Posted on April 23rd, 2017 by

The male fetus on ultrasound can be a pretty easy guess sometimes! As I’ve said before, trying to guess too early can be difficult because Baby is too small. This is true no matter whether you are having a girl or boy. It can be a lot like trying to determine whether a tiny moving bug has six legs or eight without a magnifying glass. You can guess, but you may very well be wrong. However, at 18 Weeks and later, very obvious male external genitalia can be very easy to see and also a pretty funny addition to your scan.

At 18 Weeks and later, obvious male external genitalia can be very easy to see and even add a bit of laughter to your scan, especially when he’s showing off! Poor guy…he has no idea just how much we’re invading his privacy!

A mom-to-be wrote me a while back asking me for a second opinion on her images. No problem! I love it when it’s this easy. Check out her images below.

male fetus male fetus

Can you easily see this is a male fetus? I wrote her back and annotated the first image like you see below.

male fetus annotated

Even though most people may be able to easily pick out boy parts on their images, it sometimes just doesn’t look like other boy images you’ve seen. Or maybe they look nothing like your other son’s images. This is understandable to me because it’s a different baby and a different angle. No two images are going to look exactly alike! Part of the reason for this is because we all look a little different, boy or girl, right?

As far as angle goes, your sonographer might obtain a total underside view where both femurs appear in the image. Maybe Baby bent a leg just when boy stuff could be seen the best allowing only one leg in your shot. Other angles might include a shot from Baby’s front or side. All of these angles will make the image look different and maybe even unrecognizable to you.

Some sonographers don’t really explain the image and only throw up an arrow pointing out what makes your baby a male or female fetus. Don’t be afraid to ask if she can explain what’s on the screen. Most of the time, we don’t mind at all helping you understand!


Before signing off today, I want to say my book is now in the editing phase! I’m sure I’ll have some tweaking to do, but it is currently in some very capable hands. I know she’ll help me make it as enjoyable a read as I want to deliver to you (deliver…no pun intended!). I will keep you all posted as we get closer to publishing! As always, thanks for reading!


Comments: 2 Comments »

Posted on June 14th, 2015 by

For as long as the medical community has been utilizing sonography for OB purposes, so have there existed some on the operating end of the probe who have guessed the wrong sex.  This has created many a “Doubting Thomas” and “Negative Nancy” over the decades-old practice of the field.  Everyone knows someone who “used to be” the opposite gender before birth.  A lot of patients now just do not believe what they can’t see..or can’t read.  Here we’ll discuss all the many variables that contribute to not being able to determine gender vs incorrect fetal gender with ultrasound.

Fueling the justified fire is the unfortunate circumstance of unsuspecting parents everywhere who buy an entire wardrobe of monogrammed dresses only for Junior to pop out or Henry becomes Henrietta.  Most patients just do not really understand what it means when I say that ultrasound is entirely subjective.  Most lay people have no idea just how much this is true.  Honestly, most sonographers-to-be do not understand this, either, until they begin to practice it.  So, in an effort to not write volumes here, I’ll just say that if a sonographer is new to ultrasound, new to OB ultrasound or just not very good at determining gender, mistakes will be made. Parts look different between every baby, at different gestational ages and at differing angles.  First and foremost, it takes time and experience to be able to discern gender well.

Secondly, one factor which will most always result in not being able to see a great potty shot is Baby’s position.  If the fetus is breech (butt down), we don’t have a lot of room to work with