Team Pink     Team Blue

Which camp are you?

You’ll find the best images of fetal sex and SO many posts about why we can’t always determine your baby’s sex, when (and when not to) schedule your Gender Reveal party, why 12-14 Weeks is way too early to know “for sure,” how somebody gets it all wrong, and some safety facts about elective non-medical ultrasound bizzes that you may want to know about before deciding to go!

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Elective 3D Ultrasound Businesses

What You Get With Elective 3D Ultrasound Businesses

The answer might surprise you. They sure aren’t going to tell you, so I will! This post calls out to all the expectant moms looking for early gender ultrasounds from elective 3D ultrasound, privately-owned, non-medical businesses. Regardless of what they advertise, please read this first before scheduling your visit! Moms, do your homework. You have a right to know before you go!

3D ultrasound, 3D fetal face, 33 WeeksJust look at this shot! It’s so precious, isn’t it? Who couldn’t fall in love with their little one more and more with every great sweep of the probe? Heck, I fall in love with your baby with every image like this that I take.

We, in OB/GYN healthcare, understand expectant parents’ desire for images like this or early gender determination ASAP, but the safety of you and your baby is the greatest concern for all of us in the field. And because I know your baby’s safety is of utmost importance to you, there are a few important factors to take into consideration before having your scan performed by a non-medical facility.

They are not required to meet the same standards of care as those who practice medicine. Their staff may not be properly educated, and they take your money for promises of gender guarantees WAY too early in pregnancy … when they know it may not be accurate. You have a right to understand that you may not be paying for the quality and expertise you may think you are receiving. Please read on for your own awareness, and pass the message!

Why I Cannot Endorse Most Elective, Non-Medical Ultrasound Businesses

Uneducated Staff

The biggest issue I have with these business is something that may surprise you. They are not required to employ certified staff. Anyone can buy a machine, start a business, and charge you to scan your baby, but they don’t have to be a formally-educated or certified sonographer themselves or hire them.😲😤

Scary, isn’t it??

Some years back, I was mailed a flyer from an elective 3D ultrasound business. The goal? To sell you your own entertainment ultrasound business by offering a franchise and ultrasound education in a matter of days–for anyone off the street with no prior ultrasound knowledge or training. Before this, I had no idea such a business was even legal.

As a certified OB sonographer for 25 years, I can vouch for the level of knowledge and skill we learn initially and acquire over time, through clinical experience and performing diagnostic examinations. Most importantly, our education and experience also applies to the equipment we use to scan you. Anyone performing OB ultrasound should be utilizing the ALARA principle–and any formally educated sonographer knows what this is. Basically, we learn how to optimize power settings in order to use the lowest level needed to obtain a good image. This is recommended by the medical community because long-term effects of ultrasound are still being researched. Someone who is not formally-trained likely has no knowledge of how to do this or even know it exists.

Ask about RDMS credentials (or DMS, meaning they have recently graduated).

Unrealistic Promises for Gender

Now, let’s address fetal sex. After all, most of you who are super anxious to find out if you can shop for pink or blue want to know as early as possible! Most of these places advertise 100% accuracy of fetal sex guesses from 12 or 14 Weeks. This is irresponsible and something they actually cannot do.

They can’t guarantee a gender guess is 100% accurate.
They can only guarantee you a refund if they’re wrong.

I’m sure you many of you wouldn’t consider handing over your money if you knew this is what they meant by their “guarantee.” A guess too early in pregnancy is a toss-up. You are paying good money, and in some cases, a lot of it. More on early gender determination here.

Furthermore, how qualified is the guess if the person scanning you isn’t certified with a level of OB ultrasound experience? Any obstetrician or radiologist will tell you that no ultrasound can be considered 100% accurate. As a matter of fact, even DNA blood tests for first-trimester genetics or amniocentesis cannot boast of 100% accuracy–these tests are 99+% accurate. Ultrasound cannot come close to this degree of accuracy in the first trimester.

My advice to a mom- or family-to-be is to keep an open mind regarding a sex guess too early and to wait for your anatomy screen before investing in paint! Many women talk about the guilt and loss they (and spouses and children) feel when true gender is later determined. Read what one mom had to say here!

That said, anyone can guess incorrectly! But when far enough along and with truly experienced OB sonographers who know when the circumstances are ripe for guessing (and when they’re not!), the chances for an accurate guess rise dramatically!

Equipment Maintenance and Safety

They are not required to maintain safety standards for their equipment. Machines need maintenance to ensure they are performing properly and safely. Cracked probes and cords that are worn, old, and/or not properly cleaned or maintained can be an electrical hazard to their customers. Maintenance is costly, and I just have to wonder how many of these businesses elect to bypass it because they can. You may not necessarily know whether their equipment is safe.

No Physician on Site

Though not a diagnostic exam, a physician is not on site in case a problem is detected. And detecting an obvious problem is much less likely for someone not formally trained.

They Do Not Perform a Diagnostic Exam 

But sometimes they say or advertise that they do. Some of them even call themselves a diagnostic imaging center. They’ll tell you that they’ll scan a little to make sure Baby is okay. I believe this gives the expectant parent a false sense of security. No sonographer can legally tell you your baby appears normal by ultrasound.

Please be aware that no one can call an elective ultrasound scan “diagnostic” in any way! Your healthcare professional must order a diagnostic exam. You must be scanned by a certified sonographer in a medical facility where at least one physician is on site. Finally, an official report must be generated for a physician’s interpretation and signature.

No one scanning in an elective 3D ultrasound business can promise a diagnostic test!

Undisclosed Information

Finally, they don’t have to advertise any of the above! They have no requirements to inform you of any of the issues above. If you ask, they have to answer honestly. So, be sure to ask!

A Message To Those Who Are Not Qualified to Scan!

Make no mistake about it. Waiver or not, if you scan a pregnant woman for fun and miss a problem, you are still liable. You are not trained to recognize these problems or how to handle them. How would you handle seeing something you feel is abnormal or that you cannot explain? What would you say? If you cannot call yourself a formally-educated sonograper, you have no business picking up a probe. Most of us who practice OB every day only get slightly better at breaking terrible news. This unfortunate experience will inevitably be yours at some point.

Moreover, you don’t know how to use the equipment safely or optimally. It takes a bit of artistry, (again) proper training, and experience to be able to create good 2D images–also needed in order to create good 3D images. Providing sub-standard images takes advantage of the customer paying for it, especially when they assume you know what you are doing.

Anyone can set up a 60″ monitor and some comfy seating. Anyone can show you how to press a few buttons. It doesn’t mean you can call yourself a sonographer. If this is your goal, go to school and learn how to do it the right way. Also, it doesn’t mean you are providing a fair service for the money.

Parents, Please Do Your Research on These Businesses!

My best advice for all expectant parents who want to pay for an early gender ultrasound is, first and foremost, to ask yourself if you can truly remain open-minded regarding a gender guess. If you hold a strong preference for one sex over the other, you may want to wait until your diagnostic anatomy screen at 18-20 Weeks for a better chance at accuracy.

Know before you go, people! Call in advance to ask if the person scanning you is a certified sonographer with OB experience and not a former used-car salesman. Don’t assume he or she is qualified to scan you. If not, you would be better off with this elective scan at your doctor’s office instead. A sonographer there is far more likely to detect an obvious problem. And your doctor or another physician would be in-house to discuss it with you and answer your questions.

I’ve made it no secret in my past posts that I’m not a fan of these cash cows. I believe that non-medical personnel should not be scanning pregnant women or utilizing medical equipment.

For the safety of the expectant parent, ACOG, ACR, and AIUM do not recommend elective scans at these sites. 

These businesses were borne of the expectant parents’ desire to see their baby at will, to bond with their baby, and to share with their families a special event. We understand this movie theater experience isn’t something you can receive at your doctor’s office, but the first and foremost concern is the health of you and your baby. I think any parent would agree.

Even though this can be a fun experience for the family, the potential for serious issues is real. We can’t tell you not to go, but please do your homework first! If nothing else, ensure the person scanning you is qualified to do so! Educate yourself, and make an informed decision.

Best wishes for happy and healthy!

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Gender Determination–Is It Listed on My Report?

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, ultrasound report
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, gender determination, ultrasound report

OB ultrasound report, gender determination, 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, gender determination, 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!

