Posted on July 6th, 2017 by wombwithaviewblog.com

Gender Determination in an
Ultrasound Report?

I’ve received questions lately regarding where to find fetal sex or gender determination in an ultrasound report. Can you always find this information in a report?
The short answer? No, not always.
Actually, we mostly do not record fetal sex, and it’s mostly not important to your doc. Typically, fetal sex is not pertinent information to the examination. Though parents may desire it, physicians don’t need the gender determination to manage your care and that of your baby if both are healthy. The above is true for most general OB practitioners in the US. However, every physician practices a little differently, and one can certainly dictate if he or she wants this info on all patient reports (if possible to determine). The case may be different if you are seeing a high-risk OB doc, aka a perinatologist. Their reports consist of much greater detail and may possibly include a fetal sex/gender guess.

Example of a Blank Report

gender determination
In the images of a sample report taken from a monitor, you’ll notice there is a whole host of blanks to fill, but fetal sex is not one of them. On the first page where you see Sex: Other, this refers to the patient. Patient demographics were not entered here, so the Sex option defaulted to Other. We always include your LMP or EDC/EDD – aka baby due date. The larger blue space would be filled with fetal measurements, estimates of gestational age, and fetal weight as they are obtained.

OB ultrasound report

OB ultrasound report
In the pages above, you’ll note the list of fetal organs and structures we attempt to document on a mid-pregnancy anatomy screen. We only fill out the section called BPP in the third trimester when your doc orders this particular examination. And the CVP is usually only filled out when performing a Fetal Echo or detailed heart examination.

Exception to the Gender Determination Rule

There always seems to be at least one exception to every rule. Because the responsibility of a sonographer is to search out structural malformations, we also have to report suspicions of abnormal external genitalia. In other circumstances, we may see particular abnormalities that we might group together, as in the case of certain syndromes. Sometimes, knowing fetal sex helps physicians either support or rule out a particular chromosomal or structural problem. Some of these are gender specific. In the pic below, we have a designated space on a Comments page to expound on our findings. We can add fetal sex here if we feel it is pertinent information to the findings.
OB ultrasound report
In some countries, fetal sex is neither reported nor discussed with parents due to the cultural preference of one sex over another. And some facilities are beginning to incorporate policies against providing parents with this news due to litigious reasons. Unfortunately, such is life in the good ol’ US. Facilities want to limit their liability for guessing incorrectly by simply not allowing their sonographers to guess at all.
So, if you don’t want to know your baby’s sex (or even if you do!), don’t expect your ultrasound report to disclose that information. Your sonographer creates the images and report. We only include what we need and leave out anything we don’t!
Best wishes for happy and healthy!

As always, you can email me with your comments and questions
at wombviewerblog@gmail.com.

 

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Posted on July 5th, 2017 by wombwithaviewblog.com

Baby Gender ~
How Do We Know?

 

Determining baby gender by ultrasound is not as easy a task as most think. Actually, gender misconceptions pertaining to ultrasound are so common that I thought it worthy of yet another post.

Making a male vs female determination requires far more expertise than just sticking probe to belly. And babies do not just automatically cooperate! Baby’s legs need to be wide open and other parts cannot be covering over external genitalia. If so, the chances of holding that “reveal” party are slim to none.

Another common misconception is that we can force Baby to move. I promise you that every sonographer on earth would use a magical “make Baby flip” button. A girl can a dream, but I think this technology lies in our distant future. Unfortunately, babies get comfy and only move into another position if they get the urge. And not a moment sooner!

Determining sex accurately is all about angles. Being far enough along with Baby in the right position is only part of the task…when I’m the one scanning, that is! Most of my emails come from people who want a second opinion. However, most of the time, it’s one I cannot give! Either Baby is too early or the image it’s just plain, well…terrible. In these scenarios, the truth is I just can’t comment on what I can’t see.

Most sonographers don’t mind telling you your baby’s sex, by the way! The problem for us comes when we can’t see what our patients want to know. Even if we explain all the reasons, patients sometimes become upset or angry. I have scanned tens of thousands of babies. Anyone who has scanned as much can recognize when gender is obtainable and when it isn’t.

Tips For Your Baby Gender Ultrasound

So, here are a few recommendations for you to follow before your next ultrasound. No guarantees! But if you are busting at the seams to find out what you’re having, these tips just might work!

  • Try eating or drinking something about 30 minutes prior to the exam. Baby typically becomes more active after eating. Now, I’m not condoning a double espresso and Snickers combo (yummy, yes; smart, no). We don’t want your fetus launching into orbit. Instead, try enjoying a hearty and healthy lunch or breakfast prior to your scan.
  • Keep an open mind! Understand that not seeing the sex is definitely a real possibility. Whatever you do, not planning a gender reveal party for the same day is a smart idea.
  • Don’t shoot the messenger! In other words, your sonographer can only tell you what she sees. If that is an uncooperative fetus or if visualization is poor, she may not want to risk a guess. Remember, that you want an accurate guess, not just any guess. Most importantly, an experienced sonographer knows when not to guess. I so hate it for parents when they get excited about one sex, only to discover differently on a future scan!

