How to Determine a Baby's Gender With Ultrasound

Updated April 17, 2017

With ultrasound technology, a radiology technician can easily and reliably predict the gender of a baby before birth. With a few tips, expectant parents may be able to determine a baby's gender with ultrasound as well.

Plan an ultrasound for between 18 and 26 weeks gestation. This is the optimal time for determining the baby's gender. Most practitioners will not schedule an ultrasound merely for the purpose of determining gender, but they will make an order for an ultrasound when expectant parents request one. An ultrasound is considered a routine, safe test during pregnancy.

Call ahead to the medical imaging lab to inquire about recording the ultrasound procedure. Clinics are very familiar with this request. Ask about what type of disk to bring in and any other questions regarding the recording of the ultrasound.

Drink plenty of fluid before the ultrasound appointment. This causes the bladder to push the uterus forward to provide a better view of the baby.

Ask the ultrasound technician not to announce the gender of the baby. Occasionally, the baby's gender will be very obvious as the technician moves the ultrasound wand over the mother's abdomen. If it is not immediately apparent, ask the technician to go over the genital area and pause a little. This is the part of the procedure that will be important to look at later at home.

Slide the disk into the computer at home. Pause the image on the part of the procedure where the technician went slowly over the genital area of the baby. Click through the images slowly until there is a clear view of the gender. If there appears to be a shape with two longer sides and a point in the middle, this is most likely a girl. These shapes are the labia, and the clitoris is the point in the middle. These appear as white areas in the middle of all the grey of the ultrasound. A boy is noted when there appears to be an almost turtle-like shape between the legs that sticks out. The top part is the penis and the lower part, or body of the turtle, is the testes.


Timing is everything. Schedule the ultrasound as close to 26 weeks as possible to get a more accurate view of the genitalia.


Don't base all of your planning on an ultrasound prediction of gender. Even if a technician is very sure of the results, there is still room for error. The only test that is absolutely accurate is chorionic villus sampling. This is a much more intrusive procedure reserved for certain high-risk pregnancies. Lack of seeing a penis in the ultrasound doesn't mean you are having a girl. Your baby's hand or cord could be covering the genital area during the exam.

Things You'll Need

  • Video of ultrasound
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About the Author

Jessica Felix graduated from Western Washington University with a major in Education. Felix has been writing for six years and teaches child development classes to professionals and parents. She is also a certified parenting educator offering coaching and classes to families with young children.