How Can A Sonographer Tell Baby Is A Girl?

During an ultrasound, often we are curious to discover whether our baby will be a girl or boy. But how is the sonographer able to tell? Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer Maureen McGee Karchner, MBA, RDMS explains.
Maureen McGee Karchner, MBA, RDMS

Your question
How can you tell if it's a girl?

The expert answers
Gender is determined by looking between the baby's legs. To determine the baby is a girl, the sonographer should clearly see the labia. The internal female anatomy (uterus and ovaries) can not be seen on a fetus. Usually by about 20 weeks the labia will be visible. The further into the pregnancy, the clearer the labia can be seen.

Female gender should never be determined simply by the absence of a penis. This is the most common mistake made by inexperienced sonographers. Some boys are just not in a good position to see the penis. So again, the labia must be visualized in order to accurately determine female gender.

Sometimes conditions are not favorable to determine the sex. Factors that can make it difficult are obesity, decreased amniotic fluid, fetal position and fetal activity. These factors can decrease the chances of getting a clear view between the legs. So there are times when the sonographer simply cannot tell the gender for these reasons. In these cases, it is always better for the sonographer to tell you that he/she just can't tell, than to guess and be wrong.

Tags: sonogram ultrasound

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