When Can You Find Out The Sex of Your Baby?

Getting Ready for That Little Boy or Girl

You'll spend your whole life getting to know your child, but one of the first things you'll learn about your baby is its sex – and there are a few reliable methods for doing so. Still, it's a bit of a waiting game. You'll be at least four months pregnant before your doctor will be able to tell you the sex of your baby with any real accuracy. Here are a couple different ways your doctor can determine your baby's sex, plus some fun at-home methods for you to try, as well.

The Ultrasound

Unrecognizable mother with newborn baby son lying in bed

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This is the most common way to detect a baby's sex. You can undergo an ultrasound once you're at 18 to 20 weeks pregnant, or about four and a half to five months.

Even so, it's not guaranteed that your doctor will be able to tell the sex of your baby at this time. The position of your baby in the womb is the most crucial factor in whether your doctor will be able to see its genitals, and it's not really possible for you or your doctor to influence the baby's position.

If your baby is positioned well at the time of ultrasound, your doctor will look to see if a penis is visible, and judge what your baby's sex is based on whether or not they can see a penis.

An Amniocentesis

If you're becoming a mother at age 35 or older, you might have to take some extra precautions during your pregnancy to keep an eye on potential genetic problems. Most pregnant women at this age use amniocentesis to check the baby's chromosomes for genetic issues, and the process can usually determine the sex, as well.

For amniocentesis, your doctor inserts a needle into your uterus and removes some amniotic fluid. This test can take place at aro

und 16 weeks of pregnancy – a little earlier than an ultrasound. Still, amniocentesis is usually performed for the primary purpose of checking for genetic problems, and not just to determine the baby's sex.

Chorionic Villus Sampling

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Chorionic villus sampling, or CVS, also looks at the baby's chromosomes to look for potential problems. This test is usually used to identify genetic disorders or chromosomal abnormalities, and it is done between 10 and 13 weeks of pregnancy.

However, CVS isn't a very common test, and again isn't usually used just to determine a baby's sex.

Superstitious (but Kind of Fun) Methods

If you're too excited to wait for an ultrasound, you might try some of these unproven methods just for fun. But remember that these methods aren't backed by science, and you should make sure in the end to always consult your doctor.

  • The pendulum test: Suspend an object over your pregnant belly, and determine the baby's sex depending on which way the pendulum swings. If it goes in a circle, it's a boy, and if it's back and forth, it's a girl.
  • How you're carrying: If you're carrying your baby high, it's a girl, and if it's low, it's a boy.
  • Your baby's heart rate: If it's 140 beats per minute or faster, it's a girl, and if it's below 140 beats per minute, it's a boy.
  • Your cravings: If you're craving sweets, it's a girl, and if you're dying for sour foods, it's a boy.