10 November 2010 | Mr Mohamed Abdel-Aal | Consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist
It has always been a favourite past time for pregnant women to guess the sex of their unborn baby... is it a boy or a girl?
While you can definitely find out about the sex of the baby through medical tests, it is not possible to correctly predict without the aid of medical tests whether it will be a baby boy or a baby girl. There are certain myths about predicting the sex of the baby.
Here we will take a look at five of the most common myths:
It is believed that if the heartbeat of the baby is less than 140 then it will be a baby boy and if the heartbeat exceeds 140, it will be a baby girl. Although this myth is a popular one there is only one particular study that favours it. The study was conducted at the University of Kentucky in 1993 which concluded that this sex prediction method was true for 91% of baby boys and 74% of baby girls.
Placement of Foetus
This myth is based on the English folk wisdom that boys need greater independence and are carried down below while the girls need more protection therefore they are carried high up in the womb. According to this myth, if you are carrying a girl it will be high up in the belly and if you are carrying a boy the foetus will be held low and down. However, there are no scientific studies or experiments to support this myth.
There have been no scientific findings about this myth. However, in most of the cases, if a woman experiences severe morning headaches there are good chances that she may have a baby girl. This myth has provided fodder for a heated discussion among the obstetricians in the UK but to no conclusion. However, you can say that if a woman is experiencing severe headaches in the morning, there may be higher chances of her having a high blood pressure!
The food myth states that if the pregnant woman has a high tendency of likeliness towards sweets like chocolate etc, she will give birth to a baby girl while a tendency towards salty foods can depict the presence of a baby boy. This myth is particularly untrue because some people like sweets more than others. According to this myth, they may never be able to have a baby boy but this is not true and scientifically every couple has equal chances having either a baby girl or a baby boy.
The activity of a foetus inside the uterus has always ignited discussions amongst obstetricians and doctors. This myth is based on an assumption that boys are more active inside the uterus while the girls are more placid. If the baby inside the belly shows more movements then it will be a boy and if it stays calm mostly, it will be a girl. This myth is also untrue because the movements of the baby inside the uterus depend on many other factors.
Determining the sex of a baby will always be a point of curiosity for parents-to-be. Tests have been developed to determine the sex of the baby but many people still like to rely on some myths about prediction of the sex of the foetus. Although the above myths in medical terms are not true, they still prove popular amongst many expectant mums!
So scientifically how can expecting mothers determine the sex of their baby? There are two methods to determine the sex of the baby. The first one is a part of invasive testing i.e. CVS or amniocentesis (the needle test). If one of these tests is carried out to find out about chromosomal abnormalities then the sex chromosomes can also be checked to identify the sex of the baby (XX for girls and XY for boys). This is extremely accurate however this invasive test cannot be performed just to find out the sex of the baby.
The other most common scientific method is ultrasound scan usually from 16-17 weeks onwards. It is over 95% accurate depending on the experience of the operator. Usually 2D scans are used to find out the sex but sometimes 3D, 4D scan can be useful and fun to watch for parents-to-be!
For further information please contact Mr Mohamed Abdel-Aal on 020 8967 5264 or to arrange an ultrasound please contact the Portland’s Ultrasound Dept on 020 7390 6350.