Comparing Girl and Boy Ultrasound Photos in Pregnancy

Can you tell the girls from the boys?

Pregnancy Ultra-Sound
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In today's world, most moms find out the sex of their baby before birth. The most common way to do that is via ultrasound, most frequently at around eighteen to twenty weeks along. Often families wish they could know sooner, and while we're working on perfecting techniques as early as six weeks into pregnancy, it is not yet the standard of care. The timing of the ultrasound is purposeful, in that you can reduce the errors of mistaking girls for boys and vice versa.

(Yes, your ultrasound can be wrong.)

Finding Out the Sex of Your Baby

Finding out if your baby is a girl or boy can be fun with ultrasound. It is something people plan for in great detail. But long before the ultrasound, predicting girl or boy is something many parents play around with, often using old wives tales like the dangerous Drano test or so-called ancient methods like the ring test or the Chinese calendar. Sometimes parents are a bit more intense and wind up purchasing kits that supposedly tell the sex of the baby from about ten weeks gestation through the mother's urine. Truthfully speaking, genetic testing is the gold standard, even compared to ultrasound. The problem is that amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling (CVS) carry additional risks to your pregnancy.

Ultrasound Comparisons

Even though ultrasound is fairly accurate, there are often moms who are left wondering if the results they were given was right.

That's why we've gathered up ultrasound photos from various stages of pregnancy. Here you can either look ahead of your scheduled appointment and give yourself a crash course in telling the boys from the girls, or you can come back later and compare your own photos to those in the gallery.

No matter what you are looking for, you are sure to find a good example that looks similar to your photos. But, if you feel like you'd like a bit of guidance, we have a great community of moms and professionals who love to play around with ultrasound photos.

Girl Ultrasound Photos

When looking at an ultrasound photo and trying to decide if you are looking at a girl ultrasound photo there are a couple of things to keep in mind:

  • How far along in the pregnancy are you? Missing a date by a few days can drastically alter the accuracy, particularly in the early weeks and months of pregnancy.
  • What is actually seen is important. Watch out for people telling you that you are having a girl simply because they don't see a penis or scrotum. Even in the absence of seeing these parts, it is not definitive enough to call the sex of the baby.
  • The machine and the experience of the person using it matter. Having someone who has a lot of practice and has a good track record is beneficial in making this call, as is having a high-quality machine.
  • The sagittal sign in the late first trimester and early second trimester for a girl is that the genital tubercle points downward.
  • In some ultrasounds, you may also be able to identify the uterus of the girl fetus and the labial lines. The clitoris and labia shown on ultrasound are sometimes known as the Hamburger sign.

    Boy Ultrasound Photos

    Baby boy ultrasounds do differ from girls. While the first point about the quality of the machine, the accuracy of the pregnancy dating, and the experience of the ultrasonographer are important, there are also the following things:

    • In the later part of the first trimester and the early part of the second trimester, the sagittal sign for a boy is that the genital tubercle points upward.
    • Sometimes you can also note the direction of the flow of urine in male fetuses, upward.
    • Some ultrasounds for boys will show the descended testicles, the scrotum, and even an erect penis.

    Gender Reveals

    The next thing to do will be to plan how to do your gender reveal!

    Will you find out right then at the ultrasound? When will you tell your friends and family? Will you keep it a secret for a bit? Or are you the type who wants to throw a party and do a gender reveal themed baby shower?

    Gender Disappointment

    That said, sometimes you will have your ultrasound and be told that your baby is a boy when you had your heart set on a girl or vice versa. This is called gender disappointment. You are not alone here. Many moms feel some degree of sadness to outright depression. There is help available.

    Sources:

    Hagen-Ansert, SL. Textbook of Diagnostic Sonography - E-Book: 2-Volume Set. Seventh Edition. 2011.

    Manzanares S, Benítez A, Naveiro-Fuentes M, López-Criado MS, Sánchez-Gila M. Accuracy of fetal sex determination on ultrasound examination in the first trimester of pregnancy. J Clin Ultrasound. 2016 Jun;44(5):272-7. doi: 10.1002/jcu.22320. Epub 2015 Dec 11.

    Odeh M, Granin V, Kais M, Ophir E, Bornstein J. Sonographic fetal sex determination. Obstet Gynecol Surv. 2009 Jan;64(1):50-7. doi: 10.1097/OGX.0b013e318193299b.

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