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Video:Determining a Baby's Sex from an Ultrasound

with Dr. Stuart James Fischbein

Determining a baby's sex from an ultrasound is something many couples want. This health video from About.com explains when you can determine a baby's sex from an ultrasound.See Transcript

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Transcript:Determining a Baby's Sex from an Ultrasound

Hello, I'm Dr. Stuart James Fischbein. I'm a fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology. My website is www.BirthingInstincts.com and I'm here today on behalf of About.com to discuss determining sex from an ultrasound.

Do You Want to Know Your Baby's Sex?

Determining sex from an ultrasound is something that many couples want during their pregnancy. Some people want it for social reasons; other people want it for just knowledge based on their family history, or their family makeup.

Many people don't want to know the sex and make sure if you do get an ultrasound in the mid second trimester that you tell the technician or your physician who is doing the ultrasound not to tell you, because it is one of those things that tends to slip.

I would also preface these things by saying that a lot of ultrasound personnel have a habit by which they call babies “he” or “she” all the time so if he's describing your baby to you and he's saying “he” that doesn't necessarily mean it's a “he”, just so you know that because we'd rather say “he” or “she” than “it”.

The First Ultrasound You Could Possibly Determine the Sex From

The first ultrasound that you can even get an inkling of what the baby's sex is an ultrasound around 12-13 weeks which is often done for genetic screening and looking at what's called the nuchal translucency. At that time you can see what's called the genital tubercle, which is the future clitoris or penis.

However, they tend to be about the same size at that time and they may point in slightly different directions. But you can get a prediction of about 70%, which in my book isn't very good so I wouldn't go home and start planning or buying or shopping based on what they tell you at a 12-13 week ultrasound.

The First Accurate Ultrasound You Tell the Baby's Sex From

Probably by 15 or 16 weeks you can almost definitively tell the sex by a routine abdominal ultrasound. However, generally there is no reason to get an ultrasound at 15 or 16 weeks so the classic ultrasound determiner of sex usually occurs around 20 weeks. And generally that's 99.9% accurate.

Everyone may know a story about someone who was told their baby is a girl and it turns out to be a boy. Yes that does happen periodically and the baby did not change in utero.

But by 20 weeks, it's pretty obvious and if it's not obvious the person doing the ultrasound will probably not declare to you what the sex is. So by 20 weeks you can definitely know what the sex of your baby is. And then you can start to plan the rest of your life with your baby boy or your baby girl.

Again, I'm Dr. Stuart James Fischbein. Thank you so much for watching. If you would like to learn more, visit us online at About.com.

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