Prev Article Next Article Having a baby is one of the most miraculous things we can do as human beings, but we are also naturally curious creatures. Blood tests or ultrasounds, but there is much more to the story. Determining Gender in the Past: Fact and Fiction For hundreds of thousands of years, humans beings came up with different ways to determine what the sex of their baby would be. For the record, if you stepped first with your right foot, it would be a boy, and if you stepped first with your left, you were expected to have a daughter.
Also, if the father gains weight during the pregnancy, it is more likely to be a girl. These approaches were not based on science, but tradition and belief is strong. The placement of the baby was also believed to be a trustable factor; a higher baby bump was going to be a girl, while a lower bump signified a boy. Cravings for food were also believed to be indicative; sweet cravings meant a girl, while savory cravings signaled a son on the way.
For example, many people believed that morning sickness in the first three months meant you were having a daughter, while pain in the second trimester was a sign of a son.
However, despite the wide range of these beliefs, the fact of the matter is that reliably determining the sex of a fetus goes far beyond superstition. Chromosomes and Conception As most of you know, sex is dependent on which chromosomes you carry as a fetus. If an egg is fertilized by sperm with an X chromosome female chromosome , then it will be a girl, whereas if the egg is fertilized by sperm with a Y chromosome, then it will be a boy.
Studies have shown that sperm with the X chromosome tend to move slower, due to more mitochondria being present, but have longer lifespans than Y-chromosome sperm, which have higher motility rates. More mitochondria means more energy-producing capacity, which explains the longer survival rate of those sperm after insemination.
Advertisement Therefore, if a woman knows when she is ovulating, and calculates when she likely conceived the child, then there is some reliability in predicting which sex the fetus will be. The best way to learn the gender of your baby is to turn to the experts… Ultrasound Imaging and Blood Tests In the first few weeks of fetal development, the future child is much too small for an ultrasound to help very much, but going in for an ultrasound with a trained sonologist between weeks is a reliable way to determine the sex of the fetus.
By imaging the fetus, a doctor should be able to see a penis or labia, which would denote a boy or girl, respectively. Seeing a labia in a sonogram is more definitive than not seeing a penis, as every fetus develops slightly differently. In recent years, primarily in Europe, a blood test called non-invasive prenatal testing NIPT has been employed to determine chromosome condition and sex of infants. These types of blood tests replaced earlier, more invasive tests, such as amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling.
These tests could determine gender by 10 or 11 weeks, but slightly increased the chances of miscarriage. Parents with family histories of genetic disorders commonly rely on these blood tests, but they are not widely used, especially in the United States.
Generally speaking, determining the sex of your fetus if you want to know!