Some parents-to-be can’t wait to find out whether they’re having a boy or a girl, while others choose to put off knowing the gender until birth.
Your baby’s gender is determined at the moment of conception – when the sperm contributed a Y chromosome, which creates a boy, or an X chromosome, which creates a girl.
Boys’ and girls’ genitals develop along the same path with no outward sign of gender until about nine weeks. It’s at that point that the genital tubercle begins to develop into a penis or clitoris. However, it’s not until 16 weeks that you can clearly begin to see the differentiated genitalia.
Ultrasounds have a variety of purposes during pregnancy, but the use that often receives the most attention is its ability to reveal the gender of the baby. There are a number of variables that can affect whether we can determine the gender. First, the baby needs to be in a good position for the sonographer to get a good image. Secondly the baby’s gestation also effects our ability to predict the gender.
Ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves to produce an image on a screen of the baby in the mother’s uterus. During your gender scan we will look at your baby but not all structural abnormalities can be excluded at this gestation and that this scan should not replace your 20 weeks NHS anomaly scan.