Baby Gender Prediction: The Unscientific Methods

 

Trying to guess whether you’re going to have a boy or a girl can be fun, at times. There are plenty of myths and old wives’ tales that can keep you busy and guessing for hours on end. Every one of these tests and guessing methods is accurate – half of the time.

Let’s take a look at some of the more unscientific methods of baby gender prediction, and start to separate some of the myth from reality:

  • Carrying position. This method of baby gender prediction says that if you’re carrying your baby low in the belly, you’re going to have a girl. If it’s high, it’s a boy. It’s false, of course; where you carry your baby is based on your muscles, your baby’s position, the shape of your body, and the amount of pregnancy weight you gain.
  • Heart rate. Repeated studies have shown that there is no difference in fetal heart rate that’s based on gender – at least during early pregnancy. There is a single study that suggests that a female heart rate will beat faster than a male’s heart rate after 30 weeks of pregnancy, but this data hasn’t been confirmed via additional research.
  • Swinging your ring. This one is a fun one to do at a baby shower, but there is obviously no science involved here. You’re supposed to hang your wedding ring from a strand of hair graciously donated by the baby’s father. If the ring rocks back and forth, it’s a boy. If it moves in a circular motion, it’s a girl.
  • Drano. This one isn’t only unscientific, it can be dangerous. Variations of this one exist. The idea is to stir a sample of your urine into some Drano. If the mix turns green in color, you’re going to have a boy. Drano is a caustic chemical, however, and not particularly safe to breathe during pregnancy. Avoid this one if you can.
  • Craving sweets. The idea here is that if you crave sweets during pregnancy, you’re going to have a boy. Crave sour foods, and it’s going to be a girl. The truth is that if you’re craving anything at all, it has to do with changing hormones and/or a greater sense of smell that exists during pregnancy.

While some of these are fun, there’s no real scientific proof that any of them work. Your best bet s to see what the ultrasound says at 18-20 weeks.

What is CVS Testing and How Does it Predict Baby’s Gender?

 

 

One of the most pressing questions on an expectant couple’s minds is whether they’re going to have a boy or a girl. Most couples find out definitively at that 18 to 20 week prenatal appointment via an ultrasound. Some couples, however, might have a procedure known as Chorionic villus sampling (CVS), which can also predict baby’s gender.

Here are some things you should know about CVS:

  • CVS is primarily for detecting certain problems. If your doctor suspects a problem with your baby, you may be asked to undergo this testing.
  • CVS is done during your first trimester of pregnancy. If the results of the CVS indicate a serious problem with your baby, you may have some difficult decisions to make. For example, you may know that your baby will be born with certain conditions or defects, and this gives you time to prepare before your baby’s birth. If the problem is one that can be fatal to you or the baby, you may have to choose to end the pregnancy. Sometimes, the news from CVS is good, and will be a relief.
  • There are specific diseases and defects that CVS looks for. In fact, the list is in the hundreds. For example, it can detect Down Syndrome. It can’t detect every potential problem, however. It won’t detect neural tube defects, including those such as spina bifida. If you’re at risk for neural tube defects, you might undergo an amniocentesis instead of CVS.
  • CVS is not routinely done. There is a slight risk of miscarriage with CVS, therefore it’s not done unless necessary. Somewhere between 0.25% and 1% of women who undergo CVS will have a miscarriage. The test carries with it some risk, which your doctor will discuss with you ahead of time.
  • CVS is very expensive. If you’re over the age of 35, your insurance company will probably pay for the test due to the increased risks. Many insurance companies won’t cover it if you’re younger. If your insurance doesn’t cover CVS, there may be other procedures or tests that can be done in its place.
  • CVS will tell you your baby’s gender. Among other information, CVS will let you know for certain whether you’re having a boy or a girl.

CVS isn’t routinely used for baby gender prediction, because of the cost and the risks involved.

The Ramzi’s Method of Baby Gender Prediction

English: An ultrasound of a human fetus, measu...

English: An ultrasound of a human fetus, measured to be 1.67 cm from crown to rump, and estimated therefore to have gestational age 8 weeks and 1 day. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Let’s face it: the sooner you know your baby’s gender, the better. The technology is there; at around 18 to 20 weeks of pregnancy, you’re going to know with nearly 100% accuracy whether you’re going to have a boy or a girl. Yet, there are many other methods of baby gender predictions that may not be as scientific (and may also not be as accurate).

