Pregnancy Ultrasound Accuracy: Know Your Baby’s Gender

on June 4, 2018

There will be a point in your pregnancy when you will want to know the gender of your child, so that you can start shopping for the little one. Doctors say that early pregnancy is definitely not the right time to determine your baby’s sex as the genitals do not develop properly before the 20th week. Although the genitalia starts growing when you are nearly 12 weeks pregnant, but it still is not prominent to be understood on the ultrasound screen. The big question in your mind at that point is “are ultrasound predictions accurate?”.

As you think “which ultrasound is the most accurate”, expert gynaecologists recommend waiting till the time you undergo your first anatomical survey that is usually done when you reach 20 weeks of pregnancy. However, you might still be wondering, “can ultrasound be wrong about gender at 20 weeks?”. Although there is no concrete answer to this, doctors say that the actual results can vary from the report based on the ultrasound or anatomical scan. But, the good news is that in approximately 95% of the cases, you will receive a report that is accurate and that tallies with the ultimate result that you will see after delivery.

The genitals of the foetus usually start growing from the 12th week of pregnancy, but they are internal developments that are not visible externally, even on the 3D ultrasound screen. The gender of the foetus can be determined only after the egg is fully fertilised. When ultrasound shows gender after 20 weeks of pregnancy, it is usually based on many factors, like:

Ultrasound Accuracy: Ways to Find Out Your Baby’s Gender

Knowing Baby’s Gender Through Ultrasound

Whether the baby’s growth is on the right track

A lot of analyses and predictions depend on how well or how quickly the baby is growing inside your womb. If the baby is growing slowly – which is not always an issue to worry about, because some babies develop slowly initially but they catch up with the normal pace later – the genitals might not be visible clearly by week 20. However, if the baby is growing at the normal speed or rather fairly fast, your doctor might be able to decode its gender. However, this does not determine absolute correctness. Train your mind to accept your child if it has a different gender as well.

Whether you are carrying twins or a different number of multiple babies

At times, when you are pregnant with twins, it becomes difficult for the gynaecologist or even the sonographer to determine their genders by even looking closely on the ultrasound screen. This happens because the babies are clustered inside the womb, thereby each one – unintentionally, of course! – hiding each other’s body parts to a certain extent. The doctor might tell you to wait for a while, until the next ultrasound session, hoping that there will be a point in time when they will reveal their gender identities!

Whether the baby is lying in the head-down and feet-up position

The position in which the foetus is lying inside the uterus, is another vital factor that helps determine its gender. If the baby is lying in the most common position – head-up and feet-up – it becomes easier to view its body and decode the different organs. The pelvic region being towards the top, it becomes more easily visible on the 3D or 4D screen, helping your doctor decode the baby’s gender. However, even then, at times doctors find it difficult to determine the baby’s gender due to lack of proper visibility, especially if it is a girl. Hence, in these cases, you may just guess the child’s gender based on the possibilities and immediate visual effects.

Whether your body mass index (BMI) is higher than what is medically prescribed as ideal

Pregnancy is a period during which you will definitely gain a lot of pounds. However, if you have been a person with a higher level of medically recommended BMI even prior to your pregnancy, it might be difficult for your doctor to reveal your child’s gender. This is because, the higher your BMI, the thicker is the layer of fat around your belly, making your uterus adorn a structure whose interiors are not quite clearly visible. In this case, the doctor might not be able to decode anything for you, hence you have to wait till delivery.

As mentioned earlier that 95% of the predictions are deemed accurate, an alternate line of medical study and debate states that in cases of female babies, the accuracy is about 70% as opposed to males, which is around 90%. This problem, as doctors and researchers argue, persists due to the lack of proper visibility of the vagina inside the womb, on the ultrasound screen. In case of male foetuses, however, it is said to be easier because of the visibility of the penis as it is a long structure that generally sticks out.

Because it is not always true that gender revelations are perfect, doctors advise their patients to be open to whatever gender their child may be. After all, discrimination won’t help, will it? Love the idea that you will have a child, and not the idea that you will have a girl or a boy. The joy of parenthood is blind to gender, which is the best kind of love!

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