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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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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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 with your questions or comments!

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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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Unknown Gender–To All Except the In-Laws

Is unknown gender still a secret . . .

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

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

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

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

unknown gender, 20 Weeks pregnant

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

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


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

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

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Early Gender Pics

How Accurate Are Early Gender Pics?

early gender pics

Early gender pics can be deceiving. Many of you who want to know your Baby’s sex as early as possible with ultrasound may desperately wish to believe the tempting promises of your street corner 3D ultrasound business. Before you pay your money to one of these places, I encourage you to first read the above link! Some of their employees are not real sonographers–please do your homework first and ask the right questions before you go.

The early fetal parts of external genitalia can look different than they do later on–just as an embryo looks different from a baby or an embryonic chick looks different from a chicken! This is also the reason we do not perform the screening of anatomy until 18 Weeks. Structures like the brain are ever-changing until about that time. Even at
17 Weeks, the brain looks a little different. The same applies to external genitalia–later is most always better.

But Don’t We All Look Different?

Yes and no. Because these parts are just starting to develop at 12 Weeks, both boys and girls have little parts that stick out. Over the next month, your baby’s external genitalia are still developing and changing in appearance. That is to say, boy tissue starts to get bigger and girl parts shrink. Eventually, the scrotal sac and penis take a more recognizable shape, and the labia and clitoris take on the appearance of three tiny white dots or lines. Fetal boy parts can appear different from other boys, just as girls can appear different from other girls. We’re all different!

Please take my word for it. Any guess at 12 – 14 Weeks is simply a guess based on appearance, but that appearance can change. At 15 – 16 Weeks, the parts may be slightly more developed, but it’s still a guess. And SO many factors effect how well we can see those parts. Now, have I guessed gender at 16 Weeks? Definitely! But it had to be someone I was scanning personally, baby had to be lying butt-up in a perfect position with legs wide open, and I had to have a clear image otherwise. It just all has to be textbook perfect and not every patient/fetus is a textbook scan. I might feel confident enough to provide a second opinion of your baby’s gender if you are 17 Weeks with a perfect potty shot!

The Nub Theory and Genetic Testing

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


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You are welcome to email me with questions at any time in your pregnancy. I’ll do my best to answer them!

Please know, a request for gender confirmation should be at least 17 Weeks and later!

Reading an image I didn’t take can be a challenge, and I can never be more confident than the person who scanned you. Especially if your sonographer said she couldn’t get a great shot, I likely won’t be able to tell, either. (Aw,💩 — I hate when this happens!)

Good luck at your next scan, and thanks for reading!



Fetal Sex Determination–Some Want a Surprise

Can Anyone Make a Fetal Sex Determination?

(The short answer is no.)

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

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

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

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


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

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

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Early Sex Determination

When Early Sex Determination Is Just Too Early

I find it comical when people ask me my opinion about gender and then don’t believe it. Especially regarding too-early sex determination. However, no matter how many times or all the ways they ask, too early is just that. Guessing too early leaves too much room for error!

Fetal sex is not well-developed until about 16 Weeks under normal circumstances. In fact, too early in the pregnancy, they both have itty bitty parts that stick out and can all look the same. The Nub Theory is just that–a theory. Only a guess. That’s it. Up, out, perfect image or not–just because said nub looks like it’s sticking up doesn’t mean Team Blue! That said, 12 Weeks is way too soon to guess, way too soon to get someone’s hopes up, and too often equivocal to call a gender guess at this age 99%. Just don’t believe the hype! Can they be right? Of course! It’s a 50/50 shot!

Read the emails from the grandma-to-be below!

grams:  Hi, I subscribed to your blog. I love it. These are my grandbaby at 12 Weeks 2 Days. Any guesses? The baby’s legs were crossed at the 16 Week ultrasound.

12 Week Fetus, early sex determination

12 Week Fetus

12 Week Fetus, early sex determination

12 Week Fetus

wwavb:  Hi! And thanks for reading and subscribing! So glad you are enjoying the info!

Okay, so if you’ve read any of my posts on the subject, you know that guessing at 12 Weeks is like flipping a coin. Just too early. An accurate guess can be made at 18 Weeks IF baby is cooperating! Any guess any earlier is simply a guess, and I just wouldn’t invest in paint!

