When can you recognize gender using ultrasound?

BabyCenter Team

Your experts from our editorial team

Many parents are extremely interested in gender their Child before birth. The best time to do this is with your second regular Ultrasonic, who is due around week 20 of pregnancy. Then it is quite easy to determine the gender if your baby presents itself well to the gynecologist on ultrasound. The difference between boys and girls is pretty obvious at this stage. As your pregnancy progresses, the difference becomes even clearer, and provided your baby is surrounded by ample amniotic fluid and has not got his feet between his legs, ultrasound scanning can also clearly show gender in the last third.

However, it is not so easy in the first few weeks. The sex of a child is genetically determined at conception. But in the early stages of development, all embryos look the same.

All embryos have a kind of bud, which can be called bulging or protuberance. If you have a boy, your body will start producing testosterone around the eighth week of pregnancy. This stimulates the small bulge to grow and develops into a penis and a scrotum. In a girl, she becomes a clitoris and labia.

This is a gradual process and it is only around week 11 that it becomes possible to see any gender difference. At this stage, all babies stand out. Boys tend to point upward at an angle of more than 30 degrees to the spine. In girls, it is more horizontal and at an angle of less than 30 Degree. The baby must lie on the back so that this can be seen on ultrasound.

The two pictures you see below show two babies in the 13th week of pregnancy (week 12 plus a few days). Here you can clearly see the various small protrusions.

The difference between the two babies is very clear. But it’s not always so clear.

The picture of the baby here right was done between weeks 11 and 13 of pregnancy. The curvature appears in one location to be horizontal, parallel to the spine and therefore female, but the shape looks more like a boy. Not that easy, is it??

In fact, research shows that forecasting at this point in time is a pretty uncertain thing. Older studies showed that even in babies who were in a favorable position, very experienced sonography specialists with the best ultrasound machines only correctly determined the sex at week 11 of pregnancy in 70 percent of the cases. At week 12 of pregnancy, the hit rate was slightly better than 9 out of 10 cases.

In a recent study, sonography experts were only able to correctly determine gender at week 12 of pregnancy in 46 percent of all babies. At week 13, it was 80 percent correct predictions.

It is therefore unlikely that you will experience gender during a routine first ultrasound. Most ultrasound devices are not technologically equipped for such accurate reproduction. And the sonography specialist will not be able to wait for your baby to turn into an optimal position. At week 13 of pregnancy, your baby can curl up or do gymnastics, so finding the right angle can be very difficult.

So if you don’t want to get a “false report”, you should exercise patience. It can be frustrating to be told gender and you have to find out later that it was wrong. If it is not absolutely necessary for you to experience gender because you have gender-related genetic problems in your family history, then wait until your detailed ultrasound in the middle of pregnancy. The chance of correctly recognizing gender is then much greater.


Chigbu C.O., Odugu B., Okezie O .. 2008. Implications of incorrect determination of fetal sex by ultrasound. Int J Gynaecol Obstet 100 (3): 287-90

Efrat Z., Akinfenwa O.O., Nicolaides K.H .. 1999. First trimester determination of fetal gender by ultrasound. Ultrasound Obstet Gynecol 13 (5): 305-7

Zampieri N., Zamboni C., Ghidini A. et al. 2008. Prenatal sonographic evaluation of male genitalia development. Minerva Ginecol 60 (4): 317-21


Like this post? Please share to your friends:
Christina Cherry
Leave a Reply

;-) :| :x :twisted: :smile: :shock: :sad: :roll: :razz: :oops: :o :mrgreen: :lol: :idea: :grin: :evil: :cry: :cool: :arrow: :???: :?: :!: