Girl or Boy?

Finding out the sex of your baby in pregnancy

Newborn twins sleeping on white blanket

It is hot on everyone's mind. Are you having a girl or a boy? It seems like all anyone can think about as soon as you announce your pregnancy is how to determine boy or girl and as early as possible.

First of all, despite the fact that it seems like everyone is wanting to find out the sex of their baby before birth, that's not true. Depending on where you live, only about 80% of parents choose to find out before the birth if they are having a girl or boy.

So, if you are not interested in finding out, don't be concerned. Now if you don't agree on whether to find out or not, that's another story!

Ways to Find Out

  • Ultrasound is probably the most common method of finding out the sex of your baby. This is generally done during the 18-22 week range. If your practitioner schedules an ultrasound for this point on a routine basis your insurance may or may not cover this charge. Sometimes you will have to schedule an ultrasound specifically to find out your baby's sex. This can run you upwards of $300 and is generally not covered by ultrasound. Remember they can't always tell, they aren't always right, and sometimes their office policies are not to tell.
  • There is also a newer method of ultrasound that can be used at around the six week mark in pregnancy. This is called the Ramzi's Method. It is used to determine whether you're having a girl or boy based on the location of the placenta. It is not commonly done and yet you can't look at the information online.
  • Genetic testing is also used to determine the sex of your baby before birth. Because each of these also carries a risk to the baby and the pregnancy they are rarely used to solely find out the sex, but rather for a specific search for genetic information. The two most common invasive methods would be the amniocentesis and the chorionic villus sampling (CVS). CVS can be a done between the 10-12th week, while amniocentesis is generally done after week 16. These tests are nearly 99% accurate in telling you the baby's sex. Again, because of the small chance of infection or pregnancy loss associated with these methods, they are not frequently used as sole methods of determining the sex of your baby.
  • Newer tests using fetal DNA found in the mother's blood is now being used, called cell free DNA tests. These are used in the late first trimester.
  • There is also a urine based home test called Intelligender. This test can be used as early as the 10th week of gestation. It looks for certain cells in the urine of the mother to determine whether she is carrying a boy and a girl. It is sold online and at drugstores and can be used without the use of your doctor.
  • Old Wives tales. Yup, those old wives are at it again! This is harmless, but people claim it's fairly accurate, although it is meant to be for fun. If it's right, that is just an added bonus! This Boy or Girl Test can be a lot of fun!
  • Chinese Lunar Calendars. This actually draws quite a bit of mail my direction, usually because you can find at least four different versions on the net. These are also for fun and I wouldn't place a lot of stock in them for accuracy. Based on the Mother's age at conception and the month conception took place you will be told the gender of your unborn (or preconceived) baby. Some people claim that the differences come from the fact that the Chinese consider a newborn baby one year of age.
  • Some say that if you look at the fetal heart rate that you can predict the gender of your baby. The old saying is that above 140 is a girl and below is a boy. There has been some research done on this one to determine if it is or isn't accurate.
  • Have you heard the one about your belly size and shape? Check out our pregnant belly photos! Here you can see what mom is having and what her belly looks like. Most of the tales say that out front and round is boy. If you look pregnant all over, or are carrying side to side, it is supposed to be a baby girl.

Preplanning the Sex (Sex Selection)

I thought I would give you a few links for preplanning the sex of your baby. After all, why leave anything up to chance! You can now try specifically for a boy or girl. (Actually, there is about a 51% chance that everyone will have a boy! Older mothers are also more likely to have boys according to some recent studies.)

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