Best wishes for a healthy grandbaby!

grams:  Thank you for your response! It’s just driving me crazy wondering what those two white ovals are between the legs. Doesn’t look girl or boy. Could it be fingers or an umbilical cord?

wwavb:  It’s definitely external genitalia, but boys and girls look the same at that age! Over the next several weeks, girl stuff shrinks to form labia and all her girly parts; boy parts get bigger to form the scrotal sac and penis. It’s all still developing on the outside even though chromosomally it’s already determined on the inside.

grams:  Thanks for being so helpful. I would think it’s a boy for sure if it’s genitalia! But, not if they look alike at 12 Weeks.

 wwavb:  Sounds like you’re not too far off from finding out. Happy shopping!
grams:  Really … No guesses? I know it would be a guess. I thought the pics looked pretty clear. Everyone thought boy.
This grandma earned an “A” for persistence! But it doesn’t change the facts. The professional verdict was not boy or girl but “too early to know.” It’s just not all formed yet! Could it be a boy? Well, of course! But there’s no way to say for sure by this ultrasound scan.
People have a tendency to believe what they think they see. As long as sonographers guess too early and continue to be wrong (and especially if they’re correct), I will have to persistently defend my stance on “too early” until the cows come home. It’s especially difficult when someone else delivers a “beyond sure” pink or blue guess to excited expectant families.

I’ll say it again!

It’s a guess. Just a guess. It’s only a guess.
There’s just no way to be sure one way or the other!

Weeks 12-15 are just too early for a guess that’s accurate enough to invest in paint–unless you’re going yellow!

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14 Weeks Gender–A Reader Asks Pink or Blue?

14-Weeks Gender & the Too-Early Guess

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

First Email

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

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

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









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

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

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

Second Email

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

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

To anyone who is reading now or in the future, don’t let anyone take your money to guess gender at 14 Weeks. It truly is a guess, and anyone has a 50/50 shot without looking at all, right?! Please be sure to read my post above on non-medical, elective ultrasound businesses. It’s so important all moms are educated on the safety issues regarding some of them.

My best advice is to wait to buy pink or blue and wait to paint. Also, (by all means) ensure you have a real ultrasound professional scanning you.

 Have a great day!

Be sure to email your questions or stories to!

Mistaken Fetal Gender–Please Don’t Guess!

A Mom’s Guilt Over Mistaken Fetal Gender

It’s possible. We’ve all heard a story or two, right? A guess too early in gestational age is one way to ensure mistaken fetal gender guesses. When Baby won’t move from a difficult position, that doesn’t help, either. The message of this post is simple. What I really want expectant moms and sonographers alike to take away from this message is there’s more at stake here than just being “wrong.”

Parents start to identify with being a mom or dad to a new baby girl as soon as you speak the words. Thoughts jumpstart to dance recitals and her wedding day. Dads immediately daydream of the fishing partner they always wanted, or they run out to buy his first tiny baseball glove.

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

How “Mistaken Identity” Affected One Mom:

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

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

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

18 Weeks pregnant, female gender, mistaken fetal gender

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

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

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

The Perfect Male and Female Ultrasound Images

Wanna See Perfect Male and Female
Ultrasound Images?

Look no further!

Here, I’ll clarify what constitutes REALLY GOOD male and female ultrasound images. If you guys read my blog on a regular basis, you already know how many emails I receive from parents wanting a second opinion on gender images only to get a “I’m really sorry, but I just can’t see well” instead of the confirmation they anticipated.

Most of the time, their sonographer gave the nod for male or female followed by handing them an ultrasound image which looked like a snowstorm. I’m afraid it’s just not quite the validation I can support! I’ve posted other great male and female ultrasound images and gender shots throughout the site, but let me add a couple more.

A Beyond-Perfect Male Gender Pic

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

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

I’ve labeled the parts, but I realize you probably don’t need that assistance, either. Is there REALLY any question in anyone’s mind here? I didn’t think so. This baby boy is about 20 Weeks in the photo you see here.

Perfect Female Gender Pics

Second Trimester

22 Weeks female gender, male and female gender ultrasound images

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

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

 Third Trimester

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

38 Weeks female gender, male and female gender ultrasound images

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

Even the most ultrasound-challenged won’t argue with these textbook images of fetal genitalia. Everyone who desires to find out fetal sex wants a great photo of those parts, but second to that is a sonographer who knows when the view isn’t good enough for a guess!

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

Email them to me at!

If you’d like me to review your images, I’ll do my best!
First, please Subscribe then follow the instructions from there.


Looking for a great Gender Reveal Gift?
Check out My Shop coming soon!
I’ll have books and cards you can customize with your ultrasound images, child’s name, and the surprise inside that everyone is waiting to see. Fun!



15 Week Gender–When Bad Images Happen

When 15 Week Gender Images Leave a Question Mark

Terrible images of fetal sex like these kill me. First, I know they could be as easily wrong as right. In other words, the best rate for accuracy for this particular guess is 50%–as good as a coin flip but cheaper! Second, these moms get so excited for what they’re told. It’s just not right! And these 15-Week Gender Pics make the perfect example.

