Can the Drano Test accurately predict the sex of your baby?

The Myth of the Drano Test in Pregnancy

Newborn Babies in Cribs.
Anne Ackermann/The Image Bank/Getty Images


I've heard that you can take a pregnant woman's urine and mix it with drano to tell the sex of the baby. I hear that it's 100% accurate for everyone, even early in pregnancy.


The drano test supposedly can detect something in a pregnant woman's urine that will change the color of the drano to indicate the sex of the baby. However, this is absolutely false. In addition to that, I must warn you that it is extremely dangerous to mix urine and drano. When they did studies at the medical school here on this test they wore chemical masks and did them under chemical hoods because of the possibility of fumes and of explosion. This is not something that pregnant women want to mess with or expose their loved ones to either. Currently we know of nothing that is excreted in a pregnant woman's urine to be able for us to predict the sex of her baby, with or without Drano or another substance. -- Robin Weiss


Lots of people swear this is true and offer their own personal experiences to back it up, but the sum of all the anecdotes you hear and read still don't add up to proof. Even when studies have been done, they have trouble coming up with anything either. That's because this is not based on science.

One reason is that no one seems to agree on how to properly interpret the results of the test. As with all superstitions, the specifics tend to vary according to who's telling the tale. For example, all of the following have been offered on the Internet as "the key" to interpreting the Drano test:

Bluish yellow = boy
Greenish brown = girl

Brownish = boy
No change = girl

Brown = boy
Green = girl

Black = boy
Blue = girl

Blue = boy
Green = girl

Another reason anecdotal evidence does not cut it here is that by and large people are only sharing their testimonials in cases where the method seemed to work. We don't have anything approaching a fair or scientific sampling, so it's entirely reasonable to conjecture that all of the positive results can be accounted for by coincidence -- the luck of the draw. -- David Emery


So, where do you go from here? If you want to find out the sex of your baby, there are way more accurate methods that do not involve risking chemical exposures. You can use an early ultrasound to help you predict the sex of your baby, like the Ramsi's Method. This is using early ultrasound. There are also a lot of early prediction kits that are sold, that, while not scientifically advanced, can offer some fun, like Intelligender, etc.

You can also go for the gold standard and have genetic testing done. This is typically done in early to mid-pregnancy. You can use chorionic villus sampling (CVS) or an amniocentesis. These carry risks to the pregnancy and are generally only recommended when genetic testing is needed. 

There is also ultrasound testing done near mid-pregnancy that can often tell you the sex of the baby. This is reliable and does not have the risks of the genetic testing. This is considered the standard method of determining the sex of your baby. Talk to your doctor or midwife before trying anything like the Drano test.


Fowler RM. JAMA. 1982 Aug 20;248(7):831. The "Drano test".

Continue Reading