Posted on April 11th, 2017 by wombwithaviewblog.com

Yep, it happens..the mistaken fetal sex guess. It can happen to anyone and sometimes does! We all have heard the story somewhere. A friend. Family member. Someone’s friend’s cousin’s sister-in-law.. The truth is that the right conditions can make anyone susceptible to an incorrect guess.  Consequently, discovery of the opposite sex inevitably leads to a roller coaster of emotions!

I have certainly been on the giving end of that conversation. Most of the time, it’s not pretty. The result usually accompanies shock and wonder at how this could have happened, especially with today’s technology. This is the typical feeling. However, still get the feeling that the general public thinks it’s the machine doing the guessing and not the observer. It always has been and always will be the observer who guesses, very experienced sonographers versus new to the field. Other healthcare professionals are more experienced and better than others at scanning. And some observers, unfortunately and unbeknownst to you, are not formally trained in ultrasound at all! Some (in the 3D business) are taking a crack at your baby’s sex don’t even come from the medical field. Scary, right?

That said, a whole world of other issues can interfere with the guess of someone more than qualified to make it. Factors like fetal position and patient size can both make visualization limited. This last statement is not an opinion..it’s a long-known fact within the field and has everything to do with the laws of ultrasound Physics. The more tissue the sound waves have to penetrate, the more limited the image will be once traveled back to the monitor. That said, I could see very well in a few of my heavier patients over the years and definitely struggled in some thinner ones. This is also because air and gas are not our friends in ultrasound. If your intestines are full, it can get in the way of what we need to see..even in the thinnest of people!

Readers from all over the world email me with their images for a second opinion on fetal sex. This can be very difficult when the image isn’t great to begin with. I always like to play it cautious..with my patients and readers. You’ll find one reader’s story below who wanted my opinion, but I was clueless. This baby didn’t look like a boy or girl to me, either!

She wrote initially expressing her confusion. She was 20 Weeks but couldn’t make out typical girl or boy parts. This was the image below.

Honestly, it looked a lot a like a girl to me but not a 20 Week fetus..maybe 25 Weeks or so. And it certainly didn’t look like a boy.

I wrote her back saying this:

Hi, this is not a very clear image but does seem to be a good angle. I don’t see anything sticking out so I would have to guess girl based on that alone. Maybe a future ultrasound may be more clear? I’m sorry I couldn’t help more!

Best,
wwavblogger 

She wrote me back a couple of weeks later:

Everyone said it’s a girl again. I was a little disappointed, but now he is here. Blessed with a baby boy. The family is complete now. Wanted to share this happiness with you. Thank you.

She was obviously much farther along than the image she sent, but I was a bit shocked that she had a boy (I have to admit)! However, I was so happy for her that she got what she wanted. My reply to her:

Oh, congratulations!! This is precisely why I don’t like to try to confirm sex with other sonographer’s images! Sometimes they just aren’t very good and depend on angle and experience. A lack of something in one shot is not a definite girl! Many blessings to you!

Now, obviously, we all look differently from one another and abnormally developing parts can cause confusion on sonography. I surely can’t say her baby didn’t have normal genitalia, but I’m still perplexed to this day. I feel very sure I could show that image to any of my former co-workers in ultrasound or docs, and I would bet my left arm they’d all guess girl!

I’d rather play it safe any day!

 

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Posted on January 10th, 2016 by wombwithaviewblog.com

Hi, all! Tonight’s post serves as just a reminder when you go in for your 18-20wk diagnostic scan.

Remember that, at the end of the day, we all get what we need. Boy or girl, sometimes it’s your child-to-be that needs you or you that needs this child for whatever reason which you may not understand entirely right now. Maybe you’ll never really know while living this life; maybe you have instinctively always known. Regardless, I do believe that most people at the time of delivery do not ultimately care about fetal sex, no matter the preference previously. We take one look at that face and stare into those eyes and most women fall in love instantly. This is the child whom you nurtured all along. You’ve finally met!

So, as I’ve said a million times, it’s OKAY to have a preference of one sex over the other so long as one remembers that healthy is more important than anything else. Just ask someone who lost a baby or who experienced a difficult pregnancy. Moreover, ask a couple who could never become pregnant or suffered infertility many years. Oh, they may choose to still find out with subsequent pregnancies but it’s not top priority on their list. Typically, when asked if they want a boy or girl, they are usually pretty quick to respond “Healthy!” It’s all about perspective.

As with anything in life, keeping an open mind about such things allows us to keep our priorities in line and provides us freedom from sweating the small stuff! (And most of it, like fetal sex, is small stuff..)

Best wishes for a happy and HEALTHY pregnancy!

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Posted on October 20th, 2015 by wombwithaviewblog.com

I think most of you reading probably would believe that most of the emails I receive have to do with parents wanting me to confirm fetal sex..sometimes desperately so. And sometimes determining fetal sex is an impossible task.

I try to explain in my replies that my guess is only as good as the images they send me. I don’t believe it is quite understood what I mean when I say that ultrasound is entirely subjective but the person scanning has total control over the images obtained. The sonographer creates these images utilizing a number of controls to optimize the image and uses her own discretion to determine a good angle with the probe she is holding. Yes, there is a standard here but I have to brutally honest. Just as people excel in some areas of life and/or profession, some are also bad. There are good docs and bad, good nurses and bad, good cashiers and bad. That being said, there are sonographers who just do not do it well. This is a painfully obvious fact when I open these image attachments.

In addition, I sometimes use many angles, holding the probe in different places to obtain a different angle of the same area in order to determine sex. At times, just one angle is not enough to see well but only one angle can be depicted in one image at one time. I wasn’t there during your scan so I don’t know anything about the variables that could have made imaging difficult. One of my last posts on this subject can be read by clicking the links below:

http://wombwithaviewblog.com/fetal-sex/

I just know a technically bad image when I see one. Sometimes, I can tell there are measures that could have been taken to improve the image. In those cases, I can only assume your sonographer did not know how to use them or even that they existed. If the person scanning you is new to ultrasound or is a physician who isn’t trained on how to use the equipment fully (which they typically are not) the image may not appear optimal to someone who is experienced in sonography. Below are some great images of fetal sex that I’ve taken myself.

The above depicts an underside view of typical-appearing female parts from about 16-22wks. The side arrows point to labia, the middle to the clitoris.

 

Female labia in the 3rd trimester

 

Male genitalia, late 2nd trimester

 

Fetal male genitalia 3rd Tri

The above demonstrates a side view of typical appearing male parts from about 27wks on.

 

So, all that being said, if the image you send is not an optimal one, I may not be able to take a guess on fetal sex. Even if your sonographer felt she was sure of her guess, I may not be able to agree based on limitations of the image. That doesn’t mean your sonographer got it wrong, just that I cannot concur with the former guess because the image quality is not there and I didn’t observe the scan myself so I was unable to see from many different angles.

Below are the links I typically email on my posts regarding fetal sex:
http://wombwithaviewblog.com/early-gender-pics/
http://wombwithaviewblog.com/female-gender-on-ultrasound-2/
http://wombwithaviewblog.com/boy-girl/
http://wombwithaviewblog.com/boy-vs-girl/
http://wombwithaviewblog.com/twin-gender-update/
http://wombwithaviewblog.com/third-trimester-male-gender/

I hope this helps you understand a little more insight from the sound perspective!

Ta-Ta for now! Until next time, feel free to reply, comment or email with your questions on the Ask Me tab up top or at wombviewerblog@gmail.com! You can also subscribe to the right:)

 

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