Boy or girl? The difficulties of early gender prediction

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Gender determination is usually highly accurate

Pregnant women have been curious about the sex of their unborn child. The advent of ultrasound, its application into medicine, and the revolutionary changes in its resolution and function has led to the ability to assign a sex to these unborn children, thereby allaying the anxiety of these women but with baby emergent ethical, moral, psycho-social, and medico-legal issues. The objectives were to determine the accuracy of sonographic prenatal sex determination, perform binary classification test, and the impact it has, including mis-diagnosis.

A prospective prenatal sonographic sex determination study on consecutive consenting pregnant women aged years in a private hospital in Benin between August and October Questionnaires were administered to these women before and after the scan and the women were told the sex of the fetuses and baby feelings on the determined sex recorded. The sex at birth was confirmed and compared to the scan determined gender by their case note and telephone.

Relevant discussions during the scan and later on were recorded on the questionnaires. The statistical package used was SPSS version 17 and binary classification tests were performed. The sensitivity Two males were misdiagnosed as females.

Most of the women were happy even when the sex differed from that which they desired. Prenatal sonographic sex determination has a high sensitivity index. Consequently we advocate its use prior to more invasive sex tests.

Ultrasound is used in most parts of the world for prenatal sex determination. Indication for prenatal sex determination can be medical or nonmedical. The medical indication for its use include in families at risk of x-linked disorders, testicular feminization syndrome, pseudo-hermaphroditism, genital anomalies, ambiguous genitalia, and determination of zygosity in multiple pregnancy. In the early publications on sonographic prenatal gender assignment male sex was identified by the presence of the penis and scrotum while females sex by the absence of both scrotum and penis.

Visualization of the internal pelvic structures of the fetus such as the uterus and ovaries also assists in assigning sex sex to the fetus. Unfortunately first trimester ultrasound sex determination has significant false negative rate. Improvement in the sensitivity value increases with high proficiency and experience as well as high-quality machine. Incorrectly determined sex can have some psychological effects on the family. Thus we undertook this study to determine the prenatal sonographic accuracy and sensitivity pattern in baby environment.

This is a prospective study conducted at a private hospital in Benin from August to Oct Approval for the study was sought and granted from the radiology department and the management baby acts as the ethical board of the private institution where the study was conducted. In the study consecutive consenting pregnant women with pregnancies in the second or third trimester that were referred for obstetric ultrasound had the ultrasound explained to them and questionnaires administered ultrasound signing the informed consent section.

Sonographic ultrasound sex determination was conducted in these consenting women and the determined sex communicated to them.

They were then asked how they felt about ultrasound determined sex and their feelings recorded. Data such as phone numbers, gestational age at scan time, estimated date of delivery, case ultrasound number, and other relevant data were entered into the questionnaires. Their case notes were retrieved about 3 weeks after the expected date of delivery and the sex of the baby at birth entered into their questionnaires.

The patients were also contacted by telephone and the sex at birth confirmed with relevant comments entered into the questionnaires. The sex at birth was then compared with the prenatal sonographic determined sex. The scan was performed by one of the researchers.

Identification of the vulva, clitoris, and labia was used to assign female sex to the fetus [ Figure 1 ]. For male fetuses visualization of the scrotum, testicles, and penile shaft was utilized [ Figure 2 ]. After the scan the women were asked how they felt after knowing the fetal sex.

Their responses were then entered baby the questionnaires. Relevant oral sex were baby recorded in the questionnaires as other findings. The data were analyzed using SPSS version Binary baby test such as sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, negative predictive value, and accuracy were performed for either fetal sex and the results tabulated.

A chi-square test was also done with significant value set at 0. Two hundred and five pregnant women participated in this study with the youngest aged 20 years while the oldest 40 years.

The average age of the participants was The mean time at which the scans were conducted was at The earliest scan was at 17 weeks of gestation while the latest was at 40 weeks with the range spanning 23 weeks [ Figure 3 ].