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Baby Gender Misconceptions

How Do We Determine Baby’s Gender?

baby gender misconceptions, fetal gender

Sometimes, there are just so many shades of gray between pink and blue. Determining Baby’s 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 a probe to a 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 only in our very 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! Most of my emails come from people who want a second opinion. However, most of the time, it’s one I regretfully cannot give. Either Baby is too early or the image is just plain, well . . . terrible. In these scenarios, the truth is I just can’t commit.

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. And anyone who has, too, 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!

baby gender misconceptions, making baby move

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.

 

baby gender misconceptions, fetal genderKeep 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.

 

 

 

breech fetus, prone fetus, ultrasound picturesDon’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. You can read more about a breech fetus here–it’s merely one of many potential problems with fetal position that can hinder a guess. Remember, that you want an accurate guess, not just any guess. Most importantly, an experienced sonographer knows when not to guess. Neither one of us wants me to guess the wrong sex . . .

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. Poop–I hate when that happens!

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Pregnancy Wives’ Tales for Gender

Are all these old wives’ tales really true?

Well, it depends on who you ask, and if that who happens to be my mom (more on that shortly). We’ve all heard them, haven’t we? The pregnancy wives’ tales for gender which everyone wants to share with you as soon as they know you’re expecting. As a result, maybe you’ve Googled your fingers to the bone researching them.

What wives’ tales do you have to share? I’ve heard them all and can say that NO one tale is consistently true! However, you can’t make your grandmother believe it. So, let’s address a few of the old wives’ tales patients asked me about the most!

The Chinese Birth Chart

Nope, not even this.

pregnancy wives' tales

The Chinese are responsible for some really delicious egg rolls, but I’m afraid their birth chart is not 100% accurate. What I do believe, however, is that I could probably eat fried rice every day of my life.

The Ring or Needle Test

Apparently, this one can determine gender and number of kids you will have . . .

FALSE, but it is still fun to play. If you’re not familiar, you string a piece of thread through the eye of a needle or your wedding ring. Hang it over your belly, holding it by the string end. If the ring or needle moves back and forth in a line, you are carrying a boy. A circular motion means your baby is a girl. The number of different patterns of movement is supposed to define the number of kids you’ll have. Mine was wrong and right. It determined I would have two kids, the first a boy and second a girl. I had two girls.

So, I wonder. How is a destiny of seven daughters determined? Does the needle just make an infinite circle pattern for seven minutes? Hmm . . .

The Drano Test

FALSE! I have no idea where this originated, and I can’t even recall what means boy or girl. I do seem to recall that this clog-clearing liquid was supposed to change color for one sex and stay the same for the other. What I do know is this–you shouldn’t try it! This stuff should not come in contact with your skin and can also cause some caustic fumes which could be harmful to you and your baby.

Heartburn Determines Hair

pregnancy wives' tales

FALSE! Lots of patients with heartburn have bald babies and vice versa. Women often begin to feel the effects of some serious heartburn later in the 3rd Trimester. This is typically because your uterus is growing up as well as out! This puts pressure on your poor stomach, so it has much less space than normal. You feel full sooner when eating, and that pressure causes our much-dreaded indigestion. I remember all too well that Tums turned into a staple of my daily diet with both my girls. Unfortunately, the egg rolls didn’t work.

With ultrasound, hair can be easily seen at the nape of your baby’s neck as long as there is a good pocket of fluid there. If so, it’s pretty funny to watch it float when pushing on Mom’s belly, especially if it is long and thick! Ask your sonographer if your baby’s head is in a good position to see if your baby will have a wig full of hair at birth!

How You “Carry” Signifies Boy or Girl

TRIPLE FALSE! The most noteworthy of them all, I’ve encountered this one most often. I don’t know whoever decided to link these two things together, but they could not be more unrelated. How you carry has more to do with your stature, torso length, belly size, and whether you’ve done this before. The more pregnancies you carry, the weaker the muscle tone becomes. Of course, everyone is different, but Baby may feel a little lower with each pregnancy. And last time I checked, the lucky little swimmer who made it to your egg first still has final say!

Placental Location Can Determine Baby’s Sex

placental location

Understanding Placental Location

Hmm, this is something patients started asking me within the past couple of years–the Ramzi Theory, named after the guy behind the theory. However, it’s been disproven. Furthermore, the placenta can implant anywhere in the uterus. The most common position is posterior, or along the back side of the uterus.

But what about the placenta on the front side of the uterus (anterior)? Or along the top (fundal)? What about the complete previa (covering the cervix and bottom of the uterus)? And there are all sorts of variations of placental location in between–meaning they can be a combo of two or more locations. My advice is not to rely on this one!

The Nub Theory

pregnancy

12 Week Female Fetus

While this one is not so much a wives’ tale, it has been getting lots of hype lately, so I’ll address it. Basically, at about 12 Weeks, external genitalia either sticks up, if a boy, or out, if a girl. The angles and skill of the sonographer as well as Baby’s position all factor into this appearance and guess. You can read more about the Nub Theory here.

At the end of the day, this theory is only about 73% accurate. Personally, I wouldn’t paint a nursery based on 70ish percent…but that’s just me.

A Local Favorite Pregnancy Myth

My mother always swore by this one, and her deep Sicilian roots tell her it’s true. Her little old Sicilian friend down the street, Mrs. Camilla, predicted every one of her children’s and grandchildren’s sexes…by the moon. Mom doesn’t know a thing about her methods, just that she got it right every time. There’s simply no arguing with a sixth sense, right? Or a Sicilian mother. Take my word for it. Don’t waste your breath. Don’t even try.

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Right, wrong, or indifferent . . . share your own experiences with pregnancy wives’ tales and funny stories here! I’d love to read about them and, so would other moms. Just email me here!

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Ultrasound Images–If You Got ‘Em, Share ‘Em!

Email Your Ultrasound Images!

ultrasound images

3rd Trimester Feet!

Got Some Precious Ultrasound Images?

Okay, so what do all you moms-to-be out there do before Baby gets here? Show off your great ultrasound images, right?!

Well, I’d love to see them, too. Email me those shots near and dear to your heart, and show off your little punkin’ to the world at the same time. Baby’s face, profile, 2D, 3D, hands, feet, or even your 4D video clips would all be perfect to post. And if you also have great shots of male or female fetal sex, send those, too!

I’ve personally taken some really great pics over the years. Baby yawning, sticking out the tongue, puckering those lips, and even flipping the bird! Who doesn’t love a cute set of baby toes? How about a ton of hair? If you got it, flaunt it! We moms like to brag on our cute kids, so it may as well start before they even get here.

(Full disclosure! Uploading your images means you consent to my using them for promotion of my blog or future books. As always, I keep your privacy private omitting all identifying info. Can’t wait to see them!)

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Ultrasound Gender Determination

Ultrasound Gender Determination ~
Pink or Blue?

Ultrasound gender determination can be tricky! Especially too early in pregnancy. Or any time they just won’t cooperate!

gender determination

Female Gender 16 Weeks

male gender, 16 Weeks pregnant

Male Gender 16 Weeks

How many times have all you moms out there, young and old, heard the story that goes, “They told her it was a ‘this,’ and they decorated an entire nursery, and it came out a ‘that’! Those ultrasounds are wrong sometimes, ya know!”

A dollar for every one of those comments would buy me my dream cottage on the Amalfi coast! However, I understand why this happens, and sonographers everywhere need to apply more discretion. First of all, you may already know that it’s not the machine that’s wrong. The sonographer or observer scanning you evaluates what she (or he) sees and determines Baby’s sex. The whole process is entirely subjective! And inexperience sometimes causes sonographers to excitedly guess or, otherwise, cave to the pressure from anxious parents. Unfortunately, sometimes guess incorrectly.

Advice Regarding Gender Determination for the New Sonographer

First rule of thumb for any newbie sonographer out there . . . don’t guess! Don’t put a percentage on your guess, and don’t say “I think.” Also, don’t say “It kinda looks like ‘this,’ but let’s wait until next time.” Parents may want you to guess, but they also want you to be right! Just a word of caution here–some patients may become upset with you if you don’t guess. But if you’ve exhausted your bag of tricks and you still are not sure of what you are seeing, you owe it to the patient to explain this. It’s something you have no control to change, and you would rather they not become attached to the wrong sex. Hopefully, they will understand!

