18 – 42 weeks
Is it a boy or a girl?
A fetal gender or sexing scan will determine whether you are having a boy or girl.
The best time to have the gender scan is from 18 weeks of pregnancy onwards, which at this stage is 98% accurate.
Determining the gender is always routinely offered at any of our other scans BUT equally if you wish to keep it a surprise then we can hide this from you very effectively.
About gender scans
The sex of a baby is genetically determined at conception, but during the early development of embryos, they all look the same. All embryos have a genital nub or protuberance. If you are having a boy, the bud grows and develops into a penis and scrotum. In a girl the genital nub will become the clitoris and labia. It’s a gradual process but from about 12 weeks it becomes possible to see a difference.
Many want to know the sex of the baby they are having so they can plan and prepare. We therefore recommend the gender scan is performed from 18 weeks onwards. This carries a degree of accuracy of 98%.
In addition to the sexing of baby, a growth scan of the baby is routinely performed to check baby’s well-being.
It is a great opportunity for you to talk and ask all the questions you need. Our clinical specialists have a great experience and will offer advice as needed.
Ultrasound is safe, there are no known ill-effects, however, we do keep our scan times within recommended limits and do not scan for an unnecessary length of time.
The gender scan
We can do the scan from 16 weeks onwards and you are welcome to know the sex of the baby at any of our other pregnancy scans.
Typically for a boy we look for a penis and scrotum, for a girl we look for labia. Sometimes there can be an issue with the umbilical cord being in the way or legs too close together.
In addition to sexing the baby, we will also measure the baby to check that baby is growing in line with dates. For this, we will take measurements after 14 weeks of baby’s Head (Head Circumference; HC), Abdomen (Abdominal Circumference; AC) and Femur (Femur Length; FL).
We will show you everything we see as we go along, nothing is kept hidden from you and we will give you a picture for you to share with loved ones.
The gender scan results
Each week as the pregnancy progresses, the sex of baby can look slightly different. Sometimes there can be difficulty seeing. This can be due to a variety of factors including mother’s weight and the position of the baby.
We will give you a result when we believe we are entirely satisfied with our decision. However, sexing babies by ultrasound is said to be only 98% accurate.
These images show the different appearances of boy and girl. You can see how different the scan looks when taken early in pregnancy: