Richmond Practice - Gender scan

Gender scan
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How soon can you tell what sex my baby is?

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 small bud or swelling. It's known as the genital nub or protuberance. If you are having a boy, testosterone starts being produced when you are about seven weeks pregnant, prompting the bud to grow and develop into a penis and scrotum. In a girl the genital nub will become the clitoris and labia. This is a gradual process and it is only from about 11 weeks that it becomes possible to see any difference between the sexes. By this stage, all babies have something there but it is difficult to tell them apart, so the chance of getting the sex right is fairly low.

However, an ultrasound gender scan can reveal the fetal sex fairly accurately from 17 weeks gestation onwards. Being told the sex and then finding out later that it was wrong can be very distressing. Unless you need to know the sex because you have a family history of genetic problems linked to gender, it's best to wait until mid-pregnancy.

Consult your gynaecologist/midwife if:
  • You want to know the sex of the baby
  • Your family history indicates genetic problems linked to gender.
At Elsbeth's Doctors our consultant gynaecologists and obstetricians offer gender scans from 17 weeks as a single appointment or as part of the comprehensive maternity care service available. We will give you a copy of the "photo" of baby as a print-out and/or on a USB stick.



Guaranteed 10 min response
(in business hours)

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