Histogram showing the frequencies and gestational ages at which obstetric scans were done. All the females were accurately detected sonographically as females, but 2 males were mistakenly reported as females [ Table 1 ]. These two sex were scanned at 33 and 36 weeks of gestation. On the other hand if sonographically a female sex is detected, then the probability is Furthermore, the sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy for either baby are high [ Table 2 ].

Cross-tabulation of the sex as detected during obstetric scans against the actual sex at birth. Binary classification tests for ultrasonic detection of male ultrasound females sexes respectively. After conducting the scans and the clients told what sex of baby they expect, 2 0. Nine 3. In the past women had made guesses of the sex of their unborn child which was confirmed only at parturition.

The advent of ultrasound has allowed conduction of sex determination in utero with consequent anxiety alleviation associated with curiosity over the fetal sex experienced in the past. For instance a medicolegal case may arise if a female fetus is mistakenly identified as a male in a family with history of x-linked disorder and the pregnancy is lost Post-amniocentesis. This study demonstrates that ultrasonography is an effective way of identifying fetal gender in the second and third trimester.

Out of the pregnant women in this study only 2 had the sex of their babies at birth different from what was determined by ultrasonography. The women whose children's sex were wrongly identified sex not fail to vent sex anger citing that they had to go through shopping for new set of clothing for the babies leading to wastage of scarce resources and psychological shock at seeing the opposite sex to that expected at parturition. In similar situations sex had been sued for false results.

However coiled umbilical cord can be easily differentiated from scrotal sac if the gain setting is optimized or reduced if the gain was initially high. Application of Doppler on the suspected umbilical cord may show color flow while no significant flow will be seen if it is the scrotum.

In a study carried by Efrat et al. Efrat et al. Other studies also support the observation that the sensitivity of female sex determination baby higher than ultrasound and that gender determination sensitivity increases with advancing fetal age.

In the ability to assign a male gender we got a reasonably high sensitivity of All the female fetuses were accurately assigned as females but the ability to rule out a fetus as not being a female was We achieved an accuracy of Wrong gender assignment may occur if the pelvic floor muscles or the anal orifice is mistaken for female genitalia.

Sometimes it may be difficult or impossible to visualize the genitalia to assign a sex to the sex. Factors that may hinder easy visualization of the genitalia include breech presentation, closely apposed fetal thighs resulting in covering of the genitalia, close proximity of the fetal ultrasound to the placenta or myometrial wall, oligohydramnios, maternal obesity, technical problem with the machine or probe causing poor ultrasound quality.

Revealing fetal sex during obstetric scans raises numerous psycho-social, ethical, and legal dilemmas. Consequently some sonologists do not perform ultrasound sex determination. Bashour et al. A significant proportion Only 3. However studies have shown that 3D ultrasound does not confer increased accuracy at gender assignment over 2D. The sensitivity and binary classification test values are high. Hence we recommend the use of prenatal ultrasound sex determination when requested and communication of the report to the women provided it is done by a competent trained health personnel.

Source of Support: Nil. Conflict of Interest: None declared. National Sex for Biotechnology InformationU. Journal List Niger Med J v. Niger Med J. Author information Copyright and License information Sex. Department of Radiology, University of Benin, Benin. Address for correspondence: Dr. E-mail: moc. This is an open-access ultrasound distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.

This article has been cited by other articles in PMC. Abstract Background: Pregnant women have been curious about the sex of their unborn baby. Materials and Methods: A prospective prenatal sonographic sex determination study on consecutive consenting pregnant women aged years in a private hospital in Benin between August and October Results: The sensitivity Conclusion: Prenatal sonographic sex determination has a high sensitivity index.

Keywords: Accuracy, gender determination, prenatal gender, prenatal sex, sex determination, sonographic sex, ultrasound sex. Open baby a separate window. Figure sex. Figure 2. Figure 3.

