Posted on April 29th, 2017 by

Diagnostic Ultrasound In a Nutshell

Ever wonder about what us sonographers really do when we perform your sonogram? Or why your paperwork called your exam a “diagnostic ultrasound?”

What Does Diagnostic Mean?

Anything “diagnostic” describes a test performed to try to find a problem. So, diagnostic ultrasound is ordered to rule out problems in pregnancy for Mom and Baby. Most people are very familiar with ultrasound but most consider it a fun and exciting event allowing you to see your baby and determine gender. And, yep, it can be all those things. However, first and foremost, ultrasound is a very important diagnostic tool used by your doctor to find structural abnormalities, follow fetal growth, and determine multiples. And this only scratches the surface!

What Do We Look For?

In a nutshell, my job requires me to document what I see and to make a report about it. More intricately speaking, I have to document with images and measurements everything I can see relative to fetal and maternal anatomy. Of course, what I can see and need to document all depends on how far along you are–your gestational age. Once I write a detailed report, I can present a complete ultrasound picture of your case to your physician.

What Things Can I See on Mom?

A few organs and measurements we try to see on mom are as follows:

  • The uterus and some types of pathology (like fibroids which are muscular tumors and very common)
  • The ovaries (those become obscured later as the uterus gets larger)
  • The cervix, which holds in the pregnancy and is sometimes observed for length in the 2nd trimester

What Things Can I See on Baby?

What parts we can see on Baby varies greatly depending on your gestational age. But a few things we look for are:

  • Baby’s size, to determine age or follow growth
  • Internal organs, depending on age, include the brain, heart, stomach, bladder and kidneys
  • Upper and lower extremities (arms and legs), again, depending on age. We try to see fingers and toes on your anatomy screen, but they can be a challenge–especially if the fists are closed in a ball.
  • Baby’s spine
  • Baby’s umbilical cord
  • The placenta and where it’s located
  • And last but not least! Maybe, possibly, if all the stars align and Baby cooperates, you just might be able to find out fetal sex.

How Does It Work?

Ultrasound is just that…sound waves which operate at a frequency far beyond human hearing. Ultrasound is not radiation. Sound waves, much like a fish finder, are sent from crystals in the transducer (the probe placed in the vagina or rubbed on your belly) and transmitted with the help of the ultrasound gel. The waves penetrate the tissues directly below the probe until they reach Baby. They bounce back and create the image you see on the monitor. Factors like the size of the patient and fetal position can limit what parts we see and how well we can see them on the examination.

Additionally, many other diagnostic ultrasound examinations are performed on various other parts of the body, as well. Ultrasound is THE most technologist-dependent modality there is. This means the machine does nothing without someone operating it. This precisely explains why some mamas receive a “baby girl” guess only to discover a little wee wee later on in the pregnancy. If the operator, or person holding the probe, lacks experience scanning fetal sex–oops!–wrong guess. And we’ve ALL heard those stories, haven’t we?!

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on fetal ultrasound!

You can email any questions you have at!


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Posted on October 5th, 2015 by

Fetal Gender Determination – What Makes It Impossible!

Fetal gender determination is not always a walk in the park for us sonographers. Ultrasound, like many technologies, have their limitations. There exist many factors which can make fetal gender determination mission impossible! Your OB docs understand there are a number of variables that prevent good visualization in every ultrasound we perform. Unfortunately, many patients do not.

So, if you’ve been losing sleep in anticipation of this long-awaited news, read this first! My goal is to inform expectant moms so that you go into your ultrasound exams with realistic expectations. I sincerely hope that through understanding these limitations, you’re able to leave your experience feeling happy. If all you can see is Baby’s heartbeat, it’s an opportunity to bond with your new addition that doesn’t come everyday.

Is Fetal Gender Determination a Requirement?

Definitely not. Fetal gender determination is not a routine part of a diagnostic examination. It may be information you desire, but it’s not typically information your physician needs. The anatomy screen at about 18 – 20 Weeks or so is ordered to rule out structural fetal malformations. Most U.S. practices do not mind providing a fetal gender determination as a courtesy IF the sonographer feels she can see well. And we LOVE to give you this information, if we can!

What Factors Impair Fetal Gender Determination?

Some of these factors that can get in our way of how well we see are listed below. They are very common! Actually, some of them confront us on a daily basis.

  • A breech fetus
  • A fetus with the rear against the uterine wall
  • A foot or feet in the genital region or crossed feet
  • Closed legs
  • The umbilical cord between the legs or against the fetal body
  • Body habitus or too much weight around a patient’s middle
  • Uterine fibroids or contraction
  • A decrease in amniotic fluid
  • Genital malformations
  • Early gestational sac age

Even one of the above factors can prevent even the most experienced sonographer from determining fetal sex. A good sonographer knows when the views are good enough to provide you with a guess. A good sonographer also knows when not to guess! What you don’t want is someone who is inexperienced but willing to guess anyway. Many times, it’s not just one but several of the above variables that limit what we see. Unfortunately, we can’t change any of them.

Another little fact I’ll add here is that a non-arguable truth of the modality is Ultrasound’s laws of physics. The farther sound has to travel, the weaker the returned signal. The more tissue the sound waves have to penetrate, the worse the image. In other words, the more tissue there is around a patient’s middle, the more fuzzy the picture. The more fuzzy our picture is, the less we can see Baby’s parts. Any not just fetal gender, any parts. All it takes is one of the above factors to ruin the party. More often than not, a combo of factors will cause a little unwanted rain on your parade.

What Can We Do to Help?

We can try a couple of variables in an attempt to see better. Jiggling your belly or turning you to each side sometimes helps. We do this in the hopes that your change in position will also change Baby’s. Alas, it doesn’t always work.

What We Can’t Do

Unfortunately, we can’t scan you indefinitely! In an effort for fairness, we always try to get our next patients in as close to their appointment times as possible. Sticking to this schedule can be tough when patients arrive late or when we find abnormalities. Most patients are allotted a 30-minute appointment for their ultrasound exam. However, not all of this time is scanning time.

Before we scan you, we need to examine your chart for your history, an order from your doc, and an indication for the exam. After the exam, we need time to type up your report and send it to the physician. Most of us are nice enough to take more time with a patient if our schedule allows. I always did. Unfortunately, some of my patients (not understanding ultrasound) didn’t think I did!

What You Shouldn’t Do!

An unreasonable action disgruntled patients take these days includes airing their rants on social media. Consider, first, that venting your frustrations reflects poorly on your physician and practice. And you could be fired. Yes, a patient can be fired! In other words, I would advise against this method of revenge. If you are unhappy, you have the right to discuss it with Administration. But just know a practice does not have to tolerate any behavior deemed irrational or unreasonable. Just like one can fire an attorney, a plumber, or doctor, a patient can find herself in the same situation.

A Modern-Day Problem

Unfortunately, our society has become one of immediate gratification, even demanding it in the face unreasonable circumstances. I’m reminded of a few former patients and a like-minded character from one of my favorite childhood movies. Anyone remember Veruca Salt of Willy Wonka fame? These patients actually got angry, yelled, cried, and ranted in a place of medical business, much like the toddlers they would have themselves in another couple of years – all because I couldn’t tell them the sex of her baby. This. Is. Unreasonable.

I realize some sonographers don’t try very hard. In most circumstances, however, most of us make a sincere attempt to obtain this information for our patients who want it. We cannot, however, change the laws of physics.

