While waiting until birth to find out whether you’re having a little boy or girl is definitely a fantastic surprise, most people tend to want to know the sex of their baby before then. It’s such an exciting time and it’s hard to wait a whole nine months!
And as any expecting parent will know, there’s a never-ending list of things to buy in time for your new arrival, and knowing the sex can make things a lot easier and more personalized.
Most parents are simply just dying to know and the waiting game can be difficult.
Plus, with gender reveals becoming an increasingly popular thing, it’s a great reason for a family get-together and party.
You’ll want to get your balloons, cake, or streamers (and cameras) at the ready so you can capture that moment when you find out and keep it forever.
But at what point in your pregnancy do you actually find out whether the stalk is dropping off a beautiful boy or a gorgeous girl?
Let’s find out!
Different Methods For Determining Your Baby’s Gender
So, it’s worth noting that there are actually a few different ways that you can find out the sex of your little one.
Prenatal blood tests can get you your answer as early as 11 weeks while some ultrasounds can see sex organs from as little as 14 weeks, however, these are never truly regarded as accurate until the 18th week.
There are a few other options too with varying time scales that we will delve into deeper in just a couple of minutes.
Noninvasive prenatal testing (NIPT) is a type of blood test that can detect several different conditions.
This blood test is usually available from 10 weeks onwards. It is often done to detect any chromosomal conditions that the child may have.
However, it can also detect whether the male chromosome is present in your blood as well.
This test is usually offered to women who are at higher risk of carrying a child with chromosomal disorders. But there are many cases where women of low risk have also undergone NIPT.
It is something that you would have to discuss with your provider as to whether the test is accessible and appropriate for you.
The most common method for finding out the sex of your baby is to wait until your mid-pregnancy scan. You’ll usually have this ultrasound scan anywhere between your 18th and 24th week of pregnancy.
However, they may not always be able to find out for sure.
Sometimes our little ones like to be a little awkward in their placement and technicians can’t always get the view they need to determine the sex of the baby.
And even though your little one starts to develop their genitals from as early as 6 weeks, they can look incredibly similar on an ultrasound for as long as 14 weeks.
In most cases, you can find out the gender during this mid-week scan but sometimes you may have to wait a little longer.
CVS & Amnio
There are other genetic test options such as chorionic villus sampling (CVS) and amniocentesis that determine the sex of the baby too. However, this isn’t usually the actual intention of these tests.
Their general purpose is to test for genetic disorders or chromosomal abnormalities.
You can usually have CVS done from 10-13 weeks while amniocentesis usually takes place between 16-20 weeks. It’ll then take an additional two weeks to receive your results.
It’s worth noting that unless you are at an increased risk of genetic or chromosomal issues it is unlikely that you will have these treatments.
This is because they are invasive tests that do carry a small chance of miscarrying.
Therefore, I really wouldn’t recommend this as a gender detection method alone. It is definitely a much safer option to just wait for your scan.
Technically, if you’re going through IVF treatment, you may know the sex of your baby from the get-go. Preimplantation genetic testing can often be done during vitro fertilization.
During this time your embryo will have had genetic and chromosomal testing where it is possible to determine the sex of the embryo too.
This testing is almost always 100% effective.
However, if you place both male and female embryos in your uterus, then you won’t know which have implanted. So you’ll still need to wait and use one of the methods above to find out for sure.
If you place only one specific gender in your uterus though, you’ll know the gender of your baby from day dot!
Do Gender Predictor Tests Work?
You may have seen a few at-home gender kits online available to purchase and are wondering how effective they are. Well, the answer is not very.
They claim to be able to predict the sex of your baby, but realistically there is absolutely no scientific evidence that supports this.
SneakPeek claims to be 99% accurate from as early as 8 weeks and IntelliGender claim that they can predict the sex too.
But the first has no scientific evidence behind it, and the latter doesn’t even have an accuracy rating.
Then, there are also prediction tests that are essentially old wives’ tales. It’s a fun game to play as you wait and debate which sex you think you’ll have.
But that’s really all it is – a guessing game with a 50/50 chance of being right.
Realistically, you’ll need to wait until the time for any of the tests or scans mentioned above.
Finding out the sex of your baby is a super exciting time. It’s not hard to figure out why parents may want to find out as soon as possible.
Generally, most expecting parents will find out the sex of their baby during the mid-pregnancy scan but it can be determined earlier through testing.