Katie or Bruce? Choosing Your Baby’s Gender

Given an opportunity to decide the gender of their child, women are equal in choosing blue or pink crib dressings, new research shows.

“Choosing a baby’s gender is a subject that’s nearly taboo for doctors to discuss,” said Tarun Jain, a reproductive specialist at the University of Illinois, Chicago. “However, it’s vital in understanding patient curiosity in non-medical gender choice and sufficiently acknowledges the social and ethical ramifications before final results are released. Before this research, there hasn’t been enough information to indicate how much demand there is.”

Of the 561 females who took part in this research, 229 said they’d prefer to decide the gender of their future child. Within these 229, demand for girls was the same as for boys.

Yet the data indicated that mothers who already have a child or children of one gender favor having their next baby as the opposite gender to create balance among the family.

Choosing a gender

There are currently two techniques for gender selection used in the United States.

The first is separating sperm. The idea is that sperm containing a Y chromosome (for boys) weigh slightly less than sperm containing an X chromosome (for girls). Due to this slight variation, the sperm can be separated and prepared for a routine insemination procedure.

The success rate for this particular method is approximately 70 percent for boys and 90 percent for girls.

The other technique is the pre-implantation genetic diagnosis or PGD. This is a type of in vitro fertilization. Unlike standard in vitro fertilization, physicians take a handful of cells from the prepared PGD embryo, where its sex is determined. They only transfer embryos of the wanted gender into the woman’s body.

This technique boasts a success rate of almost 100 percent, yet it’s costly and highly physically invasive compared to sperm separation.

Outlawed in the UK

Choosing genders for non-medical purposes is outlawed within the United Kingdom. This decision was accepted by 80 percent of the people. However, there presently aren’t any laws prohibiting Americans from using this science.

The President’s Council on Bioethics maintains records of the ethical facets of gender choice for non-medical reasons but has yet to issue a judgment. Early worries are that gender balances would be changed and, in the cases of PGD, human embryos will go to waste.

The American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) isn’t concerned that people will generate an unnatural gender imbalance. They endorse sperm separation to balance genders within the family unit. Although ASRM has faith that PGD is safe, it has concerns about eliminating unwanted embryos, and as such, retreated from its prior support of this technique.

Scientists hope this research will bring the issue of choosing genders further into the public’s view. They suggest it’s crucial to fertility clinics and society to decide what constitutes appropriate use of non-medical gender selection as the technologies involved become increasingly mainstream.

How can an ultrasound be used to tell my baby’s sex?

An ultrasound is one of the most reliable ways to tell your baby’s sex. As a matter of fact, an ultrasound may be the only way, short of something like genetic sampling or amniocentesis, that you will be able to tell your baby’s sex with any degree of certainty. Understanding how an ultrasound can be used to tell your baby’s sex is an important part of knowing how reliable the ultrasound will be.

An ultrasound relies on making a visual representation of what is going on inside of your womb. Using an ultrasound, you can usually see your baby’s heartbeat at around 8 weeks of pregnancy, for example. An ultrasound is also used to measure your baby, and to track your baby’s growth. An ultrasound may be used to try to detect if there are any abnormalities with the way that your baby is forming, as well. And, as has been said before, an ultrasound can indeed be used to tell your baby’s sex.

How an ultrasound is used to tell your baby’s sex relies, at least in part, on the person operating the ultrasound, whether it is an ultrasound technician or whether it is your health care provider. The person operating the ultrasound will be able to tell your baby’s sex by looking for the presence of genitals. If the person that is operating the ultrasound can see a penis, she will predict that your baby’s sex will be male. Telling your baby’s sex when it is a girl, however, can be more difficult. If the person operating the ultrasound actually sees the labia on the ultrasound, your baby’s sex is obviously female. But if the person operating the ultrasound just doesn’t see a penis, it doesn’t mean for certain that your baby’s sex is male. As a matter of fact, without seeing the labia, most of the time the person operating the ultrasound will not tell you that your baby’s sex is female.

There are other factors that will tell whether the ultrasound is reliably telling your baby’s sex. First, the position of your baby can affect whether or not the genitals can be seen. Also, your baby’s age and size will play a role as well.


Ultrasound Pictures

You can see many ultrasound pictures at AmazingPregnancy-Pictures.com.