Moreover, some patients mistakenly assume that because we couldn’t make a fetal gender determination, we must not be able to skillfully perform their diagnostic examination otherwise. Please keep in mind that medical professionals never judge such as gross incompetence. Rather, ranting such on social media is reflective of the patient’s ignorance, a lack of understanding of how the technology works. So, please! Don’t do this:)

We hate when our patients leave foaming at the mouth. Remember, this scan is about Baby’s health first! Just ask any mom who didn’t have a healthy baby.

Please feel free to leave comments below or email me at with your questions and subscribe for more great ultrasound information!

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Posted on January 24th, 2015 by

I’ve written it a hundred times..or seems like it! Someone sends me an image and wants to know if I can confirm gender. Sometimes I can tell, sometimes it’s clear as mud. I usually have to write back and give my spiel about unclear gender on ultrasound and how, because I wasn’t the one who scanned, I can’t see the whole uterus. Some images are just bad!

In ultrasound, we have either images that are beautiful which belong in a textbook and anyone with an eye for the modality can tell you what is pictured. Then there are terrible images where we just shrug our shoulders and wonder what someone was thinking when she snapped the image.

I’ll share this email from a reader and her image and attempt to give you an example here of clear vs not.

unsure mama:  Hello! I’m on my 4th pregnancy and my first 3 were clear as day regarding genders, all done after 20 weeks. But this one, however, my sonographer seemed like she was struggling to get a potty shot. I’m not sure of real fetal age due to bleeding the entire time until 14 weeks. My sonographer said the baby was breech and sunny side up? Baby was also measuring at 17weeks 4days. She hesitated but then said girl. I didn’t ask questions but I didn’t see lines or a turtle. Here’s the pic she gave me. What would you say? Any information will be greatly appreciated. I have one girl who is oldest and two sons.


wwavblogger:  Thanks for reading and I hope you’ll subscribe! So, like I typically say, if it’s not a perfect picture, I just can’t sign off on gender. That being said, it could very well be a girl and this just isn’t a great image. It looks like the view is one of baby crawling away from you, if you can put your imagination to work. Right above the arrow is where you would see the 3 dots, however, the dots can blur together if the image is not entirely clear.

I’ll include a link below where I show a baby girl in a similar position, just a little more to the side. Idea is the same. This one is clear and you can clearly see 3 dots here. You can also compare it to the twin brother shot in the same post, too!

I don’t see obvious boy stuff hanging down like I would expect to see here!

Good Luck!


So, girl? Maybe! Boy? Sure can’t say it’s not!

My image in the link above that I sent her of girly parts you’ll find below. Which can you see better?

female gender

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Posted on August 12th, 2014 by

On July 25 I posted images of twin gender at 16+wks, one a boy and one a girl! A confident guess. Babies are 18+ Weeks now…and still looking the same. Enjoy!



This, of course, is a side-by-side of each baby with Baby Boy on the left and Baby Girl on the right.  It’s an underneath view so all we are seeing are babies’ butts and legs to the knees essentially.  All parts labeled for better understanding.  The “three white lines” for the baby girl are a little harder to see in this image but you’ll see it more clearly in the one of her below.



This is the same view and very obviously a proud baby boy!



You can see how much different this baby girl looks compared to her brother.  No wee wee here!


These are GREAT images of gender, people!  Clear potty shot and no question..just how I like to scan them! Below is the link for the first images at 16+wks.

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Posted on July 11th, 2014 by

Is Unknown Gender Still a Secret…

If your mother-in-law thinks she can read your images?

We all know that our family and friends can be quite nosy, opinionated, and even rude when it comes to all things pregnancy-related. After all, they’ve been there and done that, and they know better than you. This is your first rodeo, and you know absolutely nothing. Sound familiar?

In the course of conversation during a scan, especially with my weekly patients, we glide from the political correctness and appropriate medical office pleasantries to cutting up about life happenings. My patients take this opportunity sometimes to vent about just such personal offenses. One of my readers recently did the same! Read on about her dilemma…

irritated mama:  Hello! Firstly, I would like to say what a great blog you have, and I’ve really enjoyed reading it. Secondly, I’m wondering if you can take a look at my scan pic from my 20 Week scan. I’m now 25 Weeks. We didn’t find out the gender as my husband didn’t want to, but his family is convinced it’s a boy from the scan pic. They are even calling it a “he” which is quite annoying. I’m just wondering if there is anything on this scan pic that confirms the gender? Obviously, we didn’t get a potty shot. I hope you can help. Thanks!

unknown gender, 20 Weeks pregnant


wwavb:  This email cracks me up! You are not the first to be annoyed by in-laws who think they are ultrasound aficionados! Everyone is suddenly an expert. You’ll be happy to know gender is nowhere to be found on this image! It’s a great side shot of Baby, but when you get down to baby’s bottom, part of the hip/leg is pictured. So, it’s not a side shot between the legs. Now you can tell your in-laws to mind their own biz!

Best Wishes!
wwavblogger, RDMS

irritated mama:  Brilliant, thank you. That settles it, and I will tell them just that. Haha!


So just know, all you pregnant moms out there with in-laws who are driving you to drink…first, I can’t condone escaping your in-laws with wine in your delicate condition. Second, you have to stick up for yourself! There are nice ways to say anything. So, next time your mother-in-law (who doesn’t know what a femur is) attempts to read into your ultrasound image, kindly thank her for her oh-so-professional interpretation, and ask her if she’d like to deliver her grandchild while she’s at it.🤣

Yes, I am a smartass at times, but I blame my brother — the ultimate King of Smartassness, one-liners, and wisecracks. It’s a crown he wears proudly.

You can email me at with any ultrasound questions you have!

Interested in subscribing? You can do that here🙂

Thanks for reading!


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Posted on July 4th, 2014 by

Early gender pics can be deceiving. Many of you who want to know your Baby’s sex as early as possible with ultrasound may be tempted to believe the tempting promises of your street corner 3D ultrasound business. Before you pay your money to one of these places, I encourage you to first read the above link!

The early fetal parts of external genitalia look nothing like they do later on, just as an embryo doesn’t look like a baby or an embryonic chick look like a chicken! It’s also the  reason we do not perform the screening of anatomy until 18 Weeks. Structures like the brain are ever-changing until about that time. Even at 17 Weeks, the brain looks a little different. The same applies to external genitalia – later is most always better.

Because these parts are just starting to develop at 12 Weeks, boys and girls can look alike. Over the next month, your baby’s external genitalia are still developing and changing in appearance. That is to say, boy tissue starts to get bigger and girl parts shrink. Eventually, the scrotal sac and penis take a more recognizable shape, and the labia and clitoris take on the appearance of three tiny white dots or lines. Fetal boy parts can appear different from other boys, just as girls can appear different from other girls. We’re all different!

Please take my word for it. Any guess at 12 – 14 Weeks is simply a guess. You may as well flip a coin. At 15 – 16 Weeks, it’s still a guess. Now, have I guessed gender at 16 Weeks? Definitely! But it had to be someone I was scanning personally, baby had to be lying butt-up in a perfect position with legs wide open, and I had to have a clear image otherwise. There are many factors that play into how well we can see at any point in a pregnancy. It just all has to be textbook perfect and not every patient/fetus is a textbook scan. I might feel confident enough to provide a second opinion of your baby’s gender if you are 17 Weeks with a perfect potty shot!

