Baby gender is a big deal to expectant parents. You may have your heart set on having the ‘perfect family’ you’ve envisioned, with an equal number of boys and girls. Because some couples are genetically inclined to produce babies of one gender or the other, achieving a balance naturally can be quite hard to do. Let’s take a look at the technology involved in predicting baby gender, when you can find out for sure the gender of a fetus, and some scientific methods that allow parents to choose the gender of a future child.
Can You Predict Gender?
There are many astrology books and other fairly non-scientific methods out there for predicting the gender of a baby before conception. So far, none of these have any credible backing from science. Feel free to use astrology charts if you like, but don’t be surprised if they’re not very accurate for predicting the gender of a baby.
Ultrasounds and Baby Gender
Once a baby has been conceived, an ultrasound will be able to tell you the gender of the fetus long before it’s actually born. Some parents prefer not to know, leaving the discovery of the child’s gender as a surprise for the day of the birth. But if you simply can’t wait, you’ll be able to find out the gender of your baby by ultrasound at about 20 weeks into the pregnancy – sometimes sooner. This method depends a little on the posture of the baby – if arms or legs are in the way it can be hard to tell if it’s a boy or a girl.
There are other methods for testing the gender of a baby – even before the gender can be determined by ultrasound, doctors can pick up on the presence of testosterone, which indicates the baby is a boy. Testosterone usually starts being produced at around 7 weeks into the pregnancy if the fetus is male.
Methods to Control Gender
Thanks to new technology, parents conceiving through IVF can now select the gender of the new baby with 100% accuracy. IVF allows doctors to pre-screen the genetics of eggs and sperm before the embryo is implanted, allowing them to choose only sperm which will produce the desired gender. This method is expensive but it’s the only guaranteed way to choose a child’s gender.