Predicting Twins

Pregnancy is a wondrous and exciting time, full of new experiences and wonderful surprises. One of the biggest surprises that some moms go through is the discovery that they are going to have twins (or more!) There are several things that can indicate a twin or multiple pregnancy.

The best and most reliable way to confirm a twin or multiple pregnancy is to see it with an ultrasound. An ultrasound is the only guaranteed way to know whether you’re carring more than one baby. An ultrasound may be able to detect multiple embryos as early as your third week of pregnancy; However, the ultrasound will be most reliable at detecting a multiple or twin pregnancy at around 6 to 8 weeks.

While an ultrasound is the best method for detecting twins, there are other symptoms that can, in the absence of an ultrasound, suggest twins. They include:

  • Doppler Heartbeat Count. A Doppler system amplifies fetal heartbeat sounds, which can be distinguished late in your first trimester. An experienced health care provider may be able to recognize the sound of a second heartbeat. However, the sounds can sometimes be misleading, as the second beat could be caused by background noise or the mother’s heart.
  • Elevated hCG levels. While twin and multiple pregnancies do produce higher than average hCG levels, these levels are not out of range of a singleton pregnancy.
  • AFP test results. An AFP test is used during the second trimester to identify the risks of certain birth defects. A twin or multiple pregnancy can produce high AFP results.
  • Measuring large for Gestational Age. Your health care provider may use the measurement of the fundus (the area from the top of the pubic bone to the top of the uterus) to indicate gestational age. If the measurement is large, you may have multiples. However, there are other factors that can increase the size of the fundus as well.
  • Weight gain. Here, too, many factors can contribute to excessive weight gain. 
  • Excessive morning sickness. Some studies suggest that pregnancy with twins or multiples leads to a greater degree of morning sickness, but researchers are not entirely certain that this is always the case.
  • Early and frequent fetal movement. While multiples often do experience earlier or more frequent movement, many singles do as well.
  • Extreme fatigue. Fatigue can be an indication of multiples; it can also be an indication of work, stress, poor nutrition, or just plain old tiredness.
  • Family history and mother’s intuition. While not exactly scientific, a family history or mother’s hunches can sometimes be indicators of a twin or multiple pregnancy.

Ethics of Gender Selection

As with many of the advancements that have occurred in medical science over the last century, the question of gender selection brings with it a certain amount of debate. While most people have no problem with a couple who is hoping to have a child of a certain gender using a variety of natural techniques to increase their chances, there are more concerns with the implications of selecting gender via In Vitro Fertilization or through other genetic means. Gender selection certainly has its pros and its cons.

One of the pros of gender selection is the ability to avoid certain types of inheritable illnesses. This would include certain diseases and illnesses that tend to be transferred from a parent of one gender to a child of the same gender. In this way, gender selection can be used to spare a child a variety of suffering.

Another pro to gender selection is for families who want to have children of each gender. A family may already have a daughter, and hope to have a boy, or vice versa. Certainly, this reasoning is relatively innocuous by itself.

However, on the con side, the argument goes that selecting gender based solely on the preference of the parents leads to a slippery slope. The opponents of gender selection suggest that, in a society that favors men over women, for example, that gender selection would become sexist, and could lead to the oppression of one gender by the other. It would put one gender in a forced minority status, just based on gender selection.

Another con of gender selection is that tinkering with the genetic code of human beings has never proven to be a good thing in human history. Whether it was the horrible experiments of the Nazis or some other tragedy, genetic experimentation and interference has tended to lead to abuses of power. Certainly, having the power to select gender can lead to an abuse of power, in which the state could force individuals to have children of only a certain gender, for example.

Urine-Based Baby Gender Prediction Tests


Historically speaking, the best way to determine your baby’s gender has been with an ultrasound. While there are plenty of other indicators (some based on fiction, others actually based on science) actually observing the presence of male or female genitalia on an ultrasound has always been the most reliable method for gender prediction.

One of the more frustrating things about this, however, is that it’s usually not until your 20-week ultrasound (or thereabouts) that your doctor can really tell whether you’re going to have a boy or a girl. Those four or five months can seem to drag, especially if you’ve already got children and would like to be able to make plans based on the baby’s gender.

