An important question for many couples after knowing about their pregnancy is, “Will there be a baby boy or a baby girl?” While some people enjoy the suspense of not knowing the sex of their baby till delivery, others cannot wait to get the answer quickly. Of course, the doctor can only tell the sex of your baby when you book a gender scan at the clinic. But this won’t stop couples from knowing the sex of their baby based on some factors such as – how they want to carry their baby or what they really want to eat.
How to find out sex of your unborn baby
When you want to know the sex of your unborn baby, there is not one specific test for everyone. So if you need to find out the sex in advance, the doctor uses different tests at several stages of your pregnancy. While all the tests seem to be authentic, they are not suitable for everyone as some may involve risks with them.
The following are possible ways to know the sex of your baby.
In vitro fertilization with selection of sex
When you decide for in vitro fertilization or IVF, there is a probable option to choose sex of your baby together with this method. IVF can assist with the fertility by combining egg with sperm and create an embryo which gets implanted in the womb. This way, you may have the sex of several embryos detected and then transfer embryos only of desired sex. This is an option when you want to give birth to a child of specific gender. Sex selection together with IVF is nearly 99 percent accurate but there is every risk of giving multiple births with IVF when you transfer more than one embryo to uterus.
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Non-invasive prenatal test
Non-invasive prenatal test or NIPT detects some chromosomal conditions such as Down syndrome. You may conduct the test during 10 weeks of your pregnancy. But it screens for the possibility only without diagnosing chromosome disorder. When the baby delivers abnormal results, the doctor may ask to perform necessary tests for diagnosing Down syndrome as well as other chromosome disorders. In order to conduct the test, you need to provide your blood sample which will be sent to the laboratory for checking fetal DNA presence with chromosome disorders. This test may help to determine the sex of your baby in the most accurate way.
You require NIPT when you are at greater risk of conceiving a baby with chromosome abnormality. Well, this can happen when you have given birth to a baby in the past with some abnormality or if you are above 35 years during delivery. As this is a non-invasive test, giving blood sample does not cause any risk for you or your baby.
Chorionic villus sampling
Chronic villus sampling or CVS is a type of genetic test for detecting Down syndrome. The test removes a sample of chorionic villus, a type of tissue found in placenta and discloses genetic information about your baby. You may conduct this test during the 10th or 12th week of pregnancy. As it carries gene information about your baby, it may even reveal the sex of your baby.
The doctor may advise CVS when you are more than 35 years or have a family record of chromosome abnormality. This is an accurate test for knowing the sex of your baby though it involves certain risks with it. Some women suffer from bleeding, cramping or leak amniotic fluid and they even have the risk of preterm labor as well as miscarriage.
Amniocentesis is a test to identify developmental problems in the fetus. The doctor collects small amount of amniotic fluid which has cells for detecting abnormalities. The cells will then be tested for spina bifida, Down syndrome and several genetic conditions.
The healthcare provider may suggest an amniocentesis when the ultrasound detects an abnormality, when you are above 35 years during delivery or you have a family record of chromosome disorder. You can perform this test around 15 to 18 weeks of pregnancy and it will take nearly 30 minutes.
At first, the doctor uses an ultrasound to find out location of your baby in the womb. Then he inserts a needle through the abdomen to take out amniotic fluid. Some risks involved are – cramping, spotting and bruising though there is a risk of miscarriage. Apart from detecting birth defects and other abnormalities with your baby, amniocentesis can also help to detect sex of your child.
Ultrasound is a prenatal test where you have to lie down on the table and scan your stomach. The test uses sound waves to form an image of your baby and it is usually used to check for the development and health of baby. As an ultrasound creates image of your baby, it can even denote the sex of your baby. The doctor schedule for an ultrasound at nearly 18 to 21 weeks but the sex may be determined by ultrasound in 14 weeks. If your baby is in an awkward position, then it will be difficult to see the genitals clearly.
Other methods to know the sex of your baby
At-home testing kits
Some women have a great experience with the use of at-home kits which are marketed as “early baby gender blood tests.” Some of these tests may help to know the sex within 8 weeks, giving around 99 percent accuracy.
You take your blood sample and send it to the laboratory for checking blood sample of fetal DNA, looking specifically for male chromosome. If you have this chromosome, you are possibly going to give birth to a boy and if you don’t have, you are having a baby girl.
Old wives’ tales
Some people prefer old wives’ tales to identify sex of their baby. According to folklore, when you feel extra hungry during pregnancy, you will probably have a baby boy. It is believed extra testosterone secreted by a baby boy increases your appetite. At the same time, a higher fetal heartbeat means you will have a baby girl. You are also carrying a girl child when you forget things during the pregnancy. Some believe if your belly is low, it is a boy and if the belly is high, it is a girl.
It is really exciting for the couples to know the sex of their baby which makes them prepare for the arrival of the unborn kid. Some couples like to enjoy this anticipation and only get to know the sex of their baby at the delivery room which is considered to be perfectly okay. When finding a gynae clinic in your area, use search strings like, “gender scans near me” and know the gender of your unborn child.