As an expecting parent, you may be wondering how long you will have to wait before finding out your baby’s gender. Every parent is different, and while some rely on intuition, others know that a definitive test is much more reassuring.
Looking for a more conclusive answer? There are a few different options available for parents looking to find out the gender of their baby. In this blog, we will explore options like a blood test to determine gender, ultrasounds, and more. Learn how these different gender testing options work, and about their advantages and limitations below.
For many parents, a standard ultrasound is the test that comes to mind when determining the gender of their baby. An ultrasound works by emitting high-frequency sound waves that pass through the body and bounce back to create an image of the internal structures.
The ultrasound usually takes place around the 18th-20th week of pregnancy when the baby’s urinary system and other organs are more developed. But in many cases, the external sex organs are not easy to see during this initial ultrasound. If the baby happens to be turned, or the legs are positioned in a way that makes the gender difficult to determine, you will need to schedule a follow-up appointment and try again.
One thing for expectant parents to consider is that the primary purpose of your 18-20th week ultrasound is not to determine the gender of the baby but to check development and health. Learning their gender is more of a bonus!
Non-invasive Prenatal Testing
Non-invasive prenatal testing, also known as NIPT, is a type of genetic blood testing offered to some pregnant women, typically after their 10th week of gestation. A NIPT will check for common chromosomal abnormalities that the baby may have. The test is non-invasive because it only requires a simple blood draw from the mother, rather than more invasive procedures like amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling.
The reason that the mother’s blood can be used when testing the baby is due to the fetal DNA that is naturally present in a pregnant woman’s bloodstream. A non-invasive prenatal test will analyze a sample of the mother’s blood to detect the presence of certain genetic markers associated with chromosomal abnormalities, such as Down syndrome, Edwards syndrome, and Patau syndrome.
This blood test can also detect the gender of the baby, which may be helpful in cases where there is a risk of sex-linked genetic disorders. NIPT is a highly accurate screening test, with detection rates of 99% or higher for the conditions it screens for.
Regarding testing results related to abnormalities, it is important to note that NIPT is a screening test, not a diagnostic test, and any positive results should be confirmed with more invasive diagnostic tests before any decisions are made about the pregnancy.
Invasive Prenatal Genetic Testing
Aside from NIPT, other types of prenatal genetic testing can detect a baby’s gender. These other prenatal genetic tests are considered invasive and are never utilized solely to determine gender, but they can do so, in addition to their main purpose of detecting abnormalities.
The most common invasive prenatal genetic tests are Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS) and Amniocentesis.
Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS)
The CVS procedure is typically performed between weeks 10-13 of pregnancy. CVS involves removing a small sample of cells from the placenta, either through the cervix or through a needle inserted into the abdomen.
This procedure is typically performed between weeks 15-20 of pregnancy. Amniocentesis involves inserting a needle into the uterus to collect a small amount of amniotic fluid, which contains fetal cells.
Since both procedures collect fetal cells, they can be used to examine the baby’s chromosomes. Males have one X and one Y chromosome (XY), while females have two X chromosomes (XX). By analyzing the chromosomes in the collected cells, healthcare providers can determine the baby’s gender.
At-Home Early Gender Testing
At-home early gender testing can get you the answers you are looking for as early as the sixth week of pregnancy without ever having to leave the house. An at-home early gender test starts with the collection of blood from the mother, either from a lancet or pain-free arm device.
The blood (containing cell-free fetal DNA) is sent to a laboratory and is assessed for the presence of a male Y chromosome. Depending on which test is used, an at-home blood test to determine gender can be over 99% accurate because they work by detecting fetal DNA in the mom’s bloodstream. Peekaboo testing options include:
The Peekaboo At-Home Early Gender DNA Test can determine the gender of a baby as early as 6 weeks. The at-home gender test kit is quick and easy to order. How long does a gender blood test take when done at home? With Peekaboo, the collection process is quick and simple, and you can expect results within a day if you choose the Express option.
Squeamish when it comes to dealing with blood? No problem. With the Peekaboo PRO Early Gender DNA Test, you can rest assured knowing your blood sample will be collected in a safe and sterile environment by a professional. Find a collection location near you!
Skipping Gender Testing Entirely
Some expecting parents decide to skip gender testing altogether and opt for the element of surprise. With this scenario, there is no denying its simplicity. Rather than using an at-home gender test, checking during an ultrasound, or utilizing any other forms of gender testing, a considerable amount of expecting parents chose to wait until birth to learn the gender of their baby.
Ready to discover your baby’s gender?
Get the Peekaboo At-Home Early Gender DNA Test, proven to be over 99% accurate, and discover your baby’s gender as early as 6 weeks from the comfort of home!