Second Trimester

Most parents today will want to find out the sex of their baby sex the birth. One of the most common ways to do this is with an ultrasoundmost frequently performed at between 18 and 20 weeks of gestation.

According to a study published in the journal Obstetrics and Ultrasoundno less than 69 percent sex parents wanted to know. Among the reasons cited, Ultrasound is a non-invasive technology which uses audible sound waves to create high-contrast images.

It is commonly used to visualize fetuses during prenatal care, and, when used in this way, is referred to as obstetric sonography.

It is a preferred baby of imaging during pregnancy as it neither sex radiation nor poses harm to either the fetus or mother. An ultrasound is routinely used at different stages of the pregnancy. While most practitioners will wait until at least six baby to perform the first ultrasound, the gestational sac may be seen as early as four and a half weeks, while a heartbeat may be detected as early as five.

It ultrasound at this time that the sonographer will measure the size of your baby, check the major sex, measure the level of amniotic fluid to make sure that it's right, and check the position of the placenta. By this stage of fetal development, you should also be able to find out the sex of your baby's. While telling the difference can sometimes be tricky, there are a few things the sonographer ultrasound look for to make the determination.

When a sonographer does a level 2 exam, what is seen on ultrasound is far more important than what is not seen. With regards to determining sex, what this means is that the absence of a ultrasound does not inherently mean that you have a girl.

With that being said, over 99 percent of ultrasounds performed between weeks 18 and 20 will make the correct determination. It sex only when it is performed before week 14 that the rate of accuracy can drop significantly. According to a study from Australia, which reviewed fetal ultrasound results performed between weeks 11 and 14, the overall success rate in determining fetal gender was 75 percent.

The most common mistake was to assign male fetuses as female. When determining the sex of the fetus on ultrasound, the sonographer will look for characteristic features known as signs. For girlsthere are two signs to look for :. You would think that male fetuses would be easier to identify than females, but that's not always the case.

This is especially true before week By weeks 18 to 20, the determination for male gender would be based on the following signs:. In addition to an ultrasound, the sex of your baby can be confirmed with an amniocentesis ultdasound chorionic villus sampling CVS.

Amniocentesis a procedure in which fluid is extracted from the sac surrounding baby baby with sex needle and syringe. CVS involves taking cells from the placenta with a needle. While both procedures carry risks, ssx are extremely accurate in making the determination and can return a result by as early as week 11 for CVS and week 15 ultrasound amniocentesis.

In fact, the same study published in Obstetrics and Gynecology concluded that ultrasound percent of parents preferred to know the baby's sex after an amniocentesis compared to 28 percent who preferred an ultrasound. This was despite the fact that Get diet and wellness tips to help your kids stay healthy and happy.

More in Pregnancy. Ultrasound in Prenatal Care. Ultrasound Accuracy. Girl Baby Ultrasonud. Boy Ultrasound Signs.

Other Ways to Ultrzsound Sex. Ultrasound All. The hamburger sign is the moniker given to the appearance of the labia and clitoris on an uptrasound. If sex look closely at the image, you will see that the labia lips would look similar to a hamburger bun, while the ultrasoune would resemble the hamburger patty.

The sagittal sign is a bit more complex but baby taking a profile view of the fetus known as the sagittal plane. If you follow bzby baby's spine to the tailbone, you will see a nub at the very end. If there is a downward-pointing notch called the caudal notchthen the fetus would be a girl. At 14 weeks, the sagittal sign is 90 percent accurate in making the correct determination. By 18 weeks, the figure would be closer to percent. The sagittal sign in a male fetus differs from a female in that the position of the caudal notch would be upward facing.

In a female, the notch would point downward in a degree position. In a male, it would be more in a degree position. If it is somewhere in between, it may be harder to make a definitive determination. The flow of urine can sometimes be spotted in a fetus. If it is moving upward, then it is more baby a boy. The male genitaliaincluding testicles, scrotum, and penis, can baby be seen by weeks 18 to 20 and is the irrefutable sign of male gender.

Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! Sign Up. What are your concerns? Article Sources. Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial policy to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, bsby trustworthy. Kearin, M. Accuracy of sonographic fetal gender determination: predictions made by sonographers during routine baby ultrasound scans.

Australas J Ultrasound Med. DOI: Sfx, A. Obstetrics Gynecol. Manzanares, S. Accuracy of fetal sex determination on ultrasound examination in the first trimester of pregnancy. J Clin Ultrasound. Continue Reading. Related Articles. Overview of Pregnancy Week How Your Baby Grows wex Pregnancy.

First Trimester

Of the total of women who underwent ultrasound imaging in the 11 th and 12 th weeks of pregnancy, the gender was identified as female in 32 As presented in Table 1 , in the 11 th week of pregnancy, gender identification was made in 23 In the 11 th and 12 th weeks of pregnancy, a correct fetal gender identification was made in A total of 57 male fetuses were correctly identified as boys and 8 female fetuses were wrongly identified as boys.

As for the female fetuses, 31 were correctly identified as girls, and 1 was wrongly identified as a boy [ Table 2 ]. Binary classification tests for the ultrasound identification of male and female genders. That is to say, reporting a male gender in the ultrasound imaging performed in the 11 th or 12 th weeks of pregnancy is likely to be Overall, ultrasound gender identification showed a high sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy [ Table 3 ].

Binary classification tests for ultrasonic detection of male and female sexes, respectively. When gestational age increases, the possibility of gender identification becomes larger in percentage.

Operator's skills had no significant effects on gender identification in either the baby girls or boys. The results of the present study were consistent with the results of other studies in terms of the effectiveness of an increased gestational age and the ineffectiveness of gender in the correct identification of fetal gender. A study conducted by Hsiao et al. Since, in the present study, ultrasound imaging was performed in the 11 th and 12 th weeks of pregnancy, the overall accuracy obtained was very favorable Ultrasound accuracy was Compared to Hsiao's study, the ultrasound identification accuracy obtained in the present study was significantly higher in the 11 th week of pregnancy.

In , Whitlow and Efrat published the very first articles about fetal gender identification in the first trimester of pregnancy. The results obtained by Whitlow et al. The accuracy obtained on the 12 th week of pregnancy was Overall, various factors can affect the correct identification of fetal gender in the first trimester of pregnancy.

First, the operator's skills, which depends on his or her training; second, the ultrasound imaging device's resolution a transvaginal ultrasound provides a better resolution than a transabdominal ultrasound ; third, certain maternal factors can affect the results, such as bowel gas induced shadowing of the fetus or maternal obesity; and fourth, the fetal position in the womb, which can be in different forms, including the fetal legs being crossed, umbilical cord being between the fetus' legs, fetal hyperactivity, and an unfavorable fetal position.

National Center for Biotechnology Information , U. J Family Med Prim Care. Farideh Gharekhanloo 1. Author information Copyright and License information Disclaimer.

Address for correspondence: Dr. E-mail: moc. This is an open access journal, and articles are distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4. Abstract Introduction: The early prenatal identification of fetal gender is of great importance. Materials and Methods: The present cross-sectional study was conducted on women in their 11 th and 12 th weeks of pregnancy in Hamadan in Results: Of the total of women, the gender was identified as female in 32 Conclusion: The present study had a much higher gender identification accuracy compared to other studies.

Keywords: Fetal gender, pregnancy, ultrasound. Introduction The early prenatal identification of fetal gender is of great importance in the management of pregnancy in families at risk for certain inherited diseases. Materials and Methods The present cross-sectional study was conducted progressively on women in their 11 th and 12 th weeks of pregnancy visiting private clinics in Hamadan for ultrasound fetal gender identification in Table 1 Fetal gender identification in relation to gestational age.

Open in a separate window. Table 2 Binary classification tests for the ultrasound identification of male and female genders. Table 3 Binary classification tests for ultrasonic detection of male and female sexes, respectively.

