How Soon Can You Find Out the Sex of Your Baby?

Your doctor can use different tests to tell you the sex of your baby starting at around 10 weeks of pregnancy. Often, people find out via a routine ultrasound at 18-20 weeks.

When it comes to finding out the sex of your baby, there isn’t one single test that is used for everyone. So if you want to know the sex ahead of time, your doctor can use different tests at different stages of your pregnancy.

But while all of these tests are reliable, they’re not all suitable for everyone. Some of them carry significant risks. For most of the tests listed, finding out the sex is a secondary benefit while the test looks for other information.

The following are possible ways to learn your baby’s sex, from the earliest options.

Non-invasive prenatal test

A non-invasive prenatal test (NIPT) checks for chromosomal conditions like Down syndrome. You can have this test starting at 10 weeks of pregnancy. It doesn’t diagnose a chromosome disorder. It only screens for the possibility.

If your baby has abnormal results, your doctor may order further tests to diagnose Down syndrome and other chromosome disorders.

For this test, you’ll provide a blood sample, which is then sent to a lab and checked for the presence of fetal DNA linked to chromosome disorders. This test can also accurately determine the sex of your baby. If you don’t want to know, let your doctor know before testing begins.

You’ll need the NIPT if you’re at high risk of having a baby with a chromosome abnormality. This might be the case if you’ve previously given birth to a baby with an abnormality, or if you’ll be over the age of 35 at the time of delivery.

Because this is a noninvasive test, giving a blood sample doesn’t pose any risk to you or your baby.

Ultrasound

An ultrasound is a routine prenatal test where you’ll lie on a table and have your stomach scanned. This test uses sound waves to create an image of your baby, and it’s often used to check your baby’s development and health.

Since an ultrasound creates an image of your baby, it can also reveal the sex of your baby. Most doctors schedule an ultrasound at around 18 to 21 weeks, but the sex may be determined by ultrasound as early as 14 weeksTrusted Source.

It’s not always 100 percent accurate, though. Your baby might be in an awkward position, which makes it difficult to clearly see the genitals. If the technician can’t find a penis, they’ll conclude that you’re having a girl and vice versa. But mistakes do happen.

At-home testing kits

Along with traditional methods, some people have a positive experience using at-home kits marketed as “early baby gender blood tests.”

Some of these tests (according to claims) can determine the sex as early as 8 weeks, with about 99 percent accuracy. However, these are claims made by the companies and there isn’t research to back up these statistics.

This is how it works: You take a sample of your blood, and then send this sample to a lab. The lab checks your blood sample for fetal DNA, looking specifically for the male chromosome. If you have this chromosome, you’re supposedly having a boy. And if you don’t, you’re having a girl.

Keep in mind that when sending samples through the mail to an unknown lab there are many factors that may reduce the reliability of the results. These tests tend to be expensive so you may want to consider whether they are worth the cost for you.

Old wives’ tales

Some people even use old wives’ tales to predict their baby’s sex. According to folklore, if you’re extra hungry during pregnancy, you’re probably pregnant with a boy. It’s believed that extra testosterone secreted by a baby boy increases appetite.

There’s even the belief that a higher fetal heartbeat (over 140 bpm) means you’re having a girl. And that you’re carrying a girl if you’re forgetful during pregnancy. Some even believe that you’re having a boy if your belly is low and a girl if your belly is high.

But while old wives’ tales are a fun way to predict the sex of a baby, there isn’t any science or research to back up these beliefs or claims. The only way to know what you’re having is to schedule an appointment with your doctor.

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