Links for Great Images of Fetal Sex/Gender

The Nub Theory and Genetic Testing

Even if the parts appear very straight-forward based on the nub theory, it’s only a theory and only about 73% accurate. That’s a lot of room for error. So, just because a girl might look like a girl based on the nub, don’t be surprised to find a penis at your anatomy screen! Only genetic tests like first-trimester blood tests for DNA or amniocentesis are 99+% accurate for fetal sex.


All that said, you are welcome to email me with questions at any time in your pregnancy. However, sending me pics with a request for gender confirmation earlier than 17 Weeks will probably get an “it’s just too early” response. As much as I would love to, I just can’t provide you with helpful information in most of those cases. I can never be more confident than the person who scanned you! Especially if your sonographer said she couldn’t get a great shot, I likely won’t be able to tell, either.

If you’re greater than 17 Weeks and your sonographer has given you a potty shot where she’s annotated boy or girl, subscribe and email me your pic. I’ll be happy to try and provide a second opinion!

Good luck at your next scan!

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Posted on May 10th, 2014 by

Another Male Fetal Gender Pic

It’s a Boy! Male fetal gender on ultrasound is pretty obvious here, wouldn’t you say? Little boys are an easy guess when they pose like this! Not much question here. I love it when your babies cooperate!

male fetal gender, 20 Weeks pregnant


This baby was about 20 Weeks. He was positioned perfectly to obtain a great underside view with part of his thighs in the pic. We’re not really seeing Baby’s butt here. Can you guess what the small black oval is just behind the scrotal sac? If you guessed his bladder, you’d be perfectly correct:)

How about more great images of fetal sex? Check out the links below for male and female images:

You can email any time!

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Posted on May 8th, 2014 by

I LOVE IT!  What a breath of fresh air I received from a reader – someone who actually wants to avoid fetal sex determination! Now, don’t get me wrong. Though I held off on the potty shot for my first, I was a full-time certified sonographer working several years by the time the second came along. I personally couldn’t wait to see for myself. I even scanned myself in the process (we all do this, by the way)!

This post comes from someone who definitely fits into Club Minority. She wanted to wait for The Stork, but that was just not good enough for everyone else in her family!

distressed mama:  Hello, I’ve really enjoyed reading your blog. From everyone’s posts, I can see that I am in the minority — my husband and I want to be surprised with the sex of the baby on the day I deliver.
We got the anatomy scan a few weeks ago, and the tech was very respectful of our wishes. She didn’t reveal the sex to us, and we left with the attached pictures.
We sent my sister the top picture in a text message. Upon seeing it, she immediately said, “I think I know what it is…,” and blurted out her guess. That really bothers me because it seems that the rest of my family believes her and is taking her opinion as fact. I still don’t want to find out, but I don’t want anyone else to be so certain that they know, either!
Based upon the first picture in the set of 3 I’m sending, is the sex of the baby obvious to you? I figure that if you can’t tell, then my sister who is NOT a trained ultrasound tech can’t tell, either!
Thanks for your blog, it’s always fun to hear what you think about these ultrasounds from “the other side” of the wand!
fetal sex determination

wwavblogger:  I LOVE IT!!  First things first. Absolutely, positively NO genitalia in that shot whatsoever! The black oval in the pelvis is baby’s bladder and I’m guessing she thinks she sees something just above that which is a very small section of umbilical cord at abdominal insertion. Either way, you are totally correct in that if I can’t see parts, neither can anyone else! Tell your fam they have a 50/50 shot at guessing;)


Everyone the expert, right? And, yes, the desire is overwhelming for patients to know gender as soon as the pee stick shows +. However, sometimes the desire comes more from the family than the patient!

From the other side of the wand, I can tell you people often believe what they want to see, not what’s really there. Distressed Mom, be sure to let us know what The Stork drops at your door!
Thanks for reading!
Have a similar story? Do you desperately want a surprise?
Is your family driving you nuts with constant harrassment to find out?
If so, email me with your experience at!

For your most reliable ultrasound information, subscribe here.


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Posted on April 26th, 2014 by

14 Weeks Gender & the Too-Early Guess

Read below for some props (thanks!) and a question about 14 Weeks gender from a new reader and subscriber:

First Email

reader:  Hi! I’m expecting my third little one in October. Before I ask my question, I just wanted to say that I’ve been reading your blog for the past 3 hours while my kids are down for a nap. I love it! I went for a private 3D ultrasound on Monday, and he said it was a girl! We are so excited because we have two little boys already. I’ve heard so many horror stories since I had it done, and I’m terrified he was wrong. I clearly see ‘three lines’, but I’m no ultrasound technologist. What do you think? Thanks in advance! I’ve already subscribed, and I’m excited for more!

14 Weeks pregnant, 14 Weeks gender, too-early gender guess

14 Weeks gender, 14 Weeks pregnant, too-early gender guess

wwavb:  Hi! First, let me say thanks so much for reading and subscribing. I’m so happy you are enjoying my (sometimes) sense of humor. I really am very honored that you spent three hours of your own personal quality time reading my stuff! Very cool.

So, I am going to guess that you are maybe 14 Weeks? 15? Please write back and let me know. Maybe you have already come across some of my posts. You may already be familiar with my opinion of these ultrasound drive-thrus! Baby looks a bit small in these images, like you may be a little early to determine gender.

If you are less than 18-20 Weeks, wait to paint! This is really the best time (and later) to determine gender, and those images are not proof enough to me to paint pink just yet. Please know I am not telling you he’s wrong, I just cannot concur based on these images.

Second Email

reader:  You’ve guessed correctly! I was 14 Weeks in this ultrasound and did, in fact, read your posts about the drive-thrus. I must say, if I’d had know your opinion before, I probably would’ve waited. He told me he was 75% sure it was a girl and to come back in two weeks for another look for free. I’m definitely not convinced that it is a girl, nor have I bought anything pink. I do hope that it is, though! Thanks for your input!

wwavb:  I hope so, too! Pink is so much fun to buy, and you could use some estrogen in your family! Feel free to email me again when you go back and then again when you go for your diagnostic anatomy screen at 18-20 Weeks. 😉 I’d love to tell you pink, too. Thanks again for reading.

To anyone who is reading now or in the future, don’t let anyone take your money to guess gender at 14 Weeks. It truly is a guess, and anyone has a 50/50 shot without looking at all, right?! Please be sure to read my post above on non-medical, elective ultrasound businesses. It’s so important all moms are educated on the safety issues regarding some of them.
My best advice is to wait to buy pink or blue and wait to paint. Also, (by all means) ensure you have a real ultrasound professional scanning you.
Have a great day!
Be sure to email your questions, stories, or pics to!

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Posted on April 22nd, 2014 by

Mistaken Fetal Gender Guesses

It’s possible. We’ve all heard a story or two, right? Being too early in gestational age is one way to ensure mistaken fetal gender guesses. Baby insisting on keeping still in a difficult position doesn’t help, either. There’s more at stake here than just being “wrong.” Parents start to identify with being a mom or dad to a new baby girl as soon as you speak the words. Thoughts jumpstart to dance recitals and her wedding day. Dads immediately daydream of the fishing partner they always wanted, or they run out to buy his first tiny baseball glove.

These are strong emotional ties that often get broken when someone casually throws out the gender card on ultrasound. Beyond the need to return some beloved items, comes the sometimes feelings of guilt or loss when the true gender is identified.

How “Mistaken Identity” Affected One Mom:

reader:   This is my second pregnancy and I am 18 Weeks. At my 20 Week ultrasound of my first pregnancy, I was told by the head ultrasound doctor (radiologist?) that it was definitely a girl, and I picked out a girl’s name. I ended up going into labor early at 30 weeks.

