How to determine male or female fetus genitalia in an ultrasound

Written by shanti hitton
  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Share
  • Pin
  • Email
How to determine male or female fetus genitalia in an ultrasound
Some expectant parents want to know their baby's sex before it arrives. (pregnant #3 image by Adam Borkowski from Fotolia.com)

One of the most exciting moments for expectant parents can be finding out their baby-to-be's gender. Ultrasound technology has made it easier to determine a foetus' gender earlier in the pregnancy, but even then, it's impossible for medical staff to be 100 per cent accurate every time. Certain signs, however, can be excellent indicators that the foetus is either male or female.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

Other People Are Reading

Things you need

  • Ultrasound machine
  • Medical professional to supervise
  • Sample photos of what to look for

Show MoreHide

Instructions

    Look for Gender Signs

  1. 1

    Go in for an ultrasound at 16 weeks gestation, which is the earliest point at which gender can be determined.

    How to determine male or female fetus genitalia in an ultrasound
    A 16-week-gestation ultrasound may indicate your baby's gender. (ward image by Oleg Ivanov from Fotolia.com)
  2. 2

    Look for signs in the genital area that may indicate a female foetus. The labia, or outer rim of the vagina, is generally the most noticeable genital sign on an ultrasound. In the genital area, it is indicated by three small lines in a row.

  3. 3

    Look for signs in the genital area that may indicate a male foetus. You might see a small protrusion that resembles the head of a snail, indicating the scrotum and penis.

  4. 4

    Return for an ultasound, if unsuccessful, at 16 weeks, and again at 20 weeks, and look for these signs. You may just need more time. By 16 weeks gestation, gender can be determined about 85 per cent of the time, according to obstetrician Dr. Michael Applebaum.

    How to determine male or female fetus genitalia in an ultrasound
    Sometimes, it's hard to determine a baby's gender through ultrasound. (Baby image by Yvonne Bogdanski from Fotolia.com)

Tips and warnings

  • Even if you don't notice the presence of either of these known signs, the absence of them could also be an indicator that the foetus belongs to the opposite gender, although you can never be completely certain.
  • Don't fret if you don't see either of these indicators right away. According to Applebaum, it's not only the ultrasound but the foetus itself that makes gender difficult to determine, even for medical professionals. Sometimes the foetus is in a position that makes it difficult to see the genitals. In some cases, gender is unknown until the moment of birth.
  • In the past, the absence of a penis was taken to indicate a female. This is no longer the case, since the foetus can be positioned a number of different ways. Always be sure to check for the "three lines" of the labia before deciding for sure.

Don't Miss

Filter:
  • All types
  • Articles
  • Slideshows
  • Videos
Sort:
  • Most relevant
  • Most popular
  • Most recent

No articles available

No slideshows available

No videos available

By using the eHow.co.uk site, you consent to the use of cookies. For more information, please see our Cookie policy.