Believe me! We would love to do our part to help you plan your party, shop for baby clothes, or decorate a nursery. It’s the most fun when we can! And when we cannot, it’s a real bummer – for you, because you leave disappointed and for us, because we’re (sometimes) blamed as the party poopers.

Textbook Baby Gender Images

I’ve posted these before, but below are a couple of really great images of external genitalia, first boy then girl.

male baby gender determination ultrasound

male fetal sex, around 28 Weeks

female baby gender determination ultrasound

female fetal sex, mid-second trimester

Also, if you send an email asking for a second opinion earlier than 18 Weeks, you may receive the links below to other posts containing very easy, no-mistake pics of boys and girls!

Female Gender Scan

16 Week Ultrasound

Boy vs Girl Ultrasound

Twin Gender Ultrasound

3rd Trimester Ultrasound – Male

Thanks for reading!

You can email me with your comments at wombviewerblog@gmail.com!

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Posted on May 30th, 2015 by wombwithaviewblog.com

How many times has a sonographer pointed out gender to all you readers out there during your sonogram and you respond back with a “Huh, where?” Even male gender on ultrasound can be difficult to discern if other parts are in the way.

Check out this recent email from a mom who had the same problem:

confused mama: Hello! I just recently went in for a gender ultrasound which I was so excited to finally get. I had an uncomfortable experience with the ultrasound technician. The second she saw the baby she said I am 100% it is a boy. She didn’t show me, my mom, or my mother in law the penis or scrotum and she didn’t explain at all. I was 19 weeks and 2 days at the time of this ultrasound. I might be in denial it is a boy but I honestly am confused by the photo she gave that shows the penis and scrotum. I am confused because there are two lines underneath it but in all the boy ultrasounds I have seen, the penis and scrotum look more defined and those two lines aren’t there. It might be the butt, I’m thinking, but I don’t know. Can you please give your professional opinion? I had a friend who is also a RDMS and she said she could not tell the gender. I am debating if I should do another gender ultrasound. Please help.

outside image

wwavb: Okay, so check out the image below.

malepicjpeg2

You are seeing an underneath view of Baby. Encircled in yellow is the cord which is running between Baby’s legs and obscuring parts a little. You should be able to see boy parts a little better with my annotations.

I wouldn’t go for another, especially if it’s one of those ultrasound drive-thru cash cows. Does your friend not do OB/GYN? I felt it was pretty easy to tell, but I would have either not given this image to a patient or otherwise explained the parts.

Glad I could help!
wwavblogger, RDMS

***

I think some sonographers forget that not everyone can figure this stuff out as easily as we can.  Even if you are an experienced certified sonographer but not in OB, it can still be quite a guess for you, too.  After all, experience is the teacher, right? Experience is also the teacher eventually for ANY sonographer who is brave enough to call anything between the legs 100%. Sorry! Nothing is 100% in any testing arena…even DNA and amniocentesis are only 99+%!

As sonographers, if we’re going to take a penis pic, we should at least narrate for our patients if Baby is feeling a little shy that day.  And patients, if you can’t tell a penis from a big toe, speak up! Most of us are more than happy to show you around! And especially when you pay for a 3D scan, you have the right to see it and have it explained; you paid for it!

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Posted on July 30th, 2014 by wombwithaviewblog.com

Male Gender on Ultrasound

What should you expect to see?

You’ll need to look no further than the photos I have for you below — two great images of male gender! This baby was about 19 Weeks and (no pun intended), boy, was he proud! See below:

male gender, 19 Weeks pregnant

 

The image above represents a bottom view if you imagine Baby sitting on a glass table as you look up from underneath. I have all the parts labeled for you. The arrows, of course, point to the wee-wee (my technical term). This pic is about as straightforward a potty shot as you will find.  No guesswork, all boy!

male gender, 19 Weeks pregnant

 

Now this is a side view of Baby. You can’t see his head in this picture which would be off to the left-hand side. Again, I’ve  labeled all the parts so you, hopefully, understand what you are seeing. This time it’s the legs which do not make an appearance here. Not to be graphic but for demonstrative purposes, imagine slicing the body in half lengthwise; this is the view we have right down the middle of the torso.

male gender, 19 Weeks pregnant

 

The penis and scrotal sac from the side resemble a turtle sticking out of his shell.  If you can appreciate the tiny dotted line, you will see it is drawn around the “turtle.”

You can see how parts look different from different angles.  These depict super great images of baby boy stuff…no question, no nonsense, no guessing. Just all boy! Now this is  what I like to see when making a guess!

Compare to the pics in the links below for other great fetal sex images!

http://wombwithaviewblog.com/female-gender-on-ultrasound-2/

http://wombwithaviewblog.com/boy-girl/

http://wombwithaviewblog.com/boy-vs-girl/

http://wombwithaviewblog.com/twin-gender-update/

http://wombwithaviewblog.com/third-trimester-male-gender/

Best wishes for a healthy baby on your next scan!