One newer, trendy method you may have heard of is the Ramzi’s Method. This method of baby gender prediction was developed by Dr. Saad Ramzi Ismail. The basic premise here is to use a sonogram to look at the location of the fetus, placenta, and other details at six weeks of age.

This scan measures gestational age, and it measures where the placenta is located. According to the research done by Dr. Ramzi Ismail, at the age of six weeks after conception, around 97% of male fetuses had either the placenta or the chorionic villi on the right hand side of the patient’s uterus. For female fetuses, either the chronic villi or placenta was on the left uterine side in about the same percentage of cases.

Traditional ultrasound done at 18-20 weeks specifically looks for the presence of sex organs. Obviously, sex organs aren’t detectable at six weeks into pregnancy.

This method is new, and fairly controversial. If you have an ultrasound early, you might talk to the doctor and the sonographer about the baby’s position and the placement of the placenta and chronic villi. While your doctor will probably not consider this placement to be a reliable determination of gender, it can be an interesting way to try to guess your baby’s gender ahead of time.

Until more research is done, the Ramzi’s Method will remain controversial. Controlled studies must take place that can validate or invalidate the result. In the meantime, take it all with a grain of salt, and use the information the way you would any other unscientific method of baby gender prediction: as a fun way to guess and hope, while you wait for reliable results.

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Baby Gender Prediction: Scientific Methods

English: A sleeping male baby with his arm ext...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

There are literally dozens of different ways you can try to predict your baby’s gender. Keeping in mind that there are only two choices, any method you choose is going to be right half of the time. Before you go out to buy pink bows or blue elephants to decorate the nursery, however, you might want to wait until you have a verifiable, proven method of baby gender prediction.

There are, essentially, three scientific methods that will allow you to predict your baby’s gender with accuracy:

  1. Ultrasound. This is the way that most of us figure out whether we’re going to have a boy or a girl. The ultrasound at your regular prenatal appointment around 18 to 20 weeks should give you a good idea. As long as the baby cooperates  and the technician can get a view of the genital area, this method will be able to predict whether you’re going to have a boy or a girl in about 85% of cases. While there is some room for human error, it’s nowhere near the 50% of the unscientific methods.
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  3. Amniocentesis. Chances are you’re not going to have amniocentesis without another reason. It’s an invasive procedure, with a limited amount of risk to your baby. Usually, an amniocentesis and the accompanying CVS (chorionic villus sampling) are used to identify genetic disorders and chromosome abnormalities, including Down Syndrome. If you have an amniocentesis done, however, you can know your baby’s gender with around 99% accuracy.
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  5. Prenatal DNA testing. This is the costliest of the scientific methods of baby gender prediction. It actually tests a sample of the mother’s blood, which will contain certain DNA elements from her baby. The high cost generally prevents it from happening, and it is almost never used solely for baby gender prediction. This kind of testing is 100% accurate in terms of gender prediction.

So, there you have it. While dangling your wedding ring above your belly or looking at your belly to see if you’re carrying low or high can be fun ways to speculate about your baby’s gender, the only methods with any degree of certainty are the scientific methods.

 

Can You Only Miscarry One Gender?

There are many misconceptions when it comes to miscarriage. Many women, for example, feel a tremendous amount of guilt about the miscarriage. They worry that there is something that they could have done differently. If only she had recognized the signs of miscarriage sooner. If only she hadn’t engaged in exercise. If only her diet had been better. It is easy for a woman who has gone through a miscarriage to blame herself. In most cases, however, miscarriage has little or nothing to do with what the mom did; rather, it was caused by something else, such as a genetic abnormality of the fetus.

It is normal to try to find rational explanations for events, like miscarriages, that don’t always have an immediate explanation. Because of this, however, many unproven and unscientific reasons for miscarriage have surfaced over the years. One of these theories suggests that a woman may have difficulty carrying a certain gender to term, and that it is impossible for them to have a baby that is one gender or another.

Research has not demonstrated any truth to this idea. In over two thirds of cases, a miscarriage is caused by a fetal abnormality. Typically, this is some sort of chromosomal problem with the fetus, where it is not developing the correct genetic structure. In other cases, miscarriage is related to chronic diseases, such as diabetes or thyroid problems. When combined with the relatively few lifestyle related causes of miscarriage, such as smoking, more than 9 out of 10 miscarriages can be accounted for. There are very few miscarriages that cannot be attributed to one of these causes. Gender does not appear to be a factor in miscarriage at all.

