When Can You Tell the Sex of Babies

3D ultrasound of a developing fetus

In this article, you will find out the answer to the question, "When can you tell the sex of babies"? If you are looking for the answer, it's probably because you are anxious to know if you have a little boy or girl growing inside of you. Read on to find out the ways that OBs determine the sex of your baby.

Answering the Question: When Can You Tell the Sex of Babies?

Your first excitement was finding out you are pregnant and now you wait for the day you can find out if you are having a baby boy or girl. You will be happy to know there are four ways you can find out the sex of your fetus.

  • Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS)

This is the earliest way to detect the fetus' sex. Using an ultrasound as a guide, the doctor places a needle into the placenta through the abdomen or cervix. This procedure normally takes place 10-12 weeks into the pregnancy to determine fetal abnormalities. Chromosomes captured from the placenta make it possible to determine the sex of the fetus, although sometimes it can be wrong. It is important to know that there is a miscarriage risk with the CVS.

  • Amniocentesis

Amniocentesis is another way to answer the question, "When can you tell the sex of babies?" This is a diagnostic procedure to determine fetal abnormalities from 9-18 weeks gestational age. Just as with the CVS, there is a risk of miscarriage, but it is around 1 percent. It is possible to tell the sex of the fetus through this test, but, again, it could be wrong.

  • Ultrasound

Around 12 weeks gestational age, the external genitalia may be formed enough to determine sex. A diagnostic ultrasound is performed around 18 and 20 weeks. Many people find out if they are having a girl or boy during this time. The ultrasound tech will take measurements of the fetus and check for any abnormalities. The tech will then look at the genitals to determine if it is a boy or girl. Sometimes, a fetus may move around too much or cross his/her legs during the appointment, which makes it difficult to tell. In addition, techs will usually caution moms-to-be that they might not be 100 percent certain about the gender.

Some people choose to get a 4D ultrasound, which is a detailed and lifelike look of the fetus. If you are unable to tell the sex of your baby at your routine ultrasound, this may be an option for you. There is usually a cost associated with the 4D ultrasound since it's done at a private facility and you can choose to receive a portrait package.

  • Birth

Waiting until the birth may not be what you want to hear, but it is the surest way to know if you have a daughter or son.

Deciding to Wait Until Birth

If you have decided to wait until the birth or are worried the test you received is wrong, you can still have fun buying things for your new little arrival. Yellow and green are neutral colors to buy for either a girl or boy. You will have no trouble finding these colors in stores because many people buy items in neutral colors, especially for baby showers.

Another option for you is to purchase both blue and pink items. Make sure you get a gift receipt or keep the original receipt. You also need to check with the store's return policy if you buy items far in advance of the baby's birth. Not all stores will return your money after a certain amount of time.

The third option is to wait to hit the stores after the baby is born but keep in mind that you will need some stuff to get by before you feel up to shopping. Every delivery is different with some woman recovering quickly while others take a week or more.

Another benefit of waiting for birth is that you know how big to purchase clothing items. Some babies are born early, needing preemie clothing and others are born later and bigger, needing bigger clothing. Some people find that newborn clothing doesn't fit their baby so they need 0-3 size right away. Waiting until birth will save you time and money because you know exactly what you need.

When Can You Tell the Sex of Babies