I still can’t believe some of the emails I receive from expectant parents who’ve been promised the gender-equivalent of the moon and stars based on crappy images … and I don’t mean a little crappy. Who taught these people to scan? Hmm, maybe they weren’t taught?

Read more on elective ultrasound businesses here; they’re not required to hire real sonographers.

Moreover, most moms are WAY too early in their pregnancies to receive such big commitments on Baby’s sex. Read below an email from a reader who has experienced this very situation:

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

15 Week gender, unknown gender 15 week gender, unknown gender

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

The first reason lies with my own image for comparison. Both sexes at Week 15 might look like this:

15 week gender, male and female gender

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

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

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

The Anatomy Screen

What’s the anatomy screen?

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

When Is It Performed?

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

What’s the Purpose?

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

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

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

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

True story!

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

Do I Have to Have It?

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

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

Ultrasound is not radiation!

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

What Things Do You Document?

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

Cervical length–we measure the length of your cervix.

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

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

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

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

BPD, HC, anatomy screen

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

AC, anatomy screen

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

fetal abdomen, anatomy screen


And the femur length (FL):

FL, anatomy screen, femur length


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

We document internal organs and other structures:

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

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

How Do I Get Results?

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

So, What About Gender?

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

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


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

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

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


3rd Trimester Female Gender

A Great 3rd Trimester Female Gender Pic!

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

3rd Trimester female gender

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

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

I just LOVE a great ultrasound image. (Wow, I’m such a geek sometimes.)

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



Bad Ultrasound Images Happen to Good People

When Moms Pay for Bad Ultrasound Images

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

Poor Mama and Her Crappy Pic

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

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

bad ultrasound images

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

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

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


Bad Image Explained

bad ultrasound images, elective gender scans

Compare this photo to the one above for an explanation. Maybe the labels help? The U shape forms around Baby’s bottom, the arrows point to parts of Baby’s legs on each side, and the circle encompasses parts questioned as “boy.”
There is just so much wrong with guessing sex here. Baby’s bottom is too low and legs appear closed. Moreover, you know all those knobs and buttons our left hands constantly adjust? Yeah, he didn’t do any of that. It’s also possible that he used old or outdated equipment. Newer ultrasound machines definitely give us better images, but we still have to put in the work to make them pretty!
She may have been earlier than 18 Weeks here, also. Could it be a pecker? Sure! But is it one of the worst images for gender I’ve ever seen? Absolutely.
What should a great shot of male gender look like? This:
male fetal sex, male gender, second trimester, 2nd trimester
Can you appreciate the difference??
Mama G sent me a follow-up email with a 200% better image! Now that’s more like it–I think this sonographer knew how to adjust a few knobs. 😉
bad ultrasound images, male gender

My Best Advice to Curb Bad Ultrasound Images

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

Have a similar story? Help spread the word!
Email at

The Best Time to Schedule a Gender Reveal Party

When To Plan Your Gender Reveal Party

baby gender misconceptions, fetal gender, gender reveal party

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

The Uncooperative Fetus

On more than one occasion, a patient expressed shock and dismay during her anatomy screen ultrasound exam when I stated that I couldn’t determine her baby’s sex. “But my Gender Reveal party is tonight!” Unfortunately, there are SO many factors that contribute to a poor image or an inability to determine sex.

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

We are always happy when we can break this super fun news! But we have to see images like this:

male gender

18 Weeks Male Gender

female gender, 16 weeks pregnant, female gender on ultrasound

2nd Trimester Female

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

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

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The Gender Question–Can You Confirm?

How Often Do I Get the Gender Question?

A lot! If I’ve heard it once, it’s been a million times. How sure am I? Or “Can you confirm my guess?” For the images below? I’d love to say it’s a definite. But there exists no way that I can feel entirely confident that these images are all boy! Below is an email from one mom and her follow-up response!

Mom’s Email

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

gender question, 15 Weeks gender question, 15 Weeks pregnant

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

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


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

Mama K’s Update!

Drumroll, please . . .

male gender, gender question

Mama K: Hello! Just wanted to update you with my recent scan. It’s a boy! Super happy to be having our third boy. 🙂
 wwavb:  Congrats! Now THAT looks like a boy! 🙂 Merry Christmas and enjoy your baby boy!

Wow, what a difference a few weeks makes! This is why I always recommend expectant parents wait until later! What I failed to mention in the original email was that I also couldn’t see anything that looked like a scrotal sac. And at 15 Weeks, it can be SO tiny anyway, but the angle in the first two images is just off slightly. All the right angles make all the difference in how easy or hard it is to answer the gender question.

