Finding out the gender of a baby is something that many parents look forward to as much as they look forward to having their baby born. Each gender brings its own unique gifts and talents to the world.
Some parents choose to discover the gender of their baby while pregnant and others prefer it to be a special surprise in the delivery room. Many couples are opting to throw big gender reveal parties to announce their baby’s sex, having a small gathering with just close family, or simply finding out in an intimate setting with just mom and dad.
Either way, the choice is yours to make for how and when to find out the gender of your baby with your partner.
So if you’re thinking how soon can I find out the gender of my baby?, this article will discuss that, as well as describe the different clinical methods available. This should help you to make the best decision about which one is suitable for you and your partner.
How is Gender Determined During Pregnancy?
The gender of a baby is established at conception, when the sperm fertilizes the egg. The egg always has an X chromosome attached to it, but the sperm can either be X or Y.
If you are carrying a female, the baby will receive an X chromosome from dad, and if you are carrying a boy, the baby will get a Y chromosome. The gender is actually solely determined by the sperm, therefore, you can blame dad-to-be if you have any gender disappointment!
What Methods are Used to Find Out the Gender of a Baby?
Decades ago, it was unheard of to find out the gender of your baby before birth, but now finding out a baby’s gender before they are born is becoming more popular. If you and your partner want to know your baby’s gender, you may want to explore specific clinical testing techniques where the doctor tests the mother for the gender of the fetus.
Doctors use different methods to find out the gender of your baby before it is delivered. These tests can most often accurately tell you your baby’s gender. Here are some of them:
An ultrasound is a safe and painless way to find out the sex of your child. The technique uses high-frequency sound waves that bounce off internal organs and return to a machine where a computer analyzes them.
This information is then converted into images on a screen that allows you to see what parts of your baby’s body are developing. During your 20-week anatomy scan via ultrasound, the technician or healthcare provider should be able to see which sex organs are present (a penis or vagina) and make the determination on what the gender is.
Finding out the gender of your baby through an anatomy scan is something that you’ll have to wait until 20 weeks, however depending on the healthcare provider, they may be able to perform this test as early as 18 weeks. By 18 weeks the baby is nearly fully developed and the ultrasound can determine if your little one is a boy or a girl.
Blood Test (NIPT)
The Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing (NIPT) has been gaining popularity over the past few years as an accurate way to find out a baby’s gender without subjecting them to any invasive or dangerous procedure. If you’re super impatient (like I was) to find out the gender, this is one of the earliest methods.
During this test, a doctor will draw blood from the pregnant mother and send it for analysis. The blood will be screened for markers including chromosomal abnormalities, but it can also look for specific markers for gender.
If the test determines that you are carrying a boy, they will find an XY chromosome and if it is a girl, they will find a pair of X chromosomes. The NIPT test is often performed during your 12 week prenatal appointment and can actually determine the gender of your baby as early as 9.5 weeks.
CVS (Chorionic Villus Sampling)
CVS, or Chorionic Villus Sampling, is another method used by doctors to find out the gender of a baby. The procedure, which involves taking tissue from the placenta, provides accurate results earlier on during pregnancy than other methods.
CVS can only be performed in the first trimester, starting from the 10th week of pregnancy and before the 13th week. After this point, there aren’t enough chorionic villi for a DNA test to determine gender.
CVS is an invasive procedure that has risk to the developing fetus. Therefore, it’s best to avoid this in determining the gender of your baby unless it is recommended by your physician.
Amnio refers to the fluid that surrounds and protects your baby inside of the uterus. This liquid contains cells unique only to your child at this stage in their development and can provide valuable information about their gender before they are born.
Amniocentesis is performed by inserting a needle through both abdominal walls and into your uterus, where it will withdraw a small amount of amniotic fluid from around your baby. The amniotic fluid will then be examined under a microscope to determine if your child is a boy or girl.
Amnio, similar to other invasive tests performed on pregnant women and their babies during pregnancy, has some risks associated with it, including infections, bleeding, and potential miscarriage in high-risk pregnancies. Your doctor will discuss with you whether the benefits outway the risk before proceeding with this procedure.
The amniocentesis is performed between 15 to 20 weeks which is the likely time of finding out gender during this procedure.
At-Home Gender Prediction Kit
There are several at-home gender prediction kits available for purchase online that claim to give expectant parents information about the sex of their baby. The results are based on specific chemical reactions from a urine sample or small book draw taken by the mother.
Having one of these tests performed can help relieve anxiety among parents but should never be used alone as a form of medical diagnosis. Many types of gender prediction kits can be purchased in stores and online, ranging from about $15 to $85, depending on the product.
SneakPeak is one of the most accurate at-home tests. It consists of a small finger prick to draw blood, that you perform yourself. Your test kit is sent to you via USPS and you send your sample back to SneakPeek Labs. Your results will be emailed the following day after your sample arrives!
Sneak Peak can be performed as early as 8 weeks into pregnancy and is 99.9% accurate at this point. The results are guaranteed and they even issue a full refund if your test result does not match the gender of your newborn baby!
What is the Most Accurate Method?
Finding out the gender of your baby is a memorable experience and something you will want to share with those closest to you. It’s important to go with the most reliable method so you don’t risk any emotional stress if you find out that it was wrong.
Unfortuntately, there is no method of determining your baby’s gender that works an absolute 100%. While there are many ways to find out if you’re having a girl or boy, how accurate they really are varies from method to method.
Although they are not 100%, many methods are fairly close. The NIPT blood test proves to be 98.6% accurate and the anatomy scan is dependant on the ultrasound technician, but shows to be about 98% accurate.
Every parent-to-be must find what works best for them when deciding how soon to find out their baby’s gender and understanding that there is a very small chance that they have gotten an inaccurate result.
The best option is to use two methods and if they are both the same result, hopefully it is accurate!
When Can I Find Out the Gender of My Baby?
Now that we have covered all of these different methods to find out the gender of your child, you may be wondering – “When can I find out the gender of my baby?” – and maybe prepare for a gender reveal to friends and family.
Finding out the gender really depends on when you plan on finding out. There have been instances as early as 9 weeks, where expectant parents could learn their baby’s sex, some wait until the 20th week, when most doctors recommend an ultrasound, and a growing number of expectant parents still wait until birth to find out.
Whether you choose to have a lavish gender reveal party or blast it on social media, knowing how soon you can find out the gender of your party is important. The only way to know the gender for certain is to wait until your baby is born, but every parent-to-be is different.