2D vs. 3D for Gender Prediction


3D ultrasounds were first introduced in 1987, but it is only in recent years that they have been widely used for monitoring fetal development. Some of the advantages of 3D ultrasound over 2D are that they allow physicians (and expectant parents) to see a three dimensional image of their baby.

2D ultrasounds can be difficult to decipher for most people. Often, ultrasound technicians have to label a baby’s body parts so that those who are less familiar with reading 2D ultrasound images can tell what is what. The image looks more or less like a baby (sometimes more like a peanut), but it’s difficult to see any details.

3D imaging gives us an image that looks like a baby. We can see the shape of the skin, and get a reasonably accurate picture of what our babies look like. So, is 3D imaging better at predicting baby’s gender? Logically, you would think so. After all, a 3D ultrasound gives a fairly detailed image.

Experts aren’t so quick to assert 3D’s superiority in discovering baby’s gender, however. Believe it or not, it depends on your baby’s gender:

  • 2D ultrasounds are better able to accurately predict the gender of baby girls. This is because the lines of a female baby’s genitalia are easier to see in the 2D image. Of course, this still requires that the person looking at the image knows what they’re looking for.
  • 3D ultrasounds are better able to accurately predict the gender of baby boys. This is because the boy’s genitalia show up more readily in a three dimensional image. When pointed out, most casual observers will be able to tell the difference, provided the baby allows a good angle for the ultrasound.

It bears mentioning that 4D ultrasounds are about as effective as 3D ultrasounds when it comes to predicting gender. They are better than 2D for predicting the gender of boys, but not quite as good for predicting the gender of girls.

Regardless of which kind of ultrasound you have performed, you can be reasonably confident in the gender prediction provided. Both 2D and 3D ultrasounds are about 90% accurate in determining babies’ gender after the 16th week of pregnancy.