Psychologically and emotionally speaking, most parents start to really become attached to one sex or the other. They begin to envision the first dance recital or baseball game by the time the next ultrasound exam rolls around. On more than a few occasions in my career, someone else guessed incorrectly (usually, too early!), and I had to be the bearer of bad news. After witnessing the affects of “mistaken identity” (shock, anger, tears, sadness, guilt), I adopted a personal policy long ago to only offer a guess when parts were obvious. In other words, Baby had to be in a great position to easily see a penis and scrotum or labia/clitoris. Even though my policy upset a number of my patients in the past, I truly believe refraining from tossing out any old guess is in their best interest and can save them some heartache later.

True Story!

One grandmother, so excited by the doctor’s early guess, flew right out and bought thirty-two dresses! Yep, 32. She did so despite the doc’s warning about his level of confidence and told her to wait for the sonogram with me. Fortunately, he got lucky with his baby girl guess, and grandma was a very happy woman (and a little less rich)! However, you can imagine the disappointment in returning all those frilly frocks if doc was wrong. I always hated giving such news!

Please, all you excited moms-to-be, remember your sonographer doesn’t withhold information about fetal sex just because! We’d actually really rather all our babies cooperate quickly and easily! It’s such a bummer for us both when they won’t. You can’t plan all the fun things you imagined you could. Shopping, party planning… And believe me, I always preferred when my patients left my room hugging me instead of cursing my existence. A magic trick to make Baby flip on command? It’s too bad we aren’t bestowed with super powers upon certification!

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Early Fetal Sex Determination

The Myth of Early Fetal Sex Determination

early fetal sex determination

As a sonographer of many years, I know that ultrasound is subjective. But expectant moms seem to continue to be surprised by incorrect early fetal sex determination. And I seem to be receiving more and more emails about this ever-growing problem. Nothing makes me angrier than when another sonographer tries too early to hand out a sex guess! I get angrier still when some businesses make this promise as a marketing ploy.

It just isn’t fair to the patient or customer. I feel these facilities take advantage of pregnant anxious moms who have a desire to know the sex of their baby as soon as possible. After all, it is one of the most anticipated events in pregnancy! However, these mothers-to-be wouldn’t spend their money on an ultrasound if 3D non-medical businesses didn’t exploit that desire. They advertise a promise or guarantee for early fetal sex determination at 12+ Weeks! So, what is the public to believe except that they can deliver on that promise? The truth is they know it’s only a guess. If they guess right, they got lucky. If they guess wrong . . . oh, well. Here’s some of your money back.

Too Ambitious?

I think developments in the technology have yielded a little too much ambitious guessing in the fetal sex department. Resolution has improved so greatly over the years that we see better than ever with the most modern equipment. But just because we can see “a little something” sticking out, in no way or shape or form, means you’ll be investing in blue paint.

I want to educate every fertile, human-growing woman or parent-to-be out there that even the best
ultrasound equipment on the planet cannot differentiate a boy from a girl.

To this day, determination of sex is still dependent on the experience and skill of the person holding that probe to your belly. But also know that a sonographer’s skill doesn’t mean squat when external genitalia has just begun to grow. It’s anyone’s guess!

We have all heard a similar story. A customer pays for an early scan and is told one sex. “Congratulations! I’m 100% sure!” Lo and behold! At the mid-pregnancy anatomy screen (or later), the penis has magically fallen off and now all the sailboat motif and cute suspenders have to go back. Or vice versa. The question I always get is, “How did this happen???”

Loads of Room for Error

So, just how DID this happen?

Easy. It’s the scanning observer’s opinion, but it’s still just a guess. You assume he or she is experienced in making this determination…maybe, maybe not. Especially when this person displays such confidence in his/her guess, you feel sure that they must be correct in their guess. But it doesn’t mean they are; they can still be very confidently and entirely . . . wrong.

This is why!

External genitalia is just starting to develop later in the first trimester, and it will continue to morph and change in appearance over the next several weeks. All babies have a little something sticking out at 12 Weeks. But if Baby is a girl, that tissue will shrink and become recognized as a clitoris later on, with labia seen on each side. If a boy, this part grows a little larger and becomes a penis. The scrotal sac develops over the next few weeks but is still quite small. And we cannot see testicles until somewhere around 28 Weeks (or maybe slightly earlier).

The Nub Theory

early fetal sex determination

12 Week Fetus

Most readers ask if this test has any validity. The answer is “some.” If (and, again, subjectivity comes into play here), if an observer knows what fetal angle to obtain and how to read the angle of the nub, you might have a 70% accurate guess. But that’s a few IFs. The observer also has to know when the angle is equivocal, meaning the protruding part is not one way or the other but somewhere in-between. In these cases, a guess cannot be made. Keep in mind here that even if the angle is perfect, there is still a ~30% chance of an incorrect guess! In other words, it’s not a hugely reliable predictor.

So, What’s the Best Advice?

Later is better! Wait for your mid-pregnancy anatomy screen at 18 – 20 Weeks. Below are great images of typical and normal-appearing external genitalia of each sex at this age:

male gender, 2nd Trimester

Male Fetus

female gender, 2nd Trimester

Female Fetus

If Baby isn’t cooperating, don’t put the heat on your sonographer to guess anyway. Part of a good sonographer’s job is also to know when NOT to guess.

The truth is that no one should be providing a guess for sex determination much earlier than this in pregnancy, especially for a fee. And certainly not with a 100% positivity attached.

Just because someone says she is 100% sure, doesn’t mean she is right.

Business is business. As long as parents will pay for it, someone will take your money and offer a guess. This is the unfortunate bottom line in the non-medical ultrasound business. I’m not saying you shouldn’t go to one of these places. Maybe you just want to see a heartbeat and bond. This is understandable. But I caution you to pay for fetal sex determination earlier than 18 Weeks.

Advice Regarding Early Fetal Sex Determination

All you moms who are thinking about paying for an early scan at a strip mall near you (or anywhere!), please first consider the above info. It might just save you a few bucks and some disappointment later. Alternatively, if you are the kind of person who can remain entirely neutral about any sex guess and just want to have some fun watching Baby move, go for it. Have a blast.

The biggest issue here is our own nagging, relentless, compelling need to know as soon as possible. But more of the same will keep happening. Businesses won’t quit selling early fetal sex determination as long as pregnant moms are buying. Let’s pass the word around, ladies. Just don’t buy what they’re selling!

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Amniocentesis–The Amniotic Fluid Test

Amniocentesis

 Do All Women Need One?

amniocentesis, amniotic fluid

  • Who needs an amniocentesis?
  • When should an expectant mother consider an amniocentesis?
  • What factors help a patient decide if an amniocentesis is right for her?

Some women may need one of these tests to determine fetal lung maturity if your doctor feels you need to deliver early. However, only your doctor can help you make this decision when it comes to first-trimester genetic testing. You can find out a little more about an amnio performed during this stage of pregnancy (some very basic information) here.

The internet is filled with all kinds of misinformation, right? I think most of us realize this and, hopefully, take forums of personal opinion with a grain of salt. However, I read an article last night on a popular parent/child site that I felt was a bit disturbing. We expect more credibility from these sites, but we don’t always get it. Their information should come from a knowledgeable source. Maybe it did, but the author should have been more careful with her words, especially when publishing important recommendations for pregnant women.

So, the article was all about ultrasound . . . a subject with which I’m pretty familiar. She had a few tidbits of information incorrect. But one statement I vehemently disagreed with was one regarding amniocentesis. The author stated that any expectant woman over the age of 35 or with a family history of genetic abnormalities should have an amniocentesis. Should? This statement should have never been printed. Women faced with this option may search the internet for information to help them decide. I would like to think their decision would not hinge on an article found on the internet. In the same respect, I’m sure their readers consider them a reputable site filled with only accurate information.

The truth is that no woman should just hop aboard the amnio train (we use “amnio” for short in the field) without a serious discussion with her obstetrician. Granted, no obstetrician would perform an amnio without discussion and signed consent from the patient. However, I would hate for this article to automatically sway any pregnant woman to believe she needs it. The test and its results are not without repercussions. With that, I felt my next post should expound on the topic to the extent of my experience with it.