Also, you can email me at wombviewerblog@gmail.com!

 

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Posted on July 11th, 2014 by wombwithaviewblog.com

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 wombviewerblog@gmail.com with any ultrasound questions you have!

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Posted on April 8th, 2014 by wombwithaviewblog.com

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 November 26th, 2013 by wombwithaviewblog.com

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 wombviewerblog@gmail.com.

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Posted on July 27th, 2012 by wombwithaviewblog.com

How Many Sonogram Visitors are Okay?

Believe me! We moms who are also sonographers know how important your sonogram visitors are to you. You have counted down the days and lost sleep just waiting to see your baby and to find out the gender. Your family is excited, too, and maybe even flew in from another city or state. Visitors during your sonogram are typically allowed. But realize that your uterus may not be the only crowded womb in the house! Your entourage of friends and family may crowd the ultrasound room, too. As a result, they may not be welcomed at the start of your exam depending on the policies where your scan will be performed. Here’s what to do and what not to do on your Big Movie Day.

First Things First!

The most important piece of information I’d like to impart here includes the most important aspect of our job…to make sure your baby looks okay. I would always feel just a tinge of anxiety before setting the probe down on any mom’s belly. A looming fear exists in every sonographer that we’ll discover your worst nightmare. As I casually smear the gel around your belly, you don’t realize that I’m first confirming a heartbeat. All I need is a half-second pass over your baby’s heart to appreciate the flutter. I breathe a sigh of relief and move on with the exam.

We require lots of concentration to make sure we aren’t missing a thing. We have many measurements to take and images to document, especially on an anatomy screen examination. Sure, we can make small talk and usually I do. As a matter of fact, I always enjoyed the “teaching” aspect of my career. Most parents are enthralled and appreciative when I point out all Baby’s organs as I document them, one by one.

Even though we perform this examination every day, it is one of the most comprehensive and detailed examinations in our repertoire. Distractions create a bit of anxiety that we’ll forget something on our very extensive check list.

My Advice Regarding Your Visitors

Most places have limits on how many sonogram visitors you can take into the room for your exam. So you are not disappointed on your big day, call your doctor’s office or facility where the exam will be performed and ask about their policies.

I have found that the best way to approach any entourage is to simply have all other sonogram visitors remain in the waiting room except for one support person, usually a spouse. After the initial diagnostic portion of the exam is complete, everyone else can then join in the fun. At that point, it’s play time and the real work is done. However, this approach is often met with resistance.

We don’t ask your friends and family to wait behind because we are mean people. But, in all our experience, we know that you may have never considered the possibility that this event would be anything but fun and exciting. The unfortunate reality of our jobs is that not all babies are normal, and most parents do not wish to receive terrible news at the same time as grandparents, cousins, and nieces. Such an experience ranks high in the hearts of most couples as an extremely private matter, one they would rather not share with an audience. Ask any couple who has endured this misfortune. Moreover, receiving such devastating news is accompanied oftentimes by shock and sadness, as one might expect. Many couples want time to grieve before breaking this news to family or their other children.

When Visitors Make Our Job Difficult

Most of us moms know how to tune out our kids when the need arises. However, any distraction in the ultrasound room makes a thorough evaluation of your baby more of a challenge. Circumstances that create a poor environment for providing you with the most optimal exam possible are usually caused by visitors. Chatting family members, a fussy or crying child, and family crowding behind the sonographer or touching the monitor all wreak havoc on our concentration.

Additionally, even though most patients understand this concept, your ultrasound exam room is not the place for cell phone conversations. You name it, I’ve seen it! I’ve had visitors on their phones talking gossip, ironing out bills, conducting business, discussing court cases, and ranting about dysfunctional family. I’ve had to ask them to end their calls or to please step outside.

Finally, patients frequently show up for their exams with a small child or children and no one else to take them outside if they become upset. We do understand this is one sonogram visitor you can’t leave outside if you have no help whatsoever. But a screaming child in an 8×10′ room is no small distraction. I’ve found children pulling images out of my machine, opening drawers where needles were stored, and digging in biohazard trash cans which contain the blood or body fluids of other patients. Yuck! I’ve literally stopped my exam so I could wash Little Bit’s hands.

biohazard trash, sonogram visitors

Unbelievable? Maybe, but I can pretty much guarantee every sonographer has similar stories!

Best Wishes for Your Next Scan!

So, all you moms with your big sonogram coming up, I hope you enjoy your experience! I hope your baby is cooperative and you have a sonographer who is engaging. I hope she narrates all your baby’s parts for you and gives you some great pics. Most importantly, I wish you a healthy new addition to your family. If you can oblige your sonographer just a few minutes of pin-dropping silence, she will love you for it! And if you bring another adult with you who actually takes the screaming baby outside, she’ll love you forever.

Email wombviewerblog@gmail.com with your questions, pics, or stories!

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