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Elective Ultrasounds–Do Your Research!

Not Always Worth It

Expectant parents who pay for elective ultrasounds at the nearby strip mall may not get exactly what they are seeking–a definite on the fetal-gender front. Take my reader in today’s post, for example. She was 16 Weeks pregnant. Even though guessing sex proves not the impossible task on every 16-Weeker, it is difficult on most that age. My best advice comes down to waiting for the best chance at an accurate guess–the exact opposite of what any anxious mom wants to do.

Elective ultrasounds–is it really worth the money? You might say “Yes” if fun was had by all, if Baby cooperated, and if you got everything you paid for and more. But here’s one reader who probably will beg to differ.

One Mom’s Email About Elective Ultrasounds

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

elective ultrasounds, 16 weeks pregnant

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

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

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


It’s just like the lady said–16 Weeks can still be a little too early. So, why are they taking money for something they can’t provide? Well, now, that’s the question of the day, isn’t it? My best advice is to simply keep the receipts and hold off on painting a nursery until you feel confident about the guess. I personally never want to cavalierly toss out an incorrect guess. Furthermore, I don’t want to cause anyone the distress moms feel when someone guesses incorrectly.

It’s too bad these guys don’t feel the same. If they did, they wouldn’t scan their customers at 12 Weeks. In the whole baby game, is it fair to charge someone any price for something they can’t guarantee? Or is it highway robbery because they advertise they can when they know it’s a toss-up? And since we’re on the subject of guessing, I think you all can guess my opinion.

Best wishes to you in your next scan!

Feel free to email me with your elective ultrasound stories!

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A Nub Theory Update–One Mom’s Confirmation

A Mom’s Nub Theory Update and Confirmation!

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

20 Weeks pregnant, nub theory update

Mom sent me the image below at about 12 Weeks. Of course, I had to tell her all about how the Nub Theory is a guess, but not one you can base decorating the nursery off of! It can be hit or miss, for sure.

nub theory, nub theory update

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

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

wwavb:  Congrats!! Yes, I hope you will enjoy all those dance recitals as much as I did! 🙂

mom:  I’m assuming by 20 Weeks, it’s very obvious if there’s a predominant penis or vagina, right? I’m just still in shock. It looked very obvious to me to be a vagina. So a very swollen clitoris and the side lines were very thin.

wwavb:  Sounds like what you are describing matches what we look for in girl parts. By 20 Weeks, external genitalia is very easily seen, providing baby is in a great position! And, yes, a small scrotal sac and penis should be easily seen in boys. The labia and clitoris (we can’t see the vagina!) usually look like 3 white dots or lines at that gestational age. Baby has very little fat in her skin right now. So, her labia will plump up, and she will have much more recognizable girl-stuff later!

mom:  It’s been such a blessing to have crossed paths. I truly LOVE reading your blog, and I would have to agree you capture a reader’s attention just like Carrie Bradshaw. Lord knows, most girls/women love some good ol’ Sex and the City!

*(I have to add here that my younger daughter who LOVES SATC referred
to me as the Carrie Bradshaw for pregnant women! Hilarious!)*

wwavb:  So sweet of you to say, and I’m SO happy to help! And, yes, the image you sent could not look any more girly than it does!! Congrats again!!!!!!!!

I loved to help my patients when I could. Now, I love to help my readers in any way I can, as well! My goal is to educate and inform. If we can have a little fun along the way, so be it!
If I can help you, please let me know how!

Week 12 Gender–Email From a Reader

Week 12 Gender Guesses

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

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

Week 12 gender
wwavb: Congrats on your little one! Great pic and he/she looks like a keeper! 😉
Well, let me say that both boys and girls each have similar external genitalia at this gestational age. But the thought is that the tissue in a boy sticks up, and the tissue in a girl sticks out (parallel with the spine). Here is a link to The Nub Theory for more information on this somewhat-but-not-wholly-reliable theory.
We began to perform scans at 12 Weeks on a regular basis a few years ago as a part of genetic testing. And I have to say that criteria for up or out held true for quite some time … except for one patient! I had a patient whose baby looked exactly like the one shown here, so I predicted a possible girl. However, much to our surprise, a very definite penis was present at 18 Weeks, and she did deliver a boy!
Nothing’s 100%! Even an amnio and 1st Trimester DNA testing is 99+% reliable for gender. However, if we base a guess on the position of this nub, pink tutus may be in your future!
Let me know what next Thursday reveals!
mom: Thanks so MUCH for your response! I will definitely keep you posted and appreciate your honesty. Have a great weekend! 🙂

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

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

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