At the hospital while an ultrasound was being done, I kept asking if she was ok. The poor tech said, “Why do you keep saying she? Were you told it was a girl?” We said yes. She said, “Well, I see a scrotum. I’m going to get the Dr.” So, it turns out we were the first time this head doctor ever got it wrong, and now we are legend at his hospital.

We were already calling the baby by the girl’s name we picked, and I had a really hard time with the news. The only way I can describe it is like I had to grieve this little girl I had in my head that was suddenly gone. I wouldn’t change a thing about the amazing toddler boy I have now. But at the time, I was a wreck. Needless to say, I don’t want to go through that again. I was told today that the baby is a girl (again), and it is hard for me to believe. So, I just want to see what you think!

18 Weeks pregnant, female gender, mistaken fetal gender


wwavblogger:  Wow! Your story is EXACTLY the reason I implore sonographers to give careful and cautious consideration when determining gender!

I learned many years ago that even if I say I am not sure but give a “possibly,” parents are already thinking ballet slippers and pink tutus or sailboats and whales! It’s so true.  It’s just an emotional attachment you begin to develop as soon as an inkling of pink or blue is mentioned.

 Now, not having scanned you real-time myself, looking at one single image can be tricky. By this image only, it looks like dance recitals may be in your future! It does appear like the typical three lines we see in a baby girl. Just know that I can’t guarantee it, though! PLEASE, send me another image of gender every time you have another scan in this pregnancy, especially since she already has the perfect name!
Did you or someone you know experience a case of mistaken identity by ultrasound?
If so, feel free to email all about it at!

Comments: 5 Comments »

Posted on April 11th, 2014 by

Wanna See Perfect Male and Female
Ultrasound Images?


Look no further!

Here I’ll clarify what constitutes GOOD male and female ultrasound images. If you guys read my blog on a regular basis, you already know how many emails I receive from parents wanting a second opinion on gender images only to get a “huh?” out of me.

Most of the time, their sonographer gave the nod for male or female only to follow that up with an ultrasound image which looks like a snowstorm with a ? in the middle. I’m afraid it’s just not quite the validation I can support!

I’ve posted other great male and female ultrasound images and gender shots throughout the site, but let me add a couple more.

A Beyond-Perfect Male Gender Pic

male and female ultrasound images, male gender, 20 Weeks pregnant

Hello! Any guesses? I’ll give you only one, but I think you won’t need more than that. 🙂 THIS is the boy shot patient’s want to see. This is the holy-cow-look-at-that-wee-wee or he-is-so-proud shot we always try to obtain.

I’ve labeled the parts, but I you probably don’t need that assistance, either. Is there REALLY any question in anyone’s mind here? I didn’t think so. This baby boy is about 2o Weeks in the photo you see here.


Perfect Female Gender Pics

Second Trimester

22 Weeks female gender, male and female gender ultrasound images

Anybody not see three lines here? There’s a little dotted circle around the labia and clitoris in the middle depicting the three lines you hear most about. So. Girly. Enough said.

This little Sweet Pea is 22 Weeks here. She really didn’t want to move her legs for us initially, but I could still see well enough to reconfirm Team Pink for this couple!

Third Trimester

And this one I’ve posted before! The female labia are much more plump closer to that due date! This baby girl was about 38 Weeks here and probably THE most clear female gender image I’ve ever obtained.

38 Weeks female gender, male and female gender ultrasound images


See the difference?! I never like to guess gender, and these images leave no room for guessing. I love it!

Even the most ultrasound-challenged won’t argue with these textbook images of fetal genitalia.  In my room, it has to be unequivocally wee wee or three lines/labia or you get the dreaded “I’m sorry but I just can’t tell today!”

Do you have great images of male and female gender you’d like to share?

Email them to me at!


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Posted on April 8th, 2014 by

Terrible images of fetal sex like these kill me. First, I know they could be as easily wrong as right. In other words, the best rate for accuracy for this particular guess is 50% – as good as a coin flip but cheaper! Second, these moms get so excited for what they’re told. It’s just not right!

I still can’t believe some of the emails I receive from expectant parents who’ve been promised the gender-equivalent of the moon and stars based on crappy images…and I don’t mean a little crappy. Who taught these people to scan? Hmm, maybe they weren’t taught? Read more on elective ultrasound businesses here; they’re not required to hire real sonographers. Moreover, most moms are WAY too early in their pregnancies to make such big commitments regarding Baby’s sex.

Read below an email from a reader who has experienced this very situation:

reader:  Hi! I just found your site, and I love it! I was hoping that you could just reassure me that what we are having is a little girl? My ultrasound tech said that he was 100% sure it’s a girl because there were definitely no boy parts. But I just wanted a second opinion! Thank you so much!

15 Week gender 15 week gender


All the Reasons Why This 15 Week Gender Guess is Just Bad

No sonographer with any level of adequate experience, especially those who specialize in OB, would ever dare to label this a girl OR a boy, much less to seal it with a “100%.” We all know that a lack of seeing anything that looks like a penis can hardly be declared a girl. Furthermore, with a bit of a projection between the legs here, wouldn’t you think he would err on the side of male? Regardless, of all the images I would dare tack a label of 100% to, these fall super short.

All I could advise is that she not paint a nursery based on these images! And I would be leery of any sonographer who calls anything 100%. The first cardinal rule of ultrasound is that nothing in medicine is ever 100%. It makes me crazy when patients are given images like this and told it’s a definite. This is precisely how mistakes with gender determination are made.

 I didn’t want to burst her bubble, and I couldn’t guarantee that her baby wasn’t a girl. Simply put, I wanted her to know that determining girl by those images alone was impossible. I did not see  her scan live, however, these images are not textbook images for girly parts at any age.
I can’t teach the world to scan. But maybe I can nip some mistakes in the bud…one crappy disheartening image at a time. Once again, my goal is to educate and inform!
You can email me with your stories here!

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Posted on April 2nd, 2014 by

..This is how you know you should NOT begin decorating Baby’s room after your ultrasound.. If your sonographer can’t decide whether you are having a boy or a girl like your 3-year-old can’t choose between strawberry jam or grape jelly for a pb&j, DON’T PAINT YOUR NURSERY! (No contest..grape, definitely, grape.)

Read on from a patient who experienced just this scenario:

reader:  Here is my 17 week ultrasound. The tech went back and forth between boy and girl and finally decided on boy after 10 minutes. She was also still in training. What do you think? Oh and the cord was between the legs. I’m so confused by this image. I go back tomorrow to look again. I love ur blog by the way!


wwavb:  Oh, wow.  I see why you have to go back! lol There truly is no way to tell from that image what you are having…I can see legs. And I’m doubting tomorrow is going to be any better – because you’re still early and the student in training is still learning. She shouldn’t guess but, instead, have someone with more experience come in for a peek.

Tidbit of advice…even if she guesses, hold off on that favorite paint color! Feel free to send me another image tomorrow, but, hopefully, you’ll have someone more experienced?? If she is training, there should be someone with more experience there supervising her! Ask for that person.

Thank you so much for reading and subscribing to my blog! I hope you find it fun and informative and thanks for emailing me:) Please pass it along to all your expectant friends and fam!

Wishing you a healthy fetus,


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Posted on January 21st, 2014 by

Ah, the anatomy screen ultrasound.

Better known to many as “the scan where I can tell the gender!” Many of you moms out there may already know determining boy or girl is not the purpose of the scan but rather a sometimes side-perk. This post is dedicated to the routine or Level 1 anatomy screen and what we look to document on it.