Things to Consider Prior to Amniocentesis

Genetics gets quite complicated, and some patients find it difficult to understand all they’re told. For this reason, I won’t go into too much detail about the different types of testing and what they can detect. This is mostly because I do not have this information–I’m not a geneticist. However, your doctor does. Most patients don’t just jump right into having an amnio. A patient is usually first asked whether she wants chromosomal testing.

Desiring this testing is typically based on a patient’s “need to know.” Why do you want the information?  If your mentality is such that you will have this baby no matter what and you don’t need to know anything in advance, your doctor may say first-trimester testing is not for you.

However, if you are the type of patient who NEEDS to know normal vs abnormal, a host of other questions opens up for you. Will you abort this pregnancy depending on results? Or is abortion out of the question? If so, do you simply want to educate and prepare yourself and family for what is to come? If so, this testing may be for you.

What’s Included in Genetic Testing?

Some genetic testing includes bloodwork and/or ultrasound, the NT or Nuchal Translucency test which are all usually performed somewhere around 10 weeks to 12 weeks. It does not always include an ultrasound; that depends on what type of testing your doctor offers. The NT scan requires certification of the sonographer who takes special pains to measure a fold of skin behind your baby’s neck.

amniocentesis

NT test

This measurement, IF it can be obtained, then goes to a lab with your bloodwork. Sometimes the measurement cannot be obtained if Baby is not in a good position or if the image is not clear enough. Recent developments in bloodwork have become more reliable than performing an NT. Some physicians, therefore, no longer offer the NT and only offer the bloodwork. Some docs still offer both.

What Do the Results Mean?

If you elect to move forward, the next thing your doctor may explain is that this testing only determines your RISK for certain abnormalities; it does not confirm an abnormality. It is a risk assessment only. Your obstetrician’s office may perform this testing, or she/he may refer you to Maternal Fetal Medicine (a perinatologist, otherwise known as a high-risk OB doc).

If your results come back as low risk, GREAT! It means the chance that your baby actually has these abnormalities is low. Your next test would then be your anatomy screen at 18-20 Weeks to rule out structural malformations.

If your testing comes back as high risk for a particular problem, it will state which problem along with your risk level. This is where amnio comes into play. The amnio WILL confirm whether your baby really has this problem. You will have to decide whether you want to have this procedure or not. Your doctor will explain the risks and benefits of an amnio. The risks may be almost non-existent for infection and (last I knew of) around 1% or less for miscarriage. The risk may be significantly less, so be sure to discuss this with your doctor. The benefit, of course, is determining exactly what kind of abnormality you are dealing with so as to help you prepare in whatever way you feel is best for you and your family.

How Is an Amniocentesis Performed?

Basically, a sonographer will scan you to look for an adequate pocket of fluid. The doctor performing the amnio will determine whether you have a pocket with sufficient fluid in an area she/he feels is safe to attempt the procedure. Typically, they like to stay away from Baby’s head and your placenta, depending on where it is located. A nice pocket of fluid might look like the image below.

amniotic fluid test

Pocket of Amniotic Fluid

The sonographer will measure your baby’s heart rate and anything else the physician requires. The physician will then clean off the area of your skin with betadine over the desired pocket of fluid (as long as you’re not allergic to it!). You might know it as the orange stuff that stains your skin, but it takes care of the germs. This is a good thing.

amniocentesis

Sometimes she may use a numbing agent for the skin, sometimes not. If not, it’s because she can only numb the skin and not down deep. The numbing agent feels very similar to the needle used to withdraw the fluid, like a stick and a burn and a lot like a bee sting. Since this is the case, some docs would rather stick you only once and elect not to numb the skin.

If you have an aversion to needles, you may want to look away. The needle is long because it has to reach the fluid. Sometimes, your physician will use ultrasound guidance to insert the needle into the pocket of fluid. Once there, the doc will attach a syringe to withdraw the fluid.

This is an example of a syringe.

amniocentesis

Once she has enough fluid, she’ll remove the needle and push the fluid into a vial. The vial goes off to the lab for testing. If all goes according to plan, the whole procedure of performing the amnio will take about ten minutes or so. Pretty quick!

Your sonographer or doc will clean off your skin and add a band-aid over the site. Many times you may even have a hard time seeing on your skin where the needle inserted! Your sonographer will usually measure Baby’s heart rate one more time, and your doc will give you instructions on receiving results.

What If I Really Don’t Want an Amniocentesis?

It’s important to note here that if you do not elect genetic testing and your ultrasound later reveals significant abnormalities, your doctor may strongly recommend an amnio. She/he may also do so in the case where you don’t really want an amnio, but your testing came back as high risk. Your doctor cannot force you to have an amnio. However, knowing what is at stake helps them manage your pregnancy and delivery more safely and effectively.

What to Ask Your Doctor about an Amniocentesis

It’s hard for us to ask questions about something if we don’t fully understand it. We can’t know what we don’t know, right? Some questions you can ask your doctor are:

  1. Why is the testing recommended?
  2. What kind of genetic testing do you offer?
  3. What will the results tell me?
  4. Will my insurance cover this testing?
  5. Who will perform these tests? (Your doc or a perinatologist)
  6. Where is testing performed?
  7. When will I get results?
  8. What are my options after receiving results?
  9. What are my options if I choose not to have an amnio?

Having a thorough conversation with your doctor about these issues and how you feel about them is of utmost importance. And, yes, some genetic testing today can determine your baby’s sex with greater than 99% accuracy. However, your doctor will not allow you the option for sex only. No one should take genetic testing lightly. Opting for these tests brings about other serious implications that you must weigh, as you can see by the above explanation. If you have a sincere interest in the testing (knowing that you may face serious future decisions), genetic testing may be for you.

So, for all the above reasons, one should be careful when throwing out recommendations to pregnant readers about what they need and don’t need, about what they should do or not do. In short, ladies, rely on your doctors for pregnancy advice! No pregnancy site or blog, including my own, can take the place of an informative and knowledgeable conversation with your obstetrician.

Here’s to your happy and healthy pregnancy. 🙂

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

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A Male Baby Gender Guess

What Makes a Male Baby Gender Guess Easy?

The male fetus on ultrasound can be a pretty easy baby gender guess sometimes! As I’ve said before, trying to guess too early can be difficult because Baby is too small. This is true no matter whether you are having a girl or boy. It can be a lot like trying to determine whether a tiny moving bug has six legs or eight without a magnifying glass. You can guess, but you may very well be wrong. However, at 18 Weeks and later, very obvious male external genitalia can be very easy to see and also a pretty funny addition to your scan.

At 18 Weeks and later, obvious male external genitalia can be very easy to see and even add a bit of laughter to your scan, especially when he’s showing off! Poor guy . . . he has no idea just how much we’re invading his privacy!

A mom-to-be wrote me a while back asking me for a second opinion on her images. No problem! I love it when it’s this easy. Check out her images below.

male fetus, male ultrasound, male gender male fetus, male ultrasound, male gender

Can you easily see this baby gender is male?

I wrote her back and annotated the first image like you see below.

baby gender guess, male fetus, male ultrasound, male gender

Even though most people may be able to easily pick out boy parts on their images, it sometimes just doesn’t look like other boy images you’ve seen. Or maybe they look nothing like your other son’s images. This is understandable to me because it’s a different baby and a different angle. No two images are going to look exactly alike! Part of the reason for this is because we all look a little different, boy or girl, right?

As far as angle goes, your sonographer might obtain a total underside view where both femurs appear in the image. Maybe Baby bent a leg just when boy stuff could be seen the best, allowing only one leg in your shot. Other angles might include a shot from Baby’s front or side. All of these angles will make the image look different and maybe even unrecognizable to you.

Some sonographers don’t really explain the image and only throw up an arrow pointing out what makes your baby gender a male or female. Don’t be afraid to ask if she can explain what’s on the screen. Most of the time, we don’t mind at all helping you understand!

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A Case of Mistaken Fetal Sex

OOPS! Mistaken Fetal Sex Happens

Yep, it happens–the mistaken fetal sex guess. It can happen to anyone and sometimes does! We all have heard the story somewhere. A friend. Family member. Someone’s friend’s cousin’s sister-in-law . . .