It is also relatively common for someone who has had a child of one gender for their next child to be of the same gender. In around 60% of cases, if you have one gender, your next baby will be of the same gender, regardless of whether or not you had a miscarriage in between. It is understandable the prevalence of having subsequent babies of the same gender would lead some people to connect miscarriage with gender, but it just does not appear to be the case in terms of the research that has been done.

Best Ways of Conceiving a Girl

It is important to understand, first of all, that the only way that you can with any certainty make sure that you are going to conceive a girl is with help from a fertility specialist. Using a procedure such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) or intrauterine insemination (IUI), a fertility health care provider can separate the man’s sperm into those sperm that will produce a girl and those sperm that will produce a boy. Even so, this method is not 100% effective, and you can sometimes wind up surprised. In addition, few people would be willing or able to use such a fertility health care provider solely for the purpose of conceiving one gender or the other.

Fortunately, there are things that you can do to improve your chance to conceive a girl. To understand how this works, it is important to understand how the sperm determine gender. There are, essentially, two different types of sperm: those that produce girls, and those that produce boys. The two types of sperm tend to be different in a variety of ways. The sperm that produce boys tend to be “stronger” sperm than the sperm that produce girls. However, the sperm that produce boys also tend to die off quicker than the sperm that produce girls.

Knowing this, there are things you can do to help conceive a girl. To conceive a girl, you should have intercourse a few days (generally 3 or 4 days) prior to the time that you ovulate. This allows the sperm that produce a boy to die off, and gives the sperm that produce a girl the chance to fertilize an egg and conceive a girl. This is known as the “Shettles method.” Also, according to the Shettles method, you can conceive a girl by having only shallow penetration during intercourse, which deposits the sperm closer to the vaginal entrance. The vaginal entrance is more acidic than the rest of the vagina, and this will work against the boy sperm. Also, the Shettles method suggests that to conceive a girl you should avoid orgasm during intercourse, as orgasm produces secretions that make the vaginal environment more hospitable to the sperm that produce boys.

Day of Conception and Baby’s Gender

Believe it or not, the day of conception can indeed contribute to how a baby’s gender is determined. While it may sound like an old wives’ tale, there are very specific scientific reasons that this may be the case.

To understand how the day of conception can determine babies gender, it is necessary to know a little bit about what it is that determines gender. Much to the chagrin of Henry VIII, it is the sperm of the male partner that determines babies gender. Had this fact been known in centuries past, it is likely that history may have turned out very differently than it has!

Essentially, there are two different types of male sperm. There are the sperm that produce boys, and then there are, obviously, the sperm that will produce girls. The sperm that produce boys tend to swim faster than the sperm that produce girls, and they get to the egg faster. However, these sperm have a shorter lifespan than the sperm that produce girls. The sperm that produce girls swim slower, but they will often last several days longer than the sperm that produce boys.

To try to determine your babies gender, you can time the day of conception. If you are trying to get pregnant with a girl, you should have sex a few days prior to ovulation. Thus, the sperm that would produce a boy will die off before you ovulate, and will not have a chance to fertilize your egg. This will also give those sperm that would produce a girl the opportunity to get to your egg.

If you are trying for a boy, your day of conception needs to be different. To try to have a boy, you will want to have sex during the time that you are ovulating. Some people have even suggested that you put the day of conception off until the very end of ovulation, although this, obviously, creates a higher risk of not becoming pregnant at all.

Ultimately, the day of conception will not guarantee a babies gender, but it may be able to help.

Looking At Baby’s DNA During Pregnancy

It is possible to determine your baby’s DNA while you are pregnant. There are two specific tests, the amniocentesis and the Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS for short) that are often done during pregnancy to test a baby’s DNA. There are several reasons that parents might want to determine a baby’s DNA while pregnant. These might include paternity testing, gender determination, or testing to determine whether the baby is at risk for specific genetic or birth defects.

The timing of DNA testing during pregnancy is crucial. There are essentially two specific windows of time in which DNA testing can be done. The first window is between the 10th and 13th week of pregnancy. During this time, a CVS can be done. With CVS, your health care provider will insert a thin tube or needle into the vagina, through the cervix, to try to obtain little finger-like pieces of tissue attached to the uterine wall, known as chorionic villi. Your health care provider will use an ultrasound to help guide the tube or needle. Chorionic villi comes from the same fertilized egg that your fetus comes from, and consequently has the same DNA makeup as your baby.