Yet, in the past few years, a new type of gender prediction test has hit the market. This test works much like a pregnancy test; a strip tests a woman’s urine, and will turn one color if the baby is a boy, another color if it is a girl.

The test looks at specific hormones in the woman’s urine. They combine with chemicals on the strip, and react differently if the baby is a boy than if it’s a girl. The urine test claims to work as early as 10 weeks into your pregnancy – half the time that it usually takes for an ultrasound.

According to test makers, these urine-based baby gender predictors aren’t 100% accurate. Accuracy is about 80%, meaning that it’s often simply best to wait for confirmation from your 20-week ultrasound to find out whether it’s a boy or a girl (before you start painting the nursery).

In some ways, this is a good thing. Some experts suggest that verifying a baby’s gender can, in some ways, help to create a prenatal bond between baby and parents. By being able to visualize their baby, parents can begin to bond, even when the baby is still very small and developing.

Some activists have been critical of the test, suggesting that it might spur parents to engage in gender selection via elective abortions, although there doesn’t seem to be any scientific evidence to suggest that this would be a widespread practice. 

Diagnostic Testing and Baby Gender Prediction

Two tests that can be performed during pregnancy, amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling, can both reveal the gender of your baby with accuracy.

Both of these tests carry the risk of miscarriage after having the test done.


This procedure is used to extract amniotic fluid from around the baby in order to test for complications. The fluid is removed by using a needle inserted into the abdomen around 16 – 18 weeks. Women over the age of 35 are recommended to get this test done due to the increased risk of Down’s Syndrome presented by advanced maternal age.

This test will reveal:

  • Chromosomal Disorders
  • 200 Single Gene Disorders
  • Baby’s Gender

Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS)

This test is usually performed 10 – 12 weeks after the last menstrual period. Your doctor will take tiny tissue samples from outside the sac where the fetus develops. The tissue is tested to diagnose or rule out certain birth defects. There is a higher risk of miscarriage with this method than with amniocentesis.

This test will also reveal:

  • Chromosomal Disorders
  • 200 Single Gene Disorders
  • Baby’s Gender

Can I use ovulation to predict my baby’s gender?

Technically speaking, you can use ovulation to predict your baby’s gender. Using ovulation to predict your baby’s gender has not been proven through scientific study, though. Still, there are compelling medical reasons why you may be able to, with some degree of accuracy, predict your baby’s gender using ovulation. At a minimum, since there are only 2 genders to pick from, you will still have a 50% success rate with any method that you use to predict your baby’s gender.

To use ovulation to predict your baby’s gender, you need to be certain about a couple of factors. First, you need to know exactly when you are going to ovulate. If you are off by a day, it could affect the accuracy of your gender planning. Second, you need to plan intercourse according to what sex you are trying for.

To use ovulation to predict your baby’s gender, look at the day you had sex and the day of ovulation. Sperm can survive up to 5 days inside the woman’s body after ejaculation. Having sex further from ovulation, but still within the sperm survival range, will favor having a girl. Having sex as close as possible to ovulation will favor a boy.

The reason that you can use ovulation to predict your baby’s gender has to do with the nature of the different types of sperm. The sperm that will produce a baby girl tends to be stronger and live longer than the sperm that will produce a baby boy. On the other hand, the sperm that will produce a boy tends to swim faster, and to be more likely to beat the other sperm out in a race. So, it makes sense that if the sperm was present several days before ovulation, that the “boy” sperm would have died off, leaving the “girl” sperm to fertilize the egg. In contrast, if conception occurs closer to ovulation, those “boy” sperm are going to outrun the other sperm.

This method of gender selection is commonly known as the Shettles Method. In addition to the timing of having sex, there are other aspects of your attempt that you need to pay attention to. You can read more about conceiving a girl here and how to conceive a boy here.

How can I predict my baby’s gender using Drano?

First of all, it should be said that it is probably best not to predict your baby’s gender using Drano. While this method of predicting your baby’s gender has been around for a long time, there is not scientific evidence to suggest that it actually works, or that the results are in any way reliable. In addition to this, there may possibly be dangerous side effects from the fumes that are produced when mixing urine and Drano. Finally, there are much more reliable methods of predicting your baby’s gender that don’t pose a risk.
Having said all of that, the fact remains that many women believe that you can indeed predict your baby’s gender using Drano. TO predict your baby’s gender using Drano, you should first be certain not to handle the mixture yourself or to breathe in the fumes from the mixture. Get someone else to help you, for your safety and the safety of your baby.

