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Want to know the sex of your unborn baby?

How to FIgure Out if Baby is a Boy or Girl


Updated July 17, 2014

Pregnant woman having ultrasound scan
Andersen Ross/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Are you the type of person who has to plan everything? Do you like to be surprised? Or are you the type who opens your birthday presents when you find them hidden in the closet?

Well, when it comes to finding out the sex of your unborn baby, about 70 of people are the present openers.

How do people determine the sex, why do people want to know, and what impact does it have on their pregnancy?

Determining the sex of your unborn baby can be detected through ultrasound (routine or diagnostic), or genetic testing (Chorionic villus sampling (CVS) or amniocentesis).

While the potential risks of ultrasound are thought to be minimal, it not recommend simply to find out the sex of your baby. There is also the question of accuracy. Ultrasound is less accurate than genetic testing. Ultrasound is available to the majority of pregnant women, despite the warning against the routine use of ultrasound. Ultrasound testing for the express purpose of determining the gender is not recommended.

Genetic testing is 99.1% accurate in determining the gender of your baby. However, genetic testing carries the risk of losing the pregnancy or harming the pregnancy. Amniocentesis is usually quoted as having a 1-2% loss rate and an additional 1-2 infection and/or problem rate (leaking membranes, pre-term labor, etc.). CVS reports about a 1% loss rate. There have also been reports of CVS and disorders such as amniotic banding syndrome; recent studies suggest that this problem is lessened if done after 10 weeks.

You generally need a referral for either ultrasound or genetic testing.

Knowing the sex of your unborn baby can be for carefree reasons, such as decorating a nursery, or it can be for medical reasons, such as a sex-linked chromosomal disorder.

The impact of knowing the sex of your unborn baby can be any where from minimal (decorating a nursery) to high impact (deciding to terminate a pregnancy because of a sex linked disorder). There is also the question of accuracy and bringing your new baby boy home to his pink room and closet full of dresses.

There are ways of predicting the sex of your baby that are not as accurate, and should not be used for diagnostic purposes, but are fun never-the-less. Examples would be:

Either way you go, whether or not you choose to know... the surprise will eventually be revealed at that magic moment when you hear, "It's a.... "

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