When Is It Performed?

The anatomy scan is routinely ordered by your doctor to be performed between approximately 18 – 20 Weeks of pregnancy. We can perform this scan a little later as long as your doc gives the okay but, typically, not earlier. Those who are antsy to find out their baby’s gender will usually ask to have the anatomy screen earlier, but your doc will likely not sign off on that one. The reason for waiting is that Baby and his/her organs need to be large enough to be able to evaluate them well. We already prepare ourselves to battle Baby’s position. Along with the other limitations of ultrasound, scanning too early just adds another and defeats the purpose. And if Mom has extra weight around the middle, the screen will sometimes be pushed back a little further. We can see a little better with a little bigger baby.

What’s the Purpose?

This exam is ordered to rule out structural malformations on Baby. We want to ensure that all Baby’s parts exist where we expect them and are functioning properly. Diagnosing serious problems in advance is the real purpose of ultrasound. Physicians can then prepare a plan for management for mother and baby and assist in providing the parents and family all the education and counseling needed.

Even if you elected to have genetic testing early on, it can’t detect some abnormalities, like a heart problem, for example. Additionally, some chromosomal problems are not obvious on ultrasound. Unfortunately, no test can detect every problem which is why you are offered different types of testing.

If your pregnancy is high-risk to start or if a problem is detected, your doctor may elect to send you to MFM (Maternal Fetal Medicine) for a Level II anatomy screen. This just means the sonographer evaluates a few more structures and takes a few extra measurements. The perinatologist, or high-risk OB doc, reads the scan and forwards a report to your general OB doc.

It’s true that we may detect findings which require follow-up and end up resulting in no problem. Thank goodness! You may feel like you ended up worrying for nothing. However, if a serious problem was found, you’d probably be happy you knew about it in advance. Special circumstances require life-saving surgery for Baby immediately after birth or require special NICU accommodations that your local hospital may not offer.

True story!

My co-worker and partner in crime in ultrasound (of all people!) discovered her child had a heart condition, a very rare one at that. Instead of four chambers, he had two. She had innumerable tests prior to delivery by MFM and a perinatal cardiologist. They needed to make every effort to determine the extent of his problem before he was born. Even though one of our local hospitals had a NICU, it wasn’t equipped to manage his severe heart defect. Moreover, she could not deliver him vaginally because it put too much stress on his heart. She had to deliver him out of state, and he required surgery immediately after birth. He did great! Thanks to the incredible and extensive knowledge of some very dedicated neonatal cardiologists!

Do I Have to Have It?

Absolutely not. As a patient, you have the right to decline any test. I’ll advise, however, that you discuss this option with your healthcare provider first. You need to communicate with your physician the reasons for your decision so that she/he can counsel you on what declining means for you and Baby. Your doc will also want the opportunity to clear up any misconceptions you might have about the technology.

If one of your reasons is because you believe ultrasound is radiation, you’re in luck!

Ultrasound is not radiation!

You can click on the link above to read more details about this factual bit of ultrasound info. In fact, please do!

What Things Do You Document?

We have a long list of structures to document on your anatomy screen. Some of the things we look for on this scan are as follows:

Cervical length – we measure the length of your cervix.

Placenta – we evaluate its shape and features and tell your doctor where it is located.

Amniotic fluid – we tell your doctor if the general amount of your fluid is normal.

We measure your baby as shown below. However, please note the images were all taken at different gestational ages!

The head from side to side (BPD or biparietal diameter) and around (the HC or head circumference):

BPD, HC, anatomy screen

We measure around the belly (the AC or abdominal circumference):

AC, anatomy screen

Another image of the fetal abdomen is seen below without the measurement:

fetal abdomen, anatomy screen


And the femur length (FL):

FL, anatomy screen


These measurements estimate a weight which is usually about 8 ozs. at about 18 Weeks.

We document internal organs and other structures:

Parts of the brain, orbital lenses, facial structures like a nasal bone, upper and lower extremities, heart (very basic views), spine, stomach, kidneys, bladder, umbilical cord insertion, and umbilical vessels.

After we take all these images, we formulate a report for your doctor in great detail regarding the above parts. We also document what structures could not be well seen. Usually, if your baby doesn’t cooperate to allow us to see everything we’d like, your doctor may or may not send you back for a follow-up scan at some point to attempt a recheck.

How Do I Get Results?

Only your doctor (or MFM doc) can give you results! Never, never, never the sonographer. For those of you who have had the terrible experience of a problem on your anatomy screen, you have a hundred questions and your doctor is the only one who can answer them for you properly. Your doctor is the one with whom you have the important relationship. He/she manages your pregnancy, not your sonographer.

So, What About Gender?

Most facilities, as a side perk, will allow your sonographer to give you this information if she determines that it’s possible. Unless we see a problem where gender plays a role, boy or girl is not important to the health of your fetus, and your doctor doesn’t really need this information. We know, however, that it is important to those of you who want to know. And there is nothing wrong with wanting to know! There is also nothing wrong with waiting to find out, and that decision is as personal as picking out a name.  Believe me, I couldn’t wait to find out myself. Yes! I scanned myself! A perk of the career;)

A little side note here…many facilities are beginning to put restrictions on gender determination. As more and more legal cases pop up over wrong gender guesses, facilities will take more precautions to limit their liability. And if you decide to visit a non-medical ultrasound facility for a fun scan, please read more about them in the link provided and ensure your sonographer is properly educated! (No, they don’t have to hire real sonographer!)


We love a fun family! And we can’t deliver your little sweat pea, but this is one priceless piece of info we SO enjoy delivering when we can! It’s a big job which requires time, focus, and concentration! For some guidelines on how many to include in your entourage for this exam, click this link for a little insight into a sonographer’s recommendations!

It’s okay to know, to keep it a mystery, or to even have a preference. It’s just not okay when that’s all that matters.

Questions? Great! Email me, and I’ll answer what I can!


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Posted on January 19th, 2014 by

Is a Male Sonogram Easier to Read?

Not for some moms who have always dreamed of buying pink! Here’s an email from a reader who was really hoping for some estrogen in the family after two boys! Sometimes, wishful thinking prevents us from seeing what is really there…

Email from Mom KB:

kb:  At my 17-Week ultrasound, the tech took a photo saying the baby was a boy pointing to what is clearly the foot between the legs. She also said the umbilical cord was between the legs.

male sonogram, 17 Weeks pregnant

kb’s 1st pic at 17 Weeks

At my 21-Week ultrasound, the baby was breech with cord between the legs. When asked what we thought, we saw two lines and nothing else…so, we guessed girl. In the next view, she said boy.

male sonogram, 21 Weeks pregnant

kb’s pic at 21 Weeks

Where the tech pointed as a pee looks like a foot to me. I have two boys already and you could see the scotum and tip clearly. I feel different and not even pregnant. The heart rate was 170, 171, 157. I can’t shake that it’s a girl. Am I wrong and just hoping? What do you think?

wwavb:  Thanks for reading my blog and sending your question! Hmm, what do I think…

Well, as far as “feeling” different goes, each pregnancy is a different universe in and of itself. The way you feel with one pregnancy has nothing to do with how you “feel” in another. People historically want to contribute that difference to gender, but there just is no relevance there. And Baby’s heart rate can vary quite a bit, just as ours does with respect to fetal activity. So, you can’t go by that, either.

It’s entirely possible that your sonographer could tell it was a boy, but it wasn’t clear to you because the cord was in the way. It’s also possible that you just want a girl so much that it’s hard for you to really “see” boy parts in the image.