The truth is that the right conditions can make anyone susceptible to an incorrect guess. Consequently, the discovery of the opposite sex inevitably leads to a roller coaster of emotions! This is precisely why I have always been careful and cautious when throwing out a guess to any interested parent-to-be.

It’s All In the Eye of the Beholder

mistaken fetal sex, wrong gender guess

I have certainly been on the giving end of that conversation. Most of the time, it’s not pretty. The result usually accompanies shock and wonder at how this could have happened, especially with today’s technology. This is the typical feeling. However, still get the feeling that the general public thinks it’s the machine doing the guessing and not the observer. This would be an incorrect assumption. It always has been and always will be the observer who guesses. The machine does nothing without the operator making it happen.

The solid truth is that some healthcare professionals are more experienced and better than others at scanning.

Some docs, nurse midwives, or other healthcare professionals are better than their counterparts at scanning. But I believe all of them in the field would agree that none of them have the skill of a seasoned sonographer. Unfortunately (and unbeknownst to you), some holding that probe are not formally trained in ultrasound at all! Some in the 3D business who are taking a crack at your baby’s sex don’t even come from the medical field. Cue scary movie music.😱

Factors That Interfere With Fetal Sex Guesses

That said, a whole world of other issues can interfere with the guess of someone who is more than qualified to make it. Factors like fetal position and patient size can both make visualization limited. The laws of Ultrasound Physics dictate how well we will or won’t see a particular object. The more tissue the sound waves have to penetrate, the more limited the image will be once those waves make their long trek back to the monitor.

That said, I could sometimes see very well in a few of my heavier patients over the years and definitely struggled in some thinner ones. This is also because air and gas are not our friends in ultrasound. If your intestines are full, it can get in the way of what we need to see . . . even in the thinnest of people! Yep, poop is a problem. But this is typically only an issue early in pregnancy.

One Mom’s Case of Mistaken Fetal Sex

Readers from all over the world email me with their images for a second opinion on fetal sex. This can be very difficult when the image isn’t a great one to start. I always like to play it cautious with my patients and readers. Especially when I’m examining one frozen image, the ability to see from all angles is taken out of the equation, and it’s a real disadvantage from my end. The image has to be technically great, or the guess is simply a wild card. You’ll find one reader’s story below who wanted my opinion, but I was clueless. This baby didn’t look like a boy or girl!

A mom wrote me from India. But I was a bit hesitant with this one. Initially she felt confused. She was 20 Weeks but couldn’t make out typical girl or boy parts. This was the image below. Same for me! The image below is not “textbook” for either sex, though I think most any sonographer would guess “girl” based on this one image alone. Hmm . . .

fetal sex, mistaken fetal sex

I wrote her back saying that her image was not a very clear one but did seem to be a good angle–both thighs are clearly seen in the image and appear to be far enough apart. I didn’t see anything sticking out, so I guessed girl based on that alone. However, I did say that possibly a future ultrasound might be more clear. I closed out apologizing that I could not be of more help.

She wrote me back a couple of weeks later with a correction:

Everyone said it’s a girl again. I was a little disappointed, but now he is here. Blessed with a baby boy. The family is complete now. Wanted to share this happiness with you. Thank you.

I have to say I was a bit shocked that this was a boy, however, I was so happy for her that she got what she wanted. My reply to her:

Oh, congratulations!! This is precisely why I don’t like to try to confirm sex with other sonographer’s images! Sometimes they just aren’t very good and depend on angle and experience. A lack of something in one shot is not a definite girl! Many blessings to you!

***

Now, obviously, we all look different from one another and abnormally developing parts can cause confusion on sonography.  Was this a case of undescended testicles? Was this baby’s penis abnormally small or just out of the angle of this shot? I didn’t scan her personally, and surely can’t say her baby didn’t have normal genitalia, but it just goes to show that angle and skill are everything!

I certainly and regrettably have had my share of patients get angry with me for not making a guess, but I’d rather play it safe any day. And this case is exactly why!

Have you had a similar experience? Feel free to email me at wombviewerblog@gmail.com!

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Deciphering Male Fetal Sex

Male Fetal Sex Determination

Deciphering fetal sex can be a very difficult job, especially when trying to read an image taken by someone else.  Sometimes, it’s a piece of cake! male gender, male gender guess, male fetal sex

So often, when readers send me their images for a second opinion on fetal sex, I just cannot provide a confirmatory guess. This is either due to too early gestational age, too poor an angle, or too poor an image. Sometimes, it is a combo of all three!

Ultrasound is such a different animal because it is nothing like a photograph. In a photo, you can see what’s in the distance or up close to the camera. With ultrasound, we cannot. We can only see exactly what is directly under the probe. It is a 2D (two-dimensional) image only, and we have to move the probe around to obtain different angles to create that “photograph” in our minds. And there are so many variables that go into creating a good ultrasound image.

Since ultrasound is completely subjective and observer-dependent, some sonographers take great images and some . . . well . . . don’t. It’s much like comparing a professional photograph to an out-of-focus, too dark, cell phone group portrait where everyone has red or white eyes. You know, the ones you always see posted on social media?

I am too much of a perfectionist. This wasn’t always a good thing when trying to take keepsake photos for patients because it caused me to run late on more than one occasion! And everyone knows people don’t like to wait in a medical office. It’s just a learned skill and some are simply better at it than others. Some just don’t tweak all the knobs as much as they should. Maybe they were never really taught how to do so very well from the start.

A Poor Image Can Limit a Fetal Sex Guess

Some factors that cause a poor image are just beyond a sonographer’s control . . . like an uncooperative fetus, extra weight around a patient’s abdomen, or a gassy patient. The laws of ultrasound physics dictate that the further sound waves have to travel, the poorer the image. Also, sound does not travel well through air or gas. I’ve scanned heavier patients where I could see pretty well and thinner gassy patients where I struggled to see at all!

That said, I can tell when someone else’s image is not great or when she didn’t work with all the knobs. This can make reading an image snapped by someone else extraordinarily difficult. One image represents only one angle. Scanning real-time allows me to look from all angles possible, where I can subjectively determine my confidence in fetal sex–or whether a guess is too risky at all.

ALL that said, sometimes taking a second guess is easy-peasy! Check out the email I received from a reader about whether her baby is male. Her images didn’t leave much of a question in my mind! She was just over 20 Weeks along.

Can you tell this is a boy?

mama: Hello! I’ve been following your blog, and I was wondering if you could take a look at my baby’s scans and give me your opinion on gender. We were told it’s a boy, but I’ve read that girls can have parts that look similar to boys? I agree that it looks like a boy but wanted a second opinion. Thanks!

male fetal sex

male fetal sex

wwavblogger: LOL No ma’am! Little girls don’t normally look like that at 20 Weeks! I will wager my bet on a baby boy. 🙂 Congrats!

mama: Lol! I wasn’t quite sure, but I’ve had a feeling it’s a boy from the beginning of the pregnancy!

Reader mom: I forgot to mention in my reply to you that, yes, girls and boys can indeed look similar. But this is truer between the 12-16 Week range when parts are small, just developing, and when combined with other factors that come into play which result in limited view!

Did you guess boy?
If so, I agree! Compare the images I’ve edited below.

fetal sex, male gender, ultrasound, second trimester, 2nd trimester

 

fetal sex

Even though it would be quite unusual for this to be a baby girl, I’m still always a bit cautious about guessing fetal sex based on someone else’s image. When I’m casting a vote for Team Blue, I like to ensure I see a scrotal sac which requires a slightly lower angle.

Sometimes, you can obtain both scrotal sac and penis in the same image, sometimes not. I get a slight impression of a scrotal sac here where I placed the circle. The sac at this age can appear quite small, and testicles are not expected to descend until about 26-28 Weeks. This is why scanning real-time helps; it allows me to see Baby at all angles possible while moving and stretching and opening his legs more.

Stay tuned! My next post will be one where a questionable and poorly technical image comes into play. Mom wrote back saying she delivered the opposite sex. Oops!

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The Breech Fetus

Why a Breech Fetus Is Such a Challenge

What’s the worst position a fetus can be in if you want to determine fetal sex? You guessed it! Look no further than the image below to answer this question. The breech fetus compromises most of what both you and I want to see.

