Posted on June 6th, 2015 by

Patients, in general, tend to believe that determining male gender should be very easy any time and the only way to determine Team Pink is the lack of male parts.  Wrong!  Can we see the uterus and ovaries of a female fetus?  Read an email below from a mom with this very question:

mama-to-be:  Is it possible to see baby’s ovaries and uterus with ultrasound? I’ve read these organs are formed around 20/22 weeks. I was thinking it was possible to see them at 22 weeks or later?

wwavb:  A fetus is fully formed at 12wks. And, no, a uterus and ovaries cannot be seen normally anytime in pregnancy as they are simply too small and gender can only be determined by examining external genitalia.


On occasion, an ovarian cyst can be diagnosed on fetal ultrasound but is only a guess as these organs are just too tiny to know for sure.

See below for good female gender images!

This image is of a baby girl at about 16wks.  Here, a bottom is seen but not really the legs..imagine Baby is pulling her feet up to her nose. If you are looking up from underneath, only cheeks and girly parts will be seen, right? Note the three arrows which point to three white lines representing the labia on the outside and clitoris in the center.  Sometimes the lines look more like white dots depending on the angle.  As Baby gets a little bigger, she will start to develop some fat in her skin and the labia will plump up a bit, resembling the “hamburger” to which most patients refer!

This image is around the 16wk age, also.  You can see here how the top labia looks more like a dot and the middle and bottom white echoes look more like lines.

This baby is about 32wks!  Notice how the white lines have morphed into the labia you would expect to see on Baby Girl.  Most patients can typically “see” her parts for themselves pretty easily at this stage.

Next time, I’ll discuss all the things that make determining gender impossible!

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