You want a gender reveal party, but you're not sure how early you can find out the gender of your baby. The quick answer is that it varies depending on the method used.
There are multiple ways to determine gender: observing the baby's external genitalia, measuring the nuchal translucency, or studying the baby's chromosomes. The gender can be confirmed, for the first two methods, from about 11 weeks of gestation. The third method, however, can only be performed after 16 weeks.
So, method-dependent, you'll be able to determine whether you're having a boy or a girl any time between 11 and 20 weeks into your pregnancy. Pretty cool, right?
When Can Ultrasound Determine Gender?
Ultrasounds, for gender identification based on the sex organs of the baby, can be performed as early as the 14th week of pregnancy. The further you are in your pregnancy, the more accurate the gender prediction will be. Accuracy varies from 70.3% at 11 weeks to 98.7% at 12 and 100% at 13 weeks.
From the 9th week of pregnancy, your doctor can arrange a blood test for noninvasive prenatal testing (NIPT). NIPT checks for chromosomal abnormalities, such as Trisomy 13, Trisomy 18, and Down syndrome. The doctors will review the placental DNA in your blood to indicate whether there is an increased risk of your child having a genetic disorder. More testing will be required if your NIPT comes up with positive results.
As your baby’s chromosomes are included in the DNA, the doctor can identify the fetal sex. If the Y chromosome is present, the fetus is a boy. If absent, your baby will be a girl.
The optimal time to use the ultrasound method to determine the sex of the baby, with a high degree of accuracy, is between 16 and 20 weeks. For this reason, a 16-week gender scan usually works well for a gender reveal.
However, there may be some cases where an ultrasound cannot accurately determine the gender until later in the pregnancy. Factors that can affect the accuracy include the baby’s position, the amount of amniotic fluid, and the quality of the image.
For the most accurate result, it's best to wait until as close to 20 weeks as possible. However, if you are keen to find out, you can schedule your ultrasound anytime during your pregnancy. Either way, it's exciting to discover whether you're having a boy or a girl!
If you plan to have a gender reveal party, you’ll want to schedule it after your ultrasound appointment. Give yourself enough time to make arrangements and invite your friends and family to join in the fun!
Ways To Find Out The Gender
So, you're pregnant and excited to find out the gender of your baby. Congratulations! There are a few different ways to determine the gender of your child, but the most common is through an ultrasound.
Ultrasounds can be used to identify gender between weeks 16 and 22 of pregnancy. A skilled and experienced technician should be able to determine the gender with a high degree of accuracy. However, there are some cases where they might not be able to tell for sure. For a definitive result, you may choose to consider a DNA test.
There are other ways to find out the gender of your baby, but these are less common and not as accurate. For example, a blood test that will reveal the gender at around 12 weeks gestation or a sonogram done later in the pregnancy (around week 28 or 29). Generally, these tests are usually only used if there's a reason to believe there might be a problem with the baby. Learn more about some other methods of gender identification, such as noninvasive prenatal testing, amniocentesis, and chorionic villus sampling, here.
For even more certainty, you can opt for a 3D or 4D ultrasound for the most accurate results. Read on to learn more about the 16-week gender scan and the 3D or 4D scan.
Most doctors will be easily able to determine the gender of your baby at the 18-week mark, but some can tell as early as 12 weeks. A gender ultrasound at 16 weeks is a scan for gender only. You will still need to attend the 20-week ultrasound for anatomy evaluation. You can opt for a 3D or 4D ultrasound if you want a more detailed image. Not usually used for determining gender, they provide good pictures.
3D/4D ultrasounds are available between 24 and 32 weeks of pregnancy, allowing you to see your baby's face and start bonding. Both are easy, quick, and high-quality processes.
With 3D ultrasound, you see a still image of your baby’s face on a flat screen in the exam room, whereas with 4D ultrasound, you see high-definition live footage of your baby moving.
For both 16-week gender ultrasound and 3D/4D ultrasound, you will receive a collection of images you can download or print.
Some parents keep the gender a surprise until the baby is born, but others can't wait to find out. If you're a parent who wants to know, booking an ultrasound will provide the answers.
Fun Gender Party Reveal Ideas
If you plan to find out the gender, you are already likely thinking about gender reveal party ideas—it's not every day you find out if you're having a boy or a girl. The moment should be celebrated!
To make your gender reveal party special, you'll want to start planning immediately. To add a little extra to your planning, you could go with a theme—maybe "Ready to Hatch" or "Under the Sea"—and decorate accordingly. Ramp up the fun with the invitations. Sending invites disguised as baby announcements are always fun.
And, of course, the centerpiece of any gender reveal party is the big moment when everyone finds out whether it's a boy or a girl.
Here are some ideas:
- Cut into a cake shaped like a baby carriage with blue and pink frosting and the inner cake color matching your baby’s gender.
- Open a box filled with pink or blue helium balloons. (Make sure you have someone on hand to capture the moment with a camera!)
- Play a quick game of baseball, soccer, tennis, or even golf using powder-filled balls that will burst with the corresponding color—ideal if it's for a sports-themed reveal!
- Gender Reveal Exploding Golf Balls
- Gender Reveal Baseball Set
- Gender Reveal Tennis Ball
- Have cake pops instead of cupcakes! The outside coating won’t give away the secret, but a bite will reveal the surprise.
- Color the drink glasses with your guests’ guesses as an added element of fun.
- There are always the classic reveal cannons of confetti, glitter, or powdered smoke!
- Having scratch-off tickets that show the gender is a smart idea!
The options are limitless! Decide which route you want to take, and get ready for an exciting reveal party!
Ready to Start Planning?
Ultrasounds can usually identify gender between 11-20 weeks. However, this isn't guaranteed, and the scan accuracy depends on various factors, including the baby's position. To purely find out the gender of your baby, a gender ultrasound at 16 weeks and 3D/4D ultrasound work well. Consult with your doctor to select what is suitable for you.