What You Don’t Want to See

breech fetus, gender guess, gender ultrasound

This image is really an example of just how much position plays a part in how well we see. This baby (above) is not only lying in a breech position, or butt-down, but baby is also facing Mom’s back (prone).

The wait for your ultrasound exam between Weeks 18-20 and whether you’ll be shopping for pink or blue may have you losing sleep! The LAST thing you’ll want to see is your baby looking like the image above. It spells one word . . . disappointment. If baby stays in this position throughout the examination, the possibility of seeing anything cute is essentially nada.

Below is an example of baby flipped over and looking up.

20wk facial profile, fetal face, gender ultrasound

How much better do you see baby’s face? (Hint–it’s way better!) Here’s hoping you have more luck than this patient did for her anatomy screen ultrasound exam!

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The Nub Theory–What’s in a Nub?

What’s This Nub Theory Thing?

12 Week, Nub Theory

12 Week Nub Theory

One hormonal mama (self-proclaimed) wrote me to ask about The Nub Theory. If you want to know all about it, too, read on!

hormonal mama:  Hello!! 🙂 I just wanted to let you know that your blog has been a complete saviour to me and my sanity over the past few nights. It is brilliant and informative and just what I needed in my hormonal state.

I have one question that I have been searching the web for a definitive answer to, and I was hoping you could shed some much needed light. We had our 12 Week NT scan, and the US machine seemed to be a LOT better than the photos I have seen posted, videos I have watched, etc. We could see extraordinary detail of the baby. The sonographer was checking all the usual parts and suddenly without warning he showed us the perfect potty shot (I was 12w1d).

Now I know from reading that people say they all look the same at this stage. But what I cannot get over was how much the image showed a perfect little penis poking out the top of a round bulbous structure.

I’ve googled and you-tubed 12 Week girl vs boy potty shots, and I just cannot get a girl scan that looks like an actual penis. I’m clinging to the smallest shred of hope that I may still get my girl after seeing this, but it was just so obvious and so so so clear.

Thank you so much in advance for any advice or insight you can give me. I’m so disappointed in myself for feeling gender disappointment. I didn’t realise how much I wanted a daughter (this is our last baby) until I saw that potty shot.

Please tell me honestly; I can take it!!

Yours very gratefully 🙂

PS: I think what you are doing for ladies like me is fantastic. I cannot believe I found you after all my searching for answers! An actual professional who answers silly, hormonal women’s questions! Not a forum full of people who claim to know it all and actually know very little! 🙂

My Response to My “Hormonal” Reader!

wwavb:  Thank you for all the nice words you’ve sent my way! 😉 I appreciate it and am so happy you are enjoying reading my blog!

So, maybe you haven’t yet come across my posts on the subject. Click away! Boys and girls can look EXACTLY alike early on. The link below will give you more information:

https://wombwithaviewblog.com/early-gender-pics/

All that said, it’s okay to have a preference, but we all get what we need in the end. Having another boy means you needed one another for whatever reason!

Reply from Hormonal Mama

hormonal mama: Thank you for replying. I’m so grateful! I have posted a link to your blog on our pregnancy group page. I hope it gives some other ladies peace of mind. (And a good giggle!)

I was recently told by an US tech in the group that there is a “nub” on my image. But I am notoriously useless at seeing them. Would you be able to confirm (or deny) if there are any genital parts visible? All I’m seeing is legs and a cord. I know the angle of the dangle is not a reliable theory (from your blog!). But for someone to say she can see it on my scan, it would be helpful if I knew if it was even visible!

Many thanks again and again! 🙂

12 weeks pregnant, nub theory, male and female ultrasound

wwavb: Thanks so much! I, too, hope they get some useful info and a giggle, also!

Does the sonographer in your group practice OB? Experienced or new to OB? I question because I entirely disagree. Every baby has a nub at this age, but one cannot be sure whether the nub represents boy or girl. If she is referring to the thing sticking out near the butt, that is too large to be the nub in question so my thought is it’s Baby’s cord.

Actually, to see the nub, the plane needs to be centered between Baby’s legs which means you would not be able to see the legs in this view. See the image below:

12 weeks pregnant, nub theory, male and female ultrasound

No legs here! That could be a tiny foot way above the arrow, however.

This tells me the angle on your baby is not perfectly centered and is a little too far lateral, whereby the leg is included in the image. I hope this makes sense! What a cutie, by the way! 😉 Keep me posted!

Final Advice?

I’m so happy this mom realized that everything you read on forums are expressly the opinions of other moms and that they may not be the most reliable source. They can only share their image and their experience–and it’s just not yours!

Moreover, it’s entirely possible to get excellent images at 12 Weeks. If you are one of the lucky ones with these incredible pics, you WILL see something protruding between your baby’s legs. This is because external genitalia is just beginning to develop. This protrusion doesn’t necessarily mean you’re having a boy.

Finally, the angle of this protruding part creates the basis of the Nub Theory, but it is reported to be about 70+% correct. If you do the math, that leaves 20+% with clearly-defined guesses which turn out to be the opposite! I only recommend asking about a guess on your NT scan if you can remain mentally neutral!

Good luck on your NT test! (for healthy, that is!)

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Guessing Fetal Sex–Gender Ultrasound

Gender Ultrasound–Guessing Fetal Sex

baby gender ultrasound

“How sure are you?” I’ve heard this question probably more than any other in my career during the baby gender ultrasound! Sometimes, guessing fetal sex is a big risk and a real guess. Patients want percentages; I just want to be right! Nothing is ever 100%!

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

You can see a few great images of fetal gender here. 🙂

How Sure Are We When Guessing Fetal Sex?

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

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

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

What’s the Answer?

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

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

*And a final word of caution! Save your money during Weeks 12-14! Weeks 15-16 can still be “iffy.” Waiting until 18 Weeks and later is always better!*

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The Gender Scan–Confirming Your Guess

Why Confirming Your Gender Scan Is Tough

I think most of you reading probably would believe that most of the emails I receive have to do with parents wanting me to confirm fetal sex . . . sometimes desperately so. But sometimes determining fetal sex based on someone else’s image in a gender scan I didn’t perform is an impossible task.

I try to explain in my replies that my guess is only as good as the images they send me. Some people take great images; some don’t. And sometimes, no matter how experienced a sonographer, good images are just not possible! When I explain that ultrasound is entirely subjective, this means the person performing the gender scan has total control over the images obtained. The sonographer creates these images utilizing a number of controls to optimize the image. She also uses her own discretion to determine whether she can see well enough and whether what she is seeing looks more like Team Pink versus Team Blue.

All Images Are Not Equal

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

When we scan you real-time, we are trying to see from many angles. However, only one angle can be depicted in one image at a time. I wasn’t there during your gender scan, so I don’t know anything about the variables that could have made imaging difficult.

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

Great Images for Determining Fetal Sex!

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

female fetal sex, 18 Weeks, gender scan

The above depicts an underside view of typical-appearing female parts from about 16 – 22 Weeks pregnant.

male fetal sex, 28 Weeks, gender scan

Male genitalia, late 2nd Trimester

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

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Fetal Gender Determination

Sometimes, it’s just Mission Impossible!

Fetal gender determination is not always a walk in the park for us sonographers. Ultrasound, like many technologies, has its 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 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.

Can you appreciate the difference between the first two images and the third?

female gender, 2nd Trimester female gender, fetal gender determination

Great image of female gender!

female gender, 2nd trimester female gender, fetal gender determination

Great image of female fetus!

fetal gender determination

Um, not so much . . .

Another little fact I’ll add here is that a non-arguable truth of the modality is Ultrasound’s laws of physics. The further 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. For some tips on how you can try to ensure Baby is a little more active during your exam, click on this link!

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!

internet search of fetal abnormalities

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 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.

Good luck for a great sonogram!

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~ * ~

Early Pregnancy Questions–Ultrasound Gender

Your Early Pregnancy Questions Answered
… or Not

You know, I just don’t have all the answers. I know you may not be terribly shocked by this revelation! That said, I get emails all the time with partial tidbits of relative info from which I am supposed to glean an opinion or diagnosis. Sometimes, it’s just not enough to read between the lines, especially with regard to early pregnancy questions or early gender. See the emails below to understand why I just cannot answer some of them!

