Knowing Your Baby’s Sex
One of the most challenging decisions for many couples during pregnancy is whether or not to find out their baby's gender. Recent surveys suggest that between 50% and 70% of expectant couples decide to find out the sex of their child before birth.
Some of these couples stick to old wives tales and myths about gender, while others pursue more scientific procedures performed by health care professionals. Whatever you and your partner decide, take some time to learn more about the different procedures that can be used to find out your baby’s gender.
Why Find Out Your Baby’s Gender?
Many couple’s relish the idea of waiting to find out the gender of their baby. Of course, this can make pregnancy and the labor and delivery process much more exciting. However, there are also many good reasons to find out the sex of your baby before delivery. Common reasons for finding out baby’s sex include:
- It can allow you to choose a name early on.
- It can make planning nursery decorations easier.
- It allows you to buy gender-specific clothes.
- It can make planning celebrations after birth (such as circumcision) much easier.
- It may increase your bond with baby.
- It allows parents to who may pass on sex-specific genetic defects to find out their baby’s risk for certain disorders.
Clinical Procedures to Find out Gender
If you and your partner decide to find out the sex of your baby, you may decide to pursue certain clinical testing procedures. These procedures can often tell you the sex of your baby with great accuracy.
Ultrasound is usually the most common procedure used to determine a baby’s gender. Throughout pregnancy, it is likely that you’ll receive a few different ultrasounds.
Ultrasounds between the 18th and 26th week of pregnancy are usually the most accurate when it comes to determining the sex of a fetus.
During your ultrasound, your health care practitioner will run a hand-held device over your abdomen.
This device passes sound waves through your uterus, creating a picture of your fetus. This picture can then be analyzed for sex-specific characteristics, such as a penis or vagina. It is important to remember that ultrasound isn’t 100% accurate, though.
The accuracy of ultrasound does depend upon the type of equipment used, the age and position of your baby, and the skill of your health care practitioner.