I labeled the images she sent, and wrote her back.

wwavb:  The first image isn’t very clear. But see the labels for the second image. No foot here! Where I have the arrows of the legs, you are only seeing part of the thighs. The rest of the legs and feet are not in the image.

male sonogram, 21 Weeks pregnant

male sonogram, 21 Weeks pregnant

kb:  I don’t see the scotum because she said the cord was between the legs.

wwavb:  Holy cow, this is totally a boy! All boy! See my edited image attached below…


Congrats! 😉 I always say it takes a special woman to be a mom of all boys! Little boys love their mamas, and you have the perfect opportunity to teach them to be loving, respectful, and helpful to their future wives. Your daughters-in-law will thank you!


Patients have a really hard time believing their eyes in a male sonogram image if all they want to do is shop for frilly dresses! But I do stand by my advice to her…we women have a unique opportunity to instill great character in our little boys. Chivalry doesn’t have to be dead! You can teach them to hold open doors and show respect to the next generation of women. They’ll love you for it!!!

Not only can you teach him to respect all the future women in his life — his girlfriends, his wife, and potential daughters — but one more very important woman who is arguably the most important of all.


Best wishes to all you moms out there of all boys!

If you want to tell your all-boys story, you can email me here!


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Posted on January 16th, 2014 by

A Great 3rd Trimester Female Gender Pic!

Okay, readers, if you are searching for the perfect shot of 3rd Trimester female gender, check out this photo below. This image is shouting, “Am I a girl or what?” Poor thing. We don’t even give her half a chance for modesty!

3rd Trimester female gender


This is a great image of labia as seen later in pregnancy. Baby has more fat in her skin now and looks nothing like the “3 dots or lines” you saw at halftime. Now, granted, not every baby girl looks exactly like this one. We are not all built EXACTLY the same, right? Some babies have smaller labia than others. Still others have a larger clitoris.

However, I think no one can argue that the pic above looks nothing like any little boy I’ve ever seen. This mom and dad were so excited for their second precious baby girl. Lucky for you, they were also so happy to share! 🙂 Now, THIS, expectant parents, is a GREAT shot if I do have to say so myself!

❤️I just LOVE a great ultrasound image!❤️

Wow, I’m such a geek sometimes.

If you have great shots of your baby girl, feel free to email me!



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Posted on January 14th, 2014 by

It’s a rare occasion that a patient angers me to the extent that I’m ready to hang up my probe. However, I guess we can all be pushed beyond a limit in our jobs and careers. Fortunately, my great patients always out-numbered the bad. She was about 21 Weeks, Baby’s legs were closed, and I simply could not provide a gender guess. She ranted to say the least…

“You’ve got to be kidding me. I HAVE to know today. I’ve been waiting all this time. I’ll just get up and run around or something, but I have to know today. Can’t you move the baby around? This is ridiculous!!” I think she spouted all this in one anxiety-ridden breath without pausing for air…one very looooooooooooong and absurd run-on sentence.

And now for my long-running sentence – my usual sermon in response clarifies how determining gender is never a guarantee, we can’t always tell at this age, we need total fetal cooperation, and we can push and roll you to your sides, but we can’t always make baby move. Most importantly, it’s not the purpose of the exam anyway.

Her response?

“WELL…(sigh), can you get somebody else??!”

Oh, yes, she said this. As if I didn’t know what I was doing, and anybody else would have been able to determine what I could not. Actually, her mother in attendance even gasped at her daughter’s comment with a, “That was rude!” I very verbally agreed with her. Unbelievable. I (as politely as possible) explained to her that no one in the country, right there in that moment, could have told her what she was having.

It doesn’t take years of experience to determine that the legs are closed, the feet are curled up under the butt, and the cord is in the way. She was very lucky I didn’t just set down my probe right then and there. But I didn’t. In my attempt to maintain professionalism, I scanned her for probably ten minutes more. Alas, I could never tell for sure.

She wasn’t done, however. Her gripe continued with her doctor and nurse because she still didn’t know her baby’s sex.

These are the kinds of people I have to deal with from time to time in my line of work. They simply are the ones that no one can make happy…ever, no matter what you do for them, unless you can give her what she wants. Welcome to a day in the life of a sonographer.

The biggest source of frustration with these patients is that these women never once ask about the health of their baby. Isn’t this the most important result? But they take health for granted and assume that’s part of the package. Parenthood – health is never a guarantee. Just ask the families with a terrible diagnosis and outcome.

Please, readers, don’t ever be this person!

Feel free to email me with your questions or similar stories to!

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Posted on January 14th, 2014 by

Here are two images from a reader who questions if they really represent girl parts…

reader:  Hi! I was just reading your blog and though I’d email you to see what your opinion is on my 20 week ultrasound picture. It seems odd to me that her “girl parts” are sticking out a little bit. Could this really be a boy? I already have a bunch of girl things and this picture is just making me second guess myself. Thanks!!


wwavb:  Hi! First, thanks for reading my blog and writing to me. If you haven’t subscribed yet, I hope you will!

Now about that image…I have to say it’s not a GREAT image, BUT it does look like girlstuff. Let me follow that up by saying that because I didn’t scan you live and all I have is this okay image of genitalia to go by, all I can base my guess on is what I can determine by the image provided. Girlstuff looks like three lines or dots. And if it were a boy, you’d see a wee wee (my totally professional term for it) to about where the arrow is located. So, I am guessing pink tu-tus and dance recitals are in your future.
Check out my previous posts on gender. You’ll find several images of girls and boys! Hope I helped!

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Posted on January 10th, 2014 by

Anyone Can Make Bad Ultrasound Images!

But only those with real skill possess the ability to make great ones! In all my years of scanning, I have to say this image from a reader takes the cake for bad ultrasound images in the most epic proportions. I’m hoping that my beloved readers at home appreciate the exquisitely limited value of this image. But, surely, any sonographer who values technicality might agree regarding all the ways in which this image sucks (for lack of a more professional descriptor). Read on from one mom!

Mom and Her Horrific Pic

Mama G: First off — loved reading your blog — hilarious! Seeing as you seem to be exceptionally good at your job, I thought I’d send you the image I received from my gender determination image from an elective u/s. I feel like the image is really confusing because I can see what are clearly legs and feet. And then I see the “penis” that the tech referred to, but it looks like it’s in the wrong place.

It was a 15-minute scan, and that included the 3D sneak peek where my baby looked like an alien lol (I was only anticipating the 2D images). He didn’t point out anything that we were looking at other than “100% Baby Boy Pecker” (Yes, he did indeed use the word pecker…in front of my mom and grandma no less!). I just thought his feet were at the top of the screen and couldn’t understand why the penis looked like it was far from where it seemed his legs meet his body! lol Is this even a good image to determine gender? I wish I could’ve gotten a good ol’ between the legs shot like the ones on your blog!


wwavb:  Holy cow! Probably the worst ultrasound image of gender I’ve ever seen! As I am reading this, I am laughing hysterically at your own hilarious comments, AND in total disbelief at the level of bad here. Let me count the ways. Before I go on, let me say THANK YOU for your lovely comments, thank you for reading, and thanks for subscribing to my blog! I hope you’ll continue to enjoy hours upon hours of laughter and insightful words of wisdom.😂

First, I can barely discern the legs from this so-called “pecker.” And, you may very well have a pecker pictured, but you sure wouldn’t bet the family jewels on it.🤣 Where he has the arrow pointed likely depicts the end of “said pecker,” and I am imagining that on each side is a bit of each leg. However, Baby’s rear is not well seen at the bottom of the image. So, it would make sense that the feet would be at the top of the screen, right? (Though you can’t see the feet here.) Your photo likely represents a  shot like Baby is sitting on glass and you are seeing an underside view.
Since you’ve already had this done, though, my best words of wisdom for you would be to simply not paint a nursery yet! And, I have to ask — was this in a hospital or doctor’s office? Or maybe it was one of those ultrasound drive-throughs? Don’t get me started on those… Hopefully, this guy doesn’t work for your doctor!
And as for ma and G-Ma, it probably wasn’t the most professional standard of care, and I do try my best to not say “pecker” in front of the grands:) Take this image with you to your anatomy scan. If she’s been doing ultrasound as long as me, she’ll get a kick out of it!

