Discovering the gender of your unborn baby is an exciting moment! You head to the doctor’s office and anxiously wait for the ultrasound technician. Chances are you are dancing in your seat because you must have a full bladder. Finally, after what feels like an eternity, the technician calls your name, and you make your way to the room.
In the ultrasound room, you lay down on the bed and wiggle down your pants, allowing the technician to spread the warm gel over your stomach. She places the wand down on your stomach, and the scan begins. Soon, she gets a glimpse, and the moment arrives.
Your baby is a…
When Can You Find Out the Gender?
Most doctors recommend waiting for the anatomical scan, typically performed around 20 weeks. By 20 weeks, the external sex organ development is finished, and the baby is larger.
Doctors recommend this time because the ultrasounds are more likely to be accurate. Private ultrasound studios offer gender scans as early as 14 to 15 weeks. However, you are more likely to get a wrong gender ultrasound if you go in earlier.
How Likely Am I to Have a Wrong Gender Ultrasound?
If you wait until 20 weeks pregnant to check your baby’s gender, the technician has a 95 percent case of accuracy! That means there is only a 5 percent chance that the tech guesses the gender incorrectly.
Your doctor may be able to tell you if they are unsure about the gender with specific odds. She may tell you that they are 80 percent sure it is a boy. In those cases, your doctor may ask you to return for another ultrasound in one to two weeks to confirm the gender.
Reasons for a Wrong Gender Ultrasound
The most common reason for a gender ultrasound error is that it is too early for the technician or doctor to see the gender clearly. That is why doctors recommend 20 weeks or later! In earlier weeks, a tailbone can be mistaken for a "Pen". Buttocks can resemble a "Vul".
Even if you wait the recommended 20 weeks, technicians can still predict incorrectly. Your baby’s position may make it difficult for the ultrasound tech to see between the baby’s legs.
If the umbilical cord is between the baby’s legs, determining the gender can be tricky. You may have to move, turn on hands and knees, or drink a cold cup of water to get the baby to move.
If the umbilical cord is between your baby’s legs, a tech might incorrectly guess that your baby is a boy. This mistake is easy to make unless the tech checks for blood flow and cord location. It is easy to understand how a cord can be mistaken for a "Pen"!
Another explanation for inaccuracy is that between 9 and 12 weeks females still have a larger “dangling” part just like males. It is this part that forms the "Clit" of a girl or a "Pen" of a boy.
Early ultrasounds during this period may show what looks exactly like a boy, but the baby is truly a girl. That little girl is still just in the process of development.
Try a Blood-Based Test
If you are very concerned about a wrong gender ultrasound, try a blood-based gender test instead! Parents can use these tests to check the gender as early as seven to nine weeks pregnant!
Blood-based tests are between 95 and 99 percent accurate, depending on the time when you take the test. If you take the test at seven weeks, a blood-based test should be around 95 percent accurate.
A blood test searches for small fragments of your baby’s DNA that sheds from the placenta into your blood circulation. These fragments can be discovered as early as seven weeks pregnant, but the amount increases throughout your pregnancy.
The test looks for the presence of a Y-chromosome in your blood that would indicate the presence of a male child. The absence of a Y-chromosome indicates a girl.
Wrong Gender Ultrasounds – They Happen
If you ask your friends and family, everyone knows someone who was told they were having a boy or girl only to discover the technician was wrong. That is a birth surprise not everyone desires!
If you find yourself worried that this will happen to you, your doctor may order a second ultrasound before the birth of your child to confirm gender. Parents can also seek out a private ultrasound studio to confirm the doctor’s finding. No one wants to paint the nursery gender-specific to discover the décor is entirely wrong!
Have you experienced an inaccurately predicted gender ultrasound? Let us know in the comments!