How Does an Ultrasound Work for Determining Gender?


While there are many ways that you can try to predict your baby’s gender – some of which work, others of which are based on myth – one of the most reliable methods is of course the ultrasound. Short of advanced procedures such as amniocentesis or genetic sampling, an ultrasound is the one medical way that you can know your baby’s gender. If  you understand how an ultrasound works, you can better understand exactly why this is a reliable way to let you know your baby’s gender.

An ultrasound creates a visual representation of the landscape inside of your womb. Doctors will usually use an ultrasound at about 8 weeks of pregnancy in order to allow you to see your baby’s heart rate. Doctors use ultrasounds to measure your baby’s size, and to track her growth. In some cases, a doctor may use an ultrasound to try to see if there are any abnormal aspects to your baby’s growth and development.

How a health care professional uses an ultrasound to determine your baby’s gender will determine, in part, whether you get any results, or accurate results. Generally speaking, the person operating the ultrasound is looking for the presence of male or female genitalia. If they are able to find a penis, they will predict your baby’s gender will be male. If they see the labia, they will predict that your baby is a girl.

It’s important to understand that most health care professionals aren’t going to simply assume that your baby is a girl just because they can’t locate a penis on the ultrasound. Without seeing the labia, a technician or a doctor isn’t going to tell you that you’re having a girl. If you’re unsure, of course, ask whether the health care professional actually sees genitalia.

Whether or not your health care provider can determine your baby’s gender with an ultrasound depends on a number of factors. In particular, how your baby is positioned will determine, to a large degree, whether or not the genitals show up on an ultrasound. The age and size of your baby also matter here.