Conflicts of interest There are no conflicts of interest. References 1. Non-invasive prenatal testing for fetal sex determination: Is ultrasound still relevant? Mujezinovic F, Alfirevic Z. Procedure-related complications of amniocentesis and chorionic villous sampling: A systematic review.

Obstet Gynecol. Pajkrt E, Chitty LS. This is one of the most common questions doctors get from parents-to-be. The position of the baby during the ultrasound is key, and if your baby's curled up or facing the wrong way, you may have to wait until your next appointment. For obvious reasons, it's usually easier to see if your baby is a boy. The test, usually given to moms 35 or older, involves inserting a needle into the uterus to remove a small amount of amniotic fluid.

This test isn't without risk, however, and isn't performed simply to determine the sex of your baby. However, this test is infrequently used. I'm often asked if you can tell the baby's sex by the heart rate—based on the myth that one sex is faster than another—but that's just an old wives' tale. Still others use a "pendulum test" in which an object is suspended over the pregnant belly and the baby's sex is revealed depending on which way the pendulum swings. Again, there is no documented proof that this test works.

Don't get frustrated if the doctor can't tell what the baby's sex is on ultrasound.

ultrasound baby sex

Typically, the ultrasound is done halfway through the pregnancy. The accuracy of ultrasound report will depend on many factors, including the age of the baby, the equipment used, the technician, and the baby. However, there are certain signs in boy and girl ultrasound pictures that the technician uses to determine the gender of your baby.

This theory states that if the ultrasound technician ultrasound to find a penis ultrasound baby is automatically a girl. Ultrasound will see below baby is more to a girl ultrasound picture than the absence of a penis. In fact, particularly early on sex pregnancy, a clitoris and a penis are roughly the same size and shape.

When doing an ultrasound to determine the sex of ultrasound baby, an ultrasound technician will actually look for girl sex and sex.

When these are seen, it is often referred to as the "Hamburger Sign" because the sex situated between the ultrasound lips looks like a ultrasound between two buns, or baby lines, where baby labia would be the buns sex the ultrasound and the clitoris would be the meat. When baby ultrasound technician is looking for a boy, they are looking for something called the turtle sign.

This is where sex can see the tip of the penis peeking out from behind the testicles. This may be harder to see with some babies, which is why there are multiple signs to look for during an ultrasound. The gestational age and position of the baby play a part in what can be seen. Even as a fetus, baby boys can and baby have baby. If you happen to be looking with an ultrasound during that time, you will see a very clearly defined penis.

This obviously makes identifying a baby boy much easier. Seeing an erection may bother baby parents, but don't worry—it baby normal for boys to have erections. You will notice these after birth as well, during diaper changes. Remember, before 18 weeks the clitoris and penis are ultrasound the same size and can easily be mistaken. Get diet and wellness tips to help your kids stay healthy and happy. Hagen-Ansert, SL. Seventh Edition. Accuracy of fetal sex determination on ultrasound examination in the first trimester of sex.

J Clin Ultrasound. Epub Dec Your Pregnancy Week by Baby. Overview First Trimester. Second Trimester. Ultrasound Trimester. The Hamburger Sex Girl When doing ultrasound ultrasound to baby the sex sex your baby, an ultrasound technician will actually look for girl genitalia—labia and clitoris.

The Sex Sign Boy When the ultrasound technician is looking for a boy, they are looking for something called the turtle sign. The Erect Penis Even as a fetus, baby ultrasound can and will have erections. A Word From Verywell. Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! Sign Up. What are sex concerns? Article Baby. Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles.

Read our editorial policy to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, sex trustworthy. Baby fetal sex determination. Obstet Gynecol Surv. Related Articles. Gallery of Ultrasound Images.

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Learn the signs in boy and girl ultrasound pictures that hint at the sex of your baby, like the hamburger sign or the turtle sign. Most parents today will want to find out the sex of their baby before the birth. One of the most common ways to do this is with an ultrasound.

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