Most women have traditionally learned the sex of their baby at the time of the anatomy ultrasound, at around 18 to 20 weeks. Today, most women find out earlier. If you happen to have an ultrasound any time after 14 weeks, usually the sex is visible. Ultrasounds at around 12 weeks can sometimes lead to a guess about the fetal sex (the angle of the dangle), but these guesses are only about 85% accurate.

If you choose to have NIPS performed, this includes the fetal sex so you may be able to find out as soon as 11 weeks’ gestation if you do the test at 10 weeks’ gestation.

Many women choose to not find out the sex of their baby until after it is born, but most women want to know. If you’re planning a gender reveal party, make sure you tell your doctor and your sonographer ahead of time so they don’t give away something accidentally. They can always put the answer in a sealed envelope. If you don’t want to find out until after the baby is born, make sure you tell whoever might do an ultrasound at any time that you don’t want to know; if it’s a later ultrasound, they will assume that you already know and they may say or show something that you don’t want to see.

The scientific ways of determining the fetal sex are:

  • Ultrasound
  • Noninvasive prenatal testing
  • Amniocentesis
  • Chorionic villus sampling

There are also some not so scientific ways that you’ll read about on the Internet. None of these work:

  • Chinese gender charts
  • Fetal heart rate (under 140=boy, over 140=girl)
  • Wedding ring test (pendulum=boy, circle=girl)
  • Peeing on Drano (brown=boy, no color change=girl)
  • Carrying high vs low (low=boy, high=girl)
  • Morning sickness (absent or mild=boy, present or severe=girl)
  • Location of weight (belly=boy, hips and butt=girl)
  • Placental location (right=boy, left=girl)

Most of these are harmless fun, but there are some products on the market that take advantage of these myths. Don’t waste your money.