The Pregna-Health

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Boy or Girl? when to take the baby’s gender ultrasound

couple checking an ultrasound [source gettyimages]

The most exciting part of being pregnant is probably knowing or finding out the baby’s sex, it comes with a zealous excitement, contentment, and gladness of being the mom to be. It amplifies the shades of glee, the shreds of joy and builds a character of delightment in the pregnant mother. You could see the happy dancing in the bathroom, the vibrancy of shopping for the baby and the stronger urge and sexual drive, yes the sexual drive, ….denotes a woman’s happiness… if only there was CCTV…

When can I find out my baby’s sex? Is usually the most commonly asked question during the gynecology visits, but when exactly is the right age and what is the accuracy? Some people love the suspense of not knowing the sex of their baby until childbirth. But others can’t wait and find out much sooner, but let us narrow it down

Genitalia development

Fetus undergoes reproductive organ differentiation and development by around age 7 weeks to 12 weeks, where the boy’s genitalia starts developing and the genital ridge lengthens to form the penis, the Y chromosome plays a vital role in this phase.  by age 16-26 weeks of development,  both the vital organs such as the vaginal opening and ovaries in girls and descending of testis in boys have already formed. This can be easily viewed and differentiated using a normal 2D ultrasound at this developmental age bracket. Penis maturation occurs later in the third trimester.

Earliest age to check baby’s sex via ultrasound

In this context the earliest age to check your baby’s sex should be around 18 to 26 weeks of pregnancy, most doctors, advise the schedule for gender ultrasound earliest at 18-22 weeks.  At this development age bracket, a sonographer can be able to determine whether a baby is male or female by looking for a penis using a normal 2D ultrasound at an accuracy of about 99%, 3D ultrasound are however more accurate as it creates a more clear differentiation of fetal body parts.

Most sonographers, however occasionally make the wrong call, an umbilical cord can easily be mistaken for a penis in girls, or a boy’s penis may not be visible because it may be pushed and hidden between the baby’s closed legs.

Other factors that determine the accuracy of checking for the baby’s sex while in the uterus include, the baby’s position, an underlying maternal condition that may slow fetal development and the technician sonographic experience.

The other accurate ways of finding your baby’s sex are through invasive diagnostic tests like amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling (CVS) which checks baby’s DNA and also assesses for other genetic conditions.

Disadvantages

The major disadvantage of finding out the baby’s sex before birth is disappointment stress. When accuracy is not considered the baby’s sex may end up the opposite of the revealed gender, this may lead to maternal disappointment, which may cause stress and predispose to puerperal psychosis. The challenge of re-shopping for the baby if clothes bought were for the opposite gender is also another disadvantage of inaccurate reveal of baby’s gender.

It is always advisable to buy unisex clothing for the baby until he/she is born

So are we having a baby’s sex revealing party yet??… not yet, until lock-down is over and the world is safe from COVID-19, #StaySafe #Stay@Home

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