Are you able to tell the gender of the baby?
Yes, in most cases we can provide an indication of the gender of the baby. There are a number of variables that can affect whether we can determine gender as early as 16 weeks. First, your baby needs to be in a position for us to get a good photo. That includes not having their legs closed! Keep in mind, the sonographer may not have extra time between appointments to wait for the baby to move into a better position to make a prediction.
A mother’s weight also affects our ability to predict gender. The more body tissue the ultrasound waves must travel through, the fuzzier the images may be. A 2016 study found that a body mass index below 23.8 was the best cutoff value for early gender predictions. The odds of an accurate prediction fall for women above that number.
There’s also a chance that our prediction simply will be wrong, which has happened to doctors and technicians alike. We tend to overpredict boys more often than girls. This can happen, for example, if the baby is developing slowly and the tubercle hasn’t begun to point up or the umbilical cord is mistaken for a penis. There is also a possibility that the babies genitals are simply larger or smaller than expected and thus can be mistaken for opposite sex.
We are happy to attempt to determine gender as early as 16 weeks. If you are over 16 weeks and the gender can not be seen, we invite you back for a weekday return appointment and we will rescan you for free within 1-2 weeks of your original scan. The need for a return visit is usually due to the baby's position.