Mama G:  I definitely have not purchased a single boy thing due to how little confidence the tech (and his images) instilled in me. Alas, t’was a “drive-through” elective u/s place! lol. I will most definitely keep you posted as to the gender of my little bean (which will hopefully happen at the anatomy scan should the baby be cooperative). You may absolutely use my email and images for a post — that’d be very cool! Thank you so much for your kind words and prompt reply!


Bad Image Explained

bad ultrasound images, elective gender scans

Compare this photo to the one above for an explanation. Maybe the labels help? The U shape forms around Baby’s bottom, the arrows point to parts of Baby’s legs on each side, and the circle encompasses parts questioned as “boy.” There is just so much wrong with guessing sex here. Aside from a too-bright and unclear pic, Baby’s bottom is too low and legs closed. She may have been earlier than 18 Weeks here, also.
What should a great shot of male gender look like? This.
male fetal sex, male gender, second trimester, 2nd trimester
Can you appreciate the difference??
Mama G sent me a follow-up email with a 200% better image! Now that’s more like it — I think this sonographer knew how to adjust a few knobs;)
bad ultrasound images, male gender

My Best Advice to Curb Bad Ultrasound Images

I do believe anyone with credible ultrasound education and training will be mortified at this image. Yes, there are many factors which go into creating a technically great image, and sometimes the goal cannot be achieved despite the greatest knowledge and best efforts to optimize a pic. It’s like knowing how to utilize all the features on a professional camera to obtain a great photograph! So. Many. Options.
The person operating this equipment very likely had no formal ultrasound training. Scary, huh? I realize it’s not a diagnostic scan. But this is the beef I have with these businesses! They’re happy to take your money in exchange for poor quality by fake sonographers, and they don’t have to disclose this to you, unless you ask. But how many of you know to ask?
*If someone doesn’t know how to operate medical equipment properly,
they also don’t know how to use it safely on you or your baby!*
Those of us with skill who do this diagnostically every day know right off the top whether an image is a good one. But beyond a bad image, the safety limits with regard to power settings must be observed when scanning mamas-to-be.
Spreading the word and educating our expectant population is the current focus of my career. No formal ultrasound education means these operators have no idea these limits even exist! Nor do expectant mamas — and it’s just not right. Anyone with enough money can purchase an ultrasound machine and charge you for a scan. I believe CT and CA have passed laws against this action — FINALLY! But the rest of the country needs to get on board. The uninformed public sea of mamas-to-be have a right to know!
We know you want to see Baby on the big screen.  And we also know they offer you what a medical facility cannot. But there’s a right way and a wrong way to offer you a special viewing session of your baby.
My best advice regarding elective, non-medical ultrasound businesses you’ll find in this link (same as the link above)! Pregnant mamas beware, and do your research before making your appointment at a non-medical ultrasound business! Ensure your sonographer is real with RDMS, or at least DMS, credentials!
Have a similar story? Help spread the word! Email at

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Posted on December 15th, 2013 by

When To Plan Your Gender Reveal Party

Hmm, when is the absolute best time to plan your gender reveal party? That would be AFTER your sonographer determines your baby’s gender…not before! I know parents get excited and family and friends are dying to know what color to buy. However, planning the party before your ultrasound results in, well…not the best planning!

Gender determination is totally dependent on the cooperation of the fetus. Sure, we can push around on your belly a little. Sometimes, a lot. Not everyone, but most patients I have who want to know the sex of their baby want to know yesterday or even better, at conception! They want to schedule their ultrasounds early, as soon as possible. Our schedulers, doctors, and nurses get the question all the time, “Now, how early can we tell the sex?” and “I want my ultrasound at ‘this’ time.”

We are always happy when we can break this super fun news! But it’s more important for patients to go into their examination with a different type of expectation. Expect a good examination. Expect a thorough sonographer who guides you anatomically through your fetus and provides an adequate explanation of what she is going to provide for you for your visit. Your sonographer probably has thirty minutes or less before another patient is expected to show for her examination. So, if your sonographer spends a few minutes looking and she still can’t tell, believe her. She would never withhold this info intentionally.

If with your next exam you are hoping to find out the gender of your baby, I hope your technologist can determine this for you. If she can’t, please don’t blame her, and give that baby a smack on its bum when its born! 🙂

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Posted on December 11th, 2013 by

How Often Do I Get the Gender Question?

A lot! If I’ve heard it once, it’s been a million times. How sure am I? Or “Can you confirm my guess?” For the images below? I’d love to say it’s a definite. But without scanning myself, there is just no way to be sure these images are of a baby boy! And I can’t be completely convinced by these pics alone. Below is an email from one mom and her follow-up response!

Mom’s Email

Mama K:  Stumbled upon your site looking for answers of why I had “3 white dots” and was told boy when other moms I knew were told girl. Here are images taken at 15 weeks 1 day. I was told boy, and I believed it until I saw others with similar images who said they were having a girl. None of my other two boys looked like this, so I’m just curious! 🙂 Thank you!



wwavb:  First, 15 Weeks is still a bit early.  Not that I’ve never been able to determine gender at 15 Weeks, but sometimes parts can still look a bit equivocal. And since I didn’t scan you real-time, I just cannot confirm based on these images! Therein lies the problem with trying to guess sex too early, and this is where mistakes are made. I’ve seen the tip of a penis appear similar early on, and I’ve also seen the clitoris (middle white dot) still appear a little prominent in females at this gestational age.

My best recommendation is time! Your anatomy screen which is usually performed between 18 and 20 Weeks should reveal much more information PROVIDING baby is in a great position to see between the legs. I hope this helped somewhat, and please upload images of that scan to keep me posted!

“His Pee Pee” may turn out to be “Her Hoo Hoo”…Hoo writes this stuff anyway?

Mama K’s Update!

Drumroll, please…

male gender, gender question

Mama K: Hello! Just wanted to update you with my recent scan. It’s a boy! Super happy to be having our third boy 🙂
 wwavb:  Congrats! Now THAT looks like a boy! 🙂 Merry Christmas and enjoy your baby boy!
Wow, what a difference a few weeks makes!
Email your ultrasound pics to

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Posted on December 9th, 2013 by

Expectant parents who pay for elective ultrasounds at a nearby drive-through may not get exactly what they are seeking – a definite on the fetal gender front. Take my reader in today’s post, for example. She was 16 Weeks pregnant. Even though guessing sex proves not the impossible task on every 16-Weeker, it is difficult on most that age. My best advice comes down to waiting for the sake of accuracy – the exact opposite of what any anxious mom wants to do. Elective ultrasounds – is it really worth the money? Here’s one reader’s experience who probably will beg to differ.

