by taking an envelope with the secret to save it for a special private moment.

This is your special time. Whether you find out or not, whether you do it alone or in a group of people - do something that honors your family.

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