Early Pregnancy Questions (1)

Vague Mama:  Hi My name is _______.
Here’s my ultrasound.
Thank you in advance.

***

The subject of this email read 12w6d ultrasound. I can only assume this reader was curious about gender, but she didn’t really ask the question. Below you’ll see the images she sent. Can you tell that they are super bright?? Take my word for it; they are! These are the epitome of poor quality. Believe me when I say someone didn’t learn how to scan well.

early gender, early pregnancy questionsearly gender, early pregnancy questions early gender, early pregnancy questions

Now compare those to an image I took below. Even though the baby here is a lot further along (about 20 Weeks), I’m sure you can appreciate the difference in brightness. Even a new sonographer would appreciate the contrast, and you don’t have to be able to read ultrasound to see how different they appear. It’s very likely her images were taken by someone with little ultrasound training.

early pregnancy scan

Great ultrasound imaging can only be taught. Truly. I can only speak from experience! We all were terrible in the beginning of our education! Unfortunately, she was just too early, and the images were too poor to take a crack at fetal sex. I hate when that happens.

Early Pregnancy Questions (2)

Twin Mama:  Wow! So glad I found you. Can you please help with my twin ultrasound? We are confident that baby B is a BOY! However, baby A is leaving us confused. We were told possibly boy, as well. All guesses on other sites say girl. Just so confused. Thank you in advance for your help. Sincerely . . .

***

Nice! This one clearly asks the gender question. However, she didn’t include gestational age, so I have to guess based on how big the baby looks in the image. If you guys know me by now, I do not guess gender before 17-18 Weeks. I’ve only guessed at 16 Weeks a handful of times in my entire career.

Too early = too much guesswork = a wrong guess.
I hate it when this happens, too.

The above represents my professional and very scientific formula on how to incorrectly determine fetal gender. Turns out these babies were 14w4d. In other words, flipping a coin might give you the same percentage of accuracy. And it’s free! There’s not much worse than paying someone to be wrong. Right?!

Early Pregnancy Questions (3)

Concerned Mama: I just have a couple questions I’m hoping you wouldn’t mind helping me with. I just had my first ultrasound abdominally and also had the internal, as well, for dating. My period is very irregular, so I don’t know my LMP. I had gotten lab work done the day before the ultrasound to check my HCG levels. The nurse said they were pretty up there but not yet 14 Weeks.

During my tests, my sonographer would not give me any info. I understand they formally cannot give an official diagnosis, but she wouldn’t even show me the screen. Is it normal that they don’t give you a picture, either? If you could try and answer these questions the best you can, I would greatly appreciate it. 🙂 Thank you so much!

***

So, a non-medical mama may not understand the difficulty here. But, unfortunately, I just don’t have all the information to tell her what she wants to know most. With no images, no measurements, no LMP (Last Menstrual Period), and without her medical chart, I cannot tell her anything she doesn’t already know about her case. I cannot even be sure a heartbeat was seen. And without that all-important data, I can assume nothing.

The only opinion I could really offer her is that it’s really tough to have to wait for results in such circumstances. In this case, my reader had to wait an entire weekend for some answers. Not. Okay! It turns out the pregnancy wasn’t a good one which is likely why her sonographer didn’t turn the monitor her way. This is always a terrible position to be in for the sonographer and the patient.

I really believe patients should never have to wait days for this kind of result. However, giving results depends on protocol–and every facility does this differently. Usually, a radiologist reads the scan and sends a report to her obstetrician. Maybe she went to the ER, in which case the report would have gone to the ER doc first, then to her obstetrician. Alternatively, the scan could have been performed in her obstetrician’s office. But if her doc wasn’t there that day, it’s possible that her doctor needed to review the ultrasound prior to giving the patient her results.

More on Your Early Pregnancy Questions

So, Ladies, just know that sometimes I can’t help you very much, but I always try! Include as much information as you can about your experience, and I’ll do my best to help you make sense of it!

‘Til next time, here’s wishing you a happy healthy sonogram. 😉

Please email me at wombviewerblog@gmail.com with your questions or comments!

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Female Gender on Ultrasound

Can We See Ovaries with Female Gender?

Patients, in general, tend to believe that determining male gender should be very easy anytime, and the only way to determine female gender is the lack of male parts. Wrong! But can we see the uterus and ovaries of a female fetus? Read an email below from a mom with this very question.

mama-to-be:  Is it possible to see Baby’s ovaries and uterus with ultrasound? I’ve read these organs are formed around 20/22 Weeks. I was thinking it was possible to see them at 22 Weeks or later?

wwavb:  This is a really great question, and I’m surprised it’s not asked more frequently! Nope, a uterus and ovaries cannot be seen in a fetus anytime in pregnancy. They are simply too small! Gender can only be determined by examining external genitalia.

***

Second Trimester

See below for great, textbook female gender images!

female gender, 16 Weeks pregnant, 2nd trimester female gender

This image is of a baby girl at about 16 Weeks. Here, you can only really see Baby’s bottom but not her legs. Imagine Baby is pulling her feet up to her nose. Looking up from the underside, only cheeks and girly parts will be seen, right?

Note the three arrows which point to three white lines representing the labia on the outside and clitoris in the center. Sometimes the lines look more like white dots depending on the angle. See the image below:

female gender, 16 Weeks pregnant, 2nd trimester female gender

This image is around the 16 Weeks, also. You can see here how the top labia looks more like a dot and the middle and bottom white echoes look more like lines.

Third Trimester

female gender, 32 Weeks pregnant, 3rd trimester female gender

Finally, we’ll end out this post with a perfect example of 3rd Trimester female gender! At about 32 Weeks, we found this baby girl lying in the best position to obtain this shot. Notice how the white lines have morphed into the labia you would expect to see on a baby girl. Notice, also, the fluid (black areas) around the labia which helps us to obtain this great shot.

As Baby approaches the late 2nd Trimester, she will start to develop some fat in her skin and the labia will plump up a bit. That’s when her little parts look like the image above, resembling the “hamburger” to which most patients refer.

***

I hope this was helpful! Have some female gender images you want to share?

You can email them to me at wombviewerblog@gmail.com.

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Male Gender on Ultrasound–When the Cord Gets in the Way

Sometimes, little boys just aren’t as obvious …

2nd trimester male gender, male gender on ultrasound

… inside the uterus as they are outside of it. Male gender on ultrasound can be difficult to discern if other parts are in the way. And there’s just not much room in there for the plastic Hefty superman cape of the garbage can variety.

I know my patients over the years would have been thrilled to decipher baby parts on the monitor all by themselves. If they could only read that fuzzy gray and white image, they’d feel much more assured of the whole boy or girl thing. How many times has a sonographer pointed out gender to all you moms during your sonogram and you respond back with a “Uh, where?” Well, you’re not alone in that boat. Check out this email from a mom who had the same problem:

Mama’s Email:

confused mama: Hello! I just recently paid for a gender ultrasound which I was so excited to finally get. But 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’m honestly confused by the photo she gave that shows the penis and scrotum. There are two lines underneath it. But in all the boy ultrasounds I have seen, the penis and scrotum look more defined. 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!

male gender on ultrasound, 19 weeks pregnant, male gender, 2nd trimester, second trimester gender

My Response Below:

wwavb: Okay, so check out the image below.

male gender on ultrasound, 19 weeks pregnant, male gender, 2nd trimester, second trimester gender

You are seeing an underside view of Baby. Encircled in yellow is the cord which lies between Baby’s legs and obscuring parts somewhat. His parts in all their glory should stand out a little better with my annotations. I wouldn’t go for another, especially if it’s one of those non-medical ultrasound drive-thru’s.

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.

***

I think some sonographers forget that not everyone can figure this stuff out as easily as we can. Even if a sonographer can boast of experience and certification but specializes in aspects of sonography which are not OB, a guess can still be quite a challenge for them, too. After all, experience is the teacher, right? ANY sonographer who is brave enough (or stupid enough) to call anything between the legs 100% will one day learn this the hard way. Anyone experienced in medicine, or sonography, can attest to the fact that nothing is 100% in any testing arena … even DNA and amniocentesis are only 99+% accurate for gender. As flawed as we humans are, it’s for this reason and the nature of this technology that will never guarantee better accuracy than genetic blood and amnio results.