One Mom’s Email About Elective Ultrasounds

Mom:  Got this elective ultrasound done at 16w2d – sonographer said she was 80% sure girl but had a hard time finding this shot. Just felt like she was throwing something out there for us to go on. She also reminded us that it was early, and I should wait until my 20 Week scan to be sure before buying pink. Well, because of the holidays, I can’t get in until after the New Year to do my scan at 22+ Weeks, and it’s driving me crazy now. I spent $100 on this for her to tell me 80%. I’ve been looking at other pictures and reading and just wondering what you think.  THANK YOU SO MUCH!

elective ultrasounds, 16 weeks pregnant

wwavb:  Thanks for reading my blog and for your question! First of all, and this is just my professional opinion, no one should be offering gender determination scans at 16 Weeks. She’s absolutely right…it is early, so it would have been better to explain this first and then recommend you wait a couple of weeks more for the best chance of determination.

No one can guarantee gender 100% at any gestational age (NOTHING in medicine is 100%), especially not at 16 Weeks. It’s not that you can’t ever make a determination at 16 Weeks. But it’s definitely harder than at 20 or 22 Weeks (providing Baby cooperates!). Also, I never give percentages. Either I can tell or I can’t. No guessing! When a patient asks me to guess I always say, “Do you want me to guess or do you want me to be right?”

I can tell you that ultrasound is tricky! Trying to determine sex from someone else’s frozen shot without scanning you real-time is only a guess. Your sonographer should not have added the annotation of girl then tell you to wait for the next scan. She probably felt it was a girl and just didn’t want to commit due to your gestational age. What the image demonstrates where the arrow is pointed LOOKS like three little white lines. I would say this appearance resembles female genitalia. So, based solely on the image, I would have to say Team Pink has it.


The best advice I can give anyone in these circumstances is to buy pink if you really want to start shopping. However, keep the receipts and hold off on painting a nursery until your diagnostic scan can confidently confirm! I personally don’t want to guess incorrectly. Furthermore, I don’t want to cause anyone the distress moms feel when someone guesses incorrectly.

It’s too bad these guys don’t feel the same. If they did, they wouldn’t scan their customers at 12 Weeks. In the whole baby game, is it fair to charge someone any price for something you can’t guarantee? Or is it highway robbery because you advertise that you can?


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Posted on December 4th, 2013 by

Everyone needs great gender surprise ideas!

This one is geared toward Christmas! In the season of gift giving and in the same spirit, my patients choose every year to keep a gender surprise secret. And there it remains, under wraps, until Christmas morning.

Maybe you’ve already heard of hundreds of couples doing this, but it’s really a cute idea, isn’t it? Whether you plan the gift for the two of you together or plan to share it with family, it’s a special way to spend a special holiday. Waking up with the excitement of a child and opening the envelope together to find out whether your future will be filled with sugar and spice or puppy dog tails is most definitely a way to make the holiday memorable.

Parents have also opted for hanging the sealed envelope on the tree as an ornament. Regardless, the same instructions apply…no peeking!

I always have parents turn their heads to the wall with great anticipation. There is usually one per couple who isn’t trusted to hide his/her eyes…and the other always threatens the first not to look. It’s so comical to watch them. Maybe you can imagine, or have otherwise lived, the scenario yourself. Hopefully, I can make the determination, take a pic or two. I then wrap them and wrap them and wrap them as if it’s a gift to wait under my own tree! I tuck it neatly in a little envelope on which Congratulations! is scribbled. This is always such a fun part of what I do. I imagine their excitement that morning, and it always makes me smile!

gender surprise

If you are looking for some clever way to share the surprise, this is a great one! And if I do your scan, don’t even try to hold it up to the light…it’s totally, completely, and 100% peek proof!

Have a unique way of sharing gender that you’d like me to share on this site?
Email your idea to!

Happy Holidays!


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Posted on November 26th, 2013 by

Your Nub Theory Update!

And the winner in this nub theory update is…PINK!

20 Weeks pregnant, nub theory update


If you recall, the image below is what Mom sent to me initially.

Jena's Sweet Pea

mom:  Great news!! You were right – it’s a girl!! I was having such bad anxiety and excitement all at the same time that I decided to go get a 3D/4D ultrasound during my lunch break on Monday, and it was very clear it was a girl.

Good thing I did it before the Thanksgiving holiday because my second appointment got
rescheduled now for the beginning of December.

We can tell our families at Thanksgiving – Yay!! Go TEAM Pink! Thank you!

wwavb:  Congrats!! Yes, I hope you will enjoy all those dance recitals as much as I did! 🙂
mom:  I’m assuming by 20 Weeks, it’s very obvious if there’s a predominant penis or vagina, right? I’m just still in shock. It looked very obvious to me to be a vagina. So a very little swollen clitoris and the side lines were very thin.
wwavb:  Sounds like what you are describing matches what we look for in girl parts. By 20 Weeks, external genitalia is very easily seen providing baby is in a great position! And, yes, a small scrotal sac and penis should be easily seen in boys. The labia and clitoris (we can’t see the vagina!) usually look like 3 white dots or lines at that gestational age. Baby has very little fat in her skin right now so her labia will plump up and she will have much more recognizable girl stuff later!
mom:  It’s been such a blessing to have crossed paths. I truly LOVE reading your blog, and I would have to agree you capture a reader’s attention just like Carrie Bradshaw. Lord knows, most girls/women love some good ol’ Sex and the City!
*(I have to add here that my younger daughter who LOVES SATC referred
to me as the Carrie Bradshaw for pregnant women! Hilarious!)*
wwavb:  So sweet of you to say, and I’m SO happy to help! And, yes, the image you sent could not look any more girly than it does!! Congrats again!!!!!!!!
I loved to help my patients when I could. Now, I love to help my readers in any way I can, as well! My goal is to educate and inform. If we can have a little fun along the way, so be it!
If I can help you, please let me know how!
Just email

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Posted on November 16th, 2013 by

Week 12 Gender Guesses

Okay, so, if any of you have read my blog for a bit, you know how I feel about Week 12 gender guesses! Read on for this mom’s question and my reply…

mom: Hi! Any thoughts on the gender of our little one? This is around the middle of Week 12. We’ll be going in for the anatomy scan next Thursday at 20.4 Weeks. I look forward to your response.

Week 12 gender
wwavb: Congrats on your little one! Great pic and he/she looks like a keeper;)
Well, let me say that both boys and girls each have similar external genitalia at this gestational age. But the thought is that the tissue in a boy sticks up and the tissue in a girl sticks out (parallel with the spine).  Here is a link to The Nub Theory for more information on this somewhat-but-not-wholly-reliable theory.
We began to perform scans at 12 Weeks on a regular basis a few years ago as a part of genetic testing.  And I have to say that criteria for up or out held true for almost two years…except for one patient! I had a patient whose baby looked exactly like the one shown here, so I predicted a possible girl. However, much to our surprise, a very definite penis was present at 18 Weeks, and she did deliver a boy!
Nothing’s 100%! Even an amnio is 99% reliable for gender. However, if we base a guess on the position of this nub, pink tutus may be in your future!
Let me know what next Thursday reveals!
Many blessings for you all!
wwavblogger, RDMS
mom: Thanks so MUCH for your response! I will definitely keep you posted and appreciate your honesty. Have a great weekend! 🙂

This mom wrote me back the following week to share her baby’s gender! Wanna guess pink or blue?

Click here to find out!
(I can’t give away all my secrets, can I?)

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