The first step in predicting your baby’s gender using Drano is to collect around 2 or 3 ounces of your urine. You will want, it is said, to use the first urine of the day for this test. Once you have the urine, you will need to ask your helper to mix it with around two tablespoons of crystal Drano. Do not use the liquid form, as there will not be the same sort of chemical reaction. Once the urine is mixed with the Drano, observe the change. If the mixture turns brownish in color, it is said that you are going to have a boy. If the mixture doesn’t get any darker, and if it doesn’t become brownish in color, the Drano is predicting that your baby’s gender is going to be female.

There are other variations to using Drano to predict your baby’s gender. One version suggests that if the mixture bubbles, you will have a boy. Other variations suggest that a certain color might mean that you are going to have a boy, where a certain other color might mean a girl, and no color change means that the test has failed.

Second Trimester Testing

Pregnancy is a time where a woman can feel constantly poked and prodded. The fact of the matter is that the infant mortality rate has indeed declined in the west, thanks in large part to the variety of medical tests and screening procedures that can take place during pregnancy. The second trimester is the time that many of these tests and screening procedures are going to take place. While not every woman will, obviously, undergo every available test and screening that are out there during the second trimester, there are some regular tests and screening that will take place during the second trimester.

You should expect to have several lab tests and screenings take place during the second trimester, for example. It is very likely that your health care provider will want to test your urine for protein and for sugar. Your health care provider may wish to test your blood for low levels of iron, or to screen you for gestational diabetes. The screening for gestational diabetes that takes place during the second trimester is especially important, as recognizing gestational diabetes early is the best way to make sure that the pregnancy progresses in the way that it should.

An ultrasound is a common procedure for you to have during the second trimester. While it isn’t exactly a test, your health care provider will use an ultrasound to verify how your baby is growing, check out where the placenta is, and to look at the baby’s developing anatomy. An ultrasound will probably be performed during the first and third trimesters of pregnancy as well, although at those times your health care provider is looking for different sorts of things than she is looking for in the second trimester.

There are other tests and screening that can take place during the second trimester. You might have a blood test to screen for a variety of disorders in your baby, such as developmental or chromosomal sorts of disorders. If these blood tests indicate a problem, an amniocentesis may be required. Certainly, an amniocentesis is another type of test that takes place during the second trimester that can, with a greater degree of accuracy, screen for developmental or chromosomal disorders.

Are there gender prediction tests?

There are indeed a variety of gender prediction tests that people have used to determine the gender of their baby before their baby is born. Some of these tests are unscientific and fall into the category of myth, while other tests are actually fairly reliable in terms of gender prediction.

In terms of the unscientific gender prediction tests, there are at least two that come to mind. The first test is the Drano gender prediction test. In this test, the pregnant woman mixes a sample of her urine with crystal Drano. The color that the Drano turns after being mixed is then used for gender prediction. However, there are conflicting ways to interpret the Drano gender prediction test. In some cases, it is thought that a brownish color, for example, means that you will have a boy, where in other cases it is thought that a brownish color predicts a baby of female gender.

Another unscientific but more fun gender prediction test is the wedding ring test. In this test, you dangle a wedding ring over the pregnant woman’s belly. If the ring swings in a circular motion, the baby will be a girl. If it swings back and forth, it will be a boy.

The most reliable gender prediction test is a genetic test done with Amniocentesis. However, this sort of test is rarely done for the sole purpose of gender prediction, as there are certain risks to the baby. An ultrasound is probably the next most reliable gender prediction test. How reliable an ultrasound is at gender prediction has to do with a variety of factors, including the skill and experience of the ultrasound technician. Done at or after 20 weeks of pregnancy, gender prediction with ultrasound is thought to be more than 90% reliable.

There are also home blood tests that can be used for gender prediction. The makers of these tests claim that they are at least as accurate as ultrasounds at gender prediction. Many of them will also offer a refund on the price of the test if the baby turns out to be different than what the gender prediction test said that it would be. You must be extra careful if you decide to try one of these home tests. There have been many cases in the past couple of years where the tests turn out to be scam. Buyer beware.