Ultrasound is an examination of a pregnant woman that uses high-frequency sound waves in order to create a picture of the foetus and placenta. Ultrasounds are used throughout a pregnancy in order to track the progress and health of the baby. At the 18- to 20-week mark, an ultrasound can be used in determining the sex of a baby. Ultrasound technicians are trained to look for indicators of gender. With a little guidance, soon-to-be-parents may also be able to point out the indicators of gender to family and friends.
Schedule a doctor's appointment. Most women have a routine ultrasound appointment 18 to 20 weeks into the pregnancy. At this time, the baby is usually large enough for gender to be determined.
Drink plenty of fluids prior to your ultrasound. A full bladder will cause the uterus to push forward, giving the technician a clearer view of your baby.
Go to your ultrasound wearing loosefitting clothes in order to make the test easier. Be sure to ask the technician to show you how to determine the sex of the baby and for a copy of your ultrasound on CD to take home with you.
Place the CD of your ultrasound into your computer and look for signs of gender. You will first need to find a clear picture of the genital area. The ultrasound technician should have pointed this out during your ultrasound.
Look for indicators of a girl. If the genital area appears to have to longer sides with a point in the centre, this is an indication of a girl. The two sides are likely to be labia. The clitoris is the centre portion of the genital area. The labia and clitoris will likely appear to be white on the ultrasound.
Look for indications of a boy. You will notice two small, stick-like structures on the sides and a round portion in the centre of the genital area. These structures will stick out from the baby's body. They are the testes and the penis. If you cannot see the male genitals that you saw during your doctor's visit, click through the images some more. The baby's feet or umbilical cord may be blocking your view.
Compare images. Once you know the believed sex of your baby, you can search the Internet to compare ultrasound differences between males and females. Sample ultrasounds are available on many medical sites. You may also be able to see a sample ultrasound by searching through blogs of proud parents-to-be.
Please keep in mind that an ultrasound is not 100 per cent accurate in determining the gender of a baby. The only way to know for sure what gender a baby will be is to find out at birth.