The second window of opportunity comes after the first, between the 14th and the 20th week of pregnancy. During an amniocentesis, your health care provider will utilize an ultrasound machine to help him guide a thin needle into your uterus, by way of your abdomen. This needle will draw out a little bit of amniotic fluid. This amniotic fluid is then tested for DNA. There are some risks with amniocentesis, including a chance of harm to the baby as well as a chance of miscarriage. You might also experience leaking of amniotic fluid, vaginal bleeding, or cramping.

Determining your baby’s DNA while pregnant can be expensive. Both of the procedures listed above will likely cost somewhere between $1000 and $2000. In many cases, unless your baby or your pregnancy are at risk, your insurance company will not pay this fee. In addition, these tests cannot be done at a whim. Each requires a doctor’s recommendation to have the testing done.

Fetal Heart Rate: Can It Predict Gender?

 

When is an old wives’ tale not really an old wives’ tale? When the myth started in the scientific community.

There is a popular notion that you can predict the gender of your baby based on his or her fetal heart rate. Most proponents of this theory suggest that:

  • A fetal heart rate of 140 bpm (beats per minute) or higher indicates that you are carrying a baby girl.
  • A fetal heart rate of less than 140 bpm indicates that you are carrying a baby boy.

Many have dismissed this as an old wives’ tale. That hardly seems plausible, however, since we have only been able to monitor fetal heart rates in recent decades. Fetal heart rate monitoring made its debut in the 1960s. So, where did the idea get its start?

It turns out that it was the medical community itself that got this rumor started. While the technology for monitoring fetal heart rates was still fairly new, some doctors speculated that you may be able to determine a baby’s gender by its fetal heart rate. Studies were conducted, but were generally inconclusive. Still, it didn’t stop the theory from gaining widespread acceptance, especially outside of the scientific and medical community.

At least three studies (two in the United States and one in the United Kingdom) have been conducted which have shown that fetal heart rate cannot accurately predict a baby’s gender.

The studies showed that a number of factors determined babies’ fetal heart rates, including:

  • Gestational age. Between eight and ten weeks, your baby’s heart rate will generally be between 170 and 200 beats per minute. During your second trimester, your baby’s heart rate will generally be between 120 and 160 bpm.
  • Baby’s movement. When your baby is active and kicking about inside you, her heart rate will go up. When she’s resting, her heart rate will go down. In that respect, she’s no different than you are.

Unfortunately, the studies do not show any correlation between fetal heart rate (at any stage of gestation) and baby’s gender. In fact, they show fairly conclusively that you cannot predict a baby’s gender by his or her heart rate.

 

What You Eat May Help Predict Your Baby’s Gender

 

There has long been speculation regarding whether a mother’s diet influenced the gender of the baby. While there is a pretty big body of folklore to suggest that it does, the scientific community has largely rejected the notion until recently.

In 2007-2008, the Universities of Exeter and Oxford conducted a study to examine the relationship between a woman’s diet and the gender of her baby. The studies seem to show some direct relations between how a mother eats and the gender of babies she conceives.

The difference wasn’t so significant as to suggest that you can determine the gender of your baby by changing your eating habits. Still, it can give you a better idea of which gender of baby you are more likely to conceive.

The study considered 750 women, all of whom were pregnant with their first child. Each of the women’s eating habits was considered. The main factor (as far as diet is concerned) in determining gender appeared to be the amount of Caloric intake (i.e., how much the mother had eaten) before conception. Generally speaking, the study found:

  • Women with higher Caloric intakes were more likely to give birth to boys.
  • Women with lower Caloric intakes were more likely to give birth to girls.

So, if you’re a healthy eater who makes sure to have a good breakfast every morning, you’re more likely to have a bouncing baby boy. If you skip meals regularly and go out of your way to make sure you fit into that size 4 swimsuit, you’re more likely to need some pink paint for the nursery.

The differences in probability aren’t huge, but they’re enough to be significant. In the study, the women who ate more were 56% percent likely to have boys, compared to 45% for those women with the lowest Caloric intake.

Can you accurately predict the gender of your baby based on your eating habits? No, but you may be able to make a guess that’s slightly better than 50/50. We don’t recommend you bet the rent on it. Wait until you get the ultrasound to do that (they’re 90% accurate). Still, any help predicting the gender of the baby is good help, right?