Posted on November 19th, 2015 by wombwithaviewblog.com

Baby Gender Ultrasound – Guessing Fetal Sex

“How sure are you?” I’ve heard this question probably more than any other in my career during the baby gender ultrasound! Sometimes, guessing fetal sex is a big risk and a real guess. Patients want percentages; I just want to be right!

Every sonographer is different. One’s sure is another’s iffy. I’ve seen images where a person was told one sex and the sonographer had “no doubts” only for me to scan later, confirming the opposite gender. The fact is that as long as expectant parents remain interested in guessing fetal sex by ultrasound, there will always be challenges surrounding the task.

How Sure Are We When Guessing Fetal Sex?

Are we sure or is it a guess? Honestly, they are all guesses. No sonographer should tell you her guess is 100% accurate. Even genetic tests like 1st Trimester DNA and amniocentesis can brag of 99+% accuracy! We, as humans, sure can’t surpass those odds!

Who we have making all those guesses are new sonographers right out of training, observers with little training, and those who are not formally trained in ultrasound at all (some of the keepsake video places). And because reading the scan is so subjective, there will be always be incorrect guesses during the baby gender ultrasound. Even all us experienced sonographers practice a little differently. There will always be those who feel more confident to guess earlier than me. Others are more cautious, examining from every angle but still hesitant to commit if Baby’s legs are partially closed.

I’m more of the latter persuasion. I want to be VERY sure, super-duper sure before delivering a guess to my patients! I need great views in more than one angle and textbook imaging. After all, moms and grandmas want to shop! I would crawl under a rock to know I guessed incorrectly. Mostly, I would feel simply horrible for my patient, knowing it was because of me that she invested (both emotionally and financially!) in one sex vs the other! 😵😣

What’s the Answer?

Those who are new graduates or with limited experience could consult a more-experienced sonographer for a second opinion. And if a patient decides to visit an elective ultrasound business, make sure your sonographer has had formal training!

Patients should not pressure their sonographers for a percentage but also be understanding if she says she cannot determine their baby’s gender. I know! It sure stinks when this happens, but guessing fetal sex is something we can do if we have time and if Baby cooperates! Last but not least, Moms, don’t trust a fetal sex guess from anyone in a non-medical ultrasound facility that does not carry sonographer credentials! RDMS for those who are certified and DMS for those with formal training but who have not yet passed a registry examination. Experience in OB is preferable!

*And a final word of caution! Save your money during Weeks 14-16! Waiting until 17-18 Weeks is always better!*

Here’s hoping you get pics like this for your next scan!

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Posted on October 20th, 2015 by wombwithaviewblog.com

The Gender Scan – Determining Fetal Sex

I think most of you reading probably would believe that most of the emails I receive have to do with parents wanting me to confirm fetal sex…sometimes desperately so. And sometimes determining fetal sex is an impossible task during the gender scan.

I try to explain in my replies that my guess is only as good as the images they send me. I don’t believe it is quite understood what I mean when I say that ultrasound is entirely subjective, but the person performing the gender scan has total control over the images obtained. The sonographer creates these images utilizing a number of controls to optimize the image. She also uses her own discretion to determine a good angle with the probe she is holding.

Yes, there is a standard here but I have to brutally honest. Just as people excel in some areas of life and/or profession, some are also bad. There are good docs and bad, good nurses and bad, good cashiers and bad. This is a painfully obvious fact when I open these image attachments! It’s also possible these operators are not formally-educated sonographers at all! Read more here on some elective 3D businesses.

In addition, just one angle is not enough to see well. However, only one angle can be depicted in one image at one time. I wasn’t there during your gender scan, so I don’t know anything about the variables that could have made imaging difficult.

I just know a technically bad image when I see one. Sometimes, I can tell an operator did not take measures to improve the image. In those cases, I can only assume that someone did not know how to use them correctly. If the person scanning you is new to ultrasound or not a real sonographer, the image may not appear optimal to someone who is experienced in sonography.

Great Images for Determining Fetal Sex!

Below are some great images of fetal sex that I’ve taken myself.

female fetal sex, 18 Weeks

The above depicts an underside view of typical-appearing female parts from about 16 – 22 Weeks pregnant. The side arrows point to labia, the middle to the clitoris.

 

gender scan

Female labia in the 3rd Trimester

 

male fetal sex, 28 Weeks

Male genitalia, late 2nd Trimester

 

male fetal sex, 3rd Trimester

The above demonstrates a side view of typical-appearing male parts from about 27 Weeks on.

 

So, all that said, if the image you send is not an optimal one, I may not be able to take a guess on fetal sex. Even if your sonographer felt sure of her guess during the gender scan, I may not feel I can agree based on limitations of the image. That doesn’t mean your sonographer got it wrong, just that I cannot concur with the former guess because the image quality is not there. If I didn’t observe the scan myself, I am unable to see your baby’s parts from many different angles!

Below are the links I typically email on my posts regarding fetal sex:

Early Gender Pictures
Boy Vs Girl
Twin Gender Reveal

Until next time, feel free to reply, comment or email with your questions at wombviewerblog@gmail.com! You can also subscribe to the right:)

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Posted on November 9th, 2013 by wombwithaviewblog.com

Holy cow. Another anatomy screen, another request to call someone, text someone, or seal in a special envelope the special results for your Gender Reveal party. The pressure is on! But David Copperfield, we sonographers are not. And since we can’t reach in there and rotate the little sweat pea, sometimes we just can’t deliver (no pun intended) on the gender surprise.

I hate when this happens! Mostly because they usually leave the room hating me. But what can we do?

I’m sure most of you are familiar with this event? Gender Reveal parties have become a big way to celebrate how parents, family, and friends find out the sex of their baby. I have to admit it’s a cute idea and must be totally fun, especially with all the creative ways expectant parents have discovered to broadcast the news. But a word of caution! Some patients schedule their party for the same night as their sonogram. And even though most people know gender cannot always be determined at the 18 – 20 Week scan, some still hope for the best and plan the party anyway.

Being able to determine the gender should never be a guess. We’ve all heard the stories from our patients…”My cousin, Martha, was told five times it was a boy until a girl popped out. It must have been the thumb or the cord in the way.”

I always tell patients either I’m sure or I just don’t know. Just tossing out a guess isn’t fair to the patient! And a 70% or 80% guess means your sonographer is just not very confident about that guess. Guessing leads to a return of the dearly beloved tutu for a football jersey. I simply do not want to be responsible for all the consequences that follow – especially the emotional ones for mom and dad or partner.

I will say, however, I have enjoyed taking a picture of cleverly annotated gender and wrapping it up in a peek-proof envelope for my patients. It’s a bit time-consuming in this age of electronic medical records, but we do understand the excitement that goes along with such a visit. I am so happy when I CAN share that with you!

I hope all sonographers do their best to give their patients gender information accurately, but in the event we can’t make this determination – don’t shoot the messenger. After all, even though you may say you want us to guess, you’d rather us be correct;)

I know it’s a bummer! But wait to schedule your party. And if Baby’s sex cannot be determined and you decide to visit an elective 3D non-medical business, please do your research! Be sure to ask if their sonographers are formally educated and not some random Joe Blow off the street. (Yes, it happens!) Look for RDMS or DMS credentials after his or her name.

Apparently, nobody likes yellow cake anymore. 🙁

 

 

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