As sonographers, if we’re going to state how sure we are about gender determination, we should always narrate for our patients when 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 elective scan (I’m not a fan of some of these–please read why in the link above!), you have the right to see the monitor with full explanations. After all, you paid for it!

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Gender Determination–An Ultrasound Skill

Gender Determination Is a Learned Skill

(… for Everyone!)

No matter whether you are a pending sonographer, nurse, or even a doctor, everyone who has ever taken on the challenge of mastering the skill of sonography feels the pangs of difficulty with finding and recognizing anatomy. Then comes the added difficulty of trying to figure out Team Pink versus Team Blue. Gender determination becomes nearly impossible for someone who can’t find the femur (thigh bone), much less discern between a cord and a penis. However, the perks of working in medicine means we get to practice all we want!

As I’ve said before, ultrasound is one of the toughest things I’ve ever learned. First, we watched someone else produce great images. Then we students took the probe in an attempt to reproduce them ourselves. Whew! That proved one of the biggest hurdles … and it doesn’t come overnight. Of course, we all learn at different rates but everyone experiences this difficulty in learning the modality regardless of education level.

That said, read on from an L&D nurse who sent me an image and video clip for a gender determination. Click on “Video” below the image to watch it. I’m afraid I just couldn’t provide a guess based on the information provided. Read on to see why!

L&D-to-be:  Hi! I’m 15 Weeks with my first baby and work in L&D. The perks of working there is we can pull out the portable ultrasound machine and make guesses about gender early! Most of my ladies are thinking that there is a little girl inside there! I have included a video of a booty shot and a still that initially started the “It’s a girl!” notion. I’d love your opinion!

gender determination by ultrasound, unknown gender

Frozen Image on the Monitor

Click to see the Video here!

wwavb: Hi! Thanks for reading! So, since you’re familiar with ultrasound, you may also know that a single frozen shot or video clip may not reveal much to me unless it’s a perfect angle. That said, the first shot looks like a cross-section of an abdomen and the video clip looks like an oblique of the head! Sorry I couldn’t be of more help this go around! Try me again around 18-ish Weeks!

***

In ultrasound, a fetal belly appears more round, and a fetal head appears more oval. I cannot annotate the video. However, I could for the image. See below!

0001eB

So, for the purposes of understanding this image, imagine cutting a down a tree. When you look down at the stump, it’s round, right? Now, imagine this is Baby’s torso; we call this a cross-section.

Hopefully it’s easier for you to see, but I’ve labeled above all the parts I can discern in this particular image. In the back you’ll see the spine, the ribs come around each side, and the opposite from the spine is the front of the torso. I am guessing that we are seeing a cross-section of each of Baby’s arms out to each side, too.

Unfortunately, even though it was too early for a gender prediction anyway, there’s just no way to determine pink or blue unless we can actually see a potty shot! I’m sure those L&D ladies practiced a bit more and eventually found their way to Baby’s butt. It’s just not as easy as we make it look! 😉

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Female Ultrasound–23 Weeks

Yay for Team Pink!

Confirming a female ultrasound image isn’t always difficult. Below is an email I received from a reader hoping for some “sugar and spice” confirmation:

curious mama:  Hi! Please, can you confirm that this is a little girl? Why do the girl bits look so big on this 23 Week 3 Day scan? Thank you!

female ultrasound, 23 Weeks pregnant

wwavb:  So, yep, looks pretty girly to me! Babies are just starting to develop a little fat now, so this is why labia are starting to look more like typical little girl parts. Also, keep in mind this image is HUGELY magnified!

Congrats and have fun shopping for Team Pink!

***

As you become further along in pregnancy, you may notice that the dots you once saw in earlier scans of your baby girl may turn into the image you see above. She’s just getting a little more plump! For a great image of baby girl parts later in the 3rd Trimester, click here.

 

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Third Trimester Male Gender

Male Gender Pics–As Clear As It Gets

Today’s message is short and sweet. Third-trimester male gender can be so easy to see–most of the time! However, we still have to deal with all the other factors that can limit views … like a decrease in amniotic fluid (which naturally occurs) and a much bigger baby than what you saw in the 2nd Trimester during your anatomy screen. The combo usually means Baby’s butt is squeezed up against the uterine wall.

And if Baby is breech? You can probably forget about getting another gender confirmation. We have a hard enough time seeing anything crammed down low in your pelvis. A full-grown fetus is no exception!

So, if it’s a great “turtle shot” you wanna see, look no further than the one below. This baby boy is 37 Weeks here.

third trimester male gender, 3rd trimester male gender

Even though I do not believe this image requires annotation, I’ve labeled all the parts so as to avoid confusion for some. In other words, this pic represents about as clear as an ultrasound image can get! The side view of these parts creates the idea of a “turtle.” Can you see it here? The scrotal sac would be the turtle’s shell, and the penis would represent the turtle sticking out of his shell. Either way, it’s a perfect pic of boy stuff.

One of the testicles can be seen here as a brighter gray and rounded area inside the scrotal sac. The penis, well, I do believe it speaks for itself. Now that doesn’t really need arrows now, does it?

If you’re 37 Weeks, hang in there, Mom!

Best wishes for an easy peasy labor & delivery!

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Twin Gender–One of Each!

Are Twins Double the Fun?

They sure can be, especially if you have one of each! Male and female twin gender determination equals one thing in my mind . . . fun. to. shop! The expense? Oh, let’s not dedicate too much blog time to that topic. All our kids are expensive, no matter what!

What’s the perfect twin gender scenario for many expectant parents? Unless, they’ve already got all boys or all girls, I think you’d hear most declare that to have one of each would be beyond ideal. The image below represents “beyond ideal” twin gender pics at 16+ Weeks. It was a very confident guess, especially when we could compare these babies’ butts side by side!

Obviously, Baby Boy is on the left; Baby Girl on the right.

twin gender, 16 weeks pregnant, ultrasound male and female

 

Below, these babies are 18+ Weeks . . . and still looking the same.

SONY DSC

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

Below, you can see how much different this baby girl looks compared to her brother. No wee-wee here!

SONY DSC

These are GREAT images of gender, mamas! Clear potty shots, no question, no guess work . . . just how I like to scan them!

 

Male Gender–19 Weeks

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!

male gender, 19 Weeks pregnant

The image above represents a bottom view. Just imagine Baby sitting on a glass table as you look up from the underside. I have all the parts labeled for you. The arrows, of course, point to the wee-wee (my very medical 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 that you, hopefully, understand what you are seeing. I realize it’s much harder to look at an image than to have someone right there, narrating it all for you in person.

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 see here–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. So, appropriately enough, patients would always ask for a turtle shot. 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 guess work. Just how I like ’em. And just all boy!

Best wishes for a healthy baby on your next scan!

As always, thank you for reading!
And you can email me with your questions at wombviewerblog@gmail.com.

 

Male AND Female Gender Ultrasound Images

Male and Female Gender Ultrasound Pics!

Okay! So, this is a perfect example of how we can sometimes determine gender at less than 17 Weeks! The images below represent twins and their perfect images of male and female gender! It just doesn’t get better than this. You must remember, however, that not all boys and girls look exactly the same at every week of gestational age; so your baby may look a little different from what you see here. You can read more about why everyone’s images look different from one another here.

These babies dated at 16w4d and depict textbook images for boy and girl fetal sex. They make a perfect side-by-side comparison!

These were very easy potty shots. We’ve just gotta love it when not just one baby cooperates but two in the same belly. These babies hardly made me break a sweat. I’ve even labeled their parts for you. So, hopefully, they make for easy reading for you. Check them out below.

Baby girl, on the left, is showing off only her bottom. Imagine her feet pulled up over her head. Flexible little things, aren’t they?

male and female gender ultrasound, 16 Weeks pregnant

Female, left and Male, right – Twins, 16 Weeks

male and female gender ultrasound, 16 Weeks pregnant

Baby boy, on the right, is showing off his thighs and bottom.

Unfortunately, not all babies cooperate like these. Some babies don’t want to show off the goods, and there’s little we can do to make them move. I know we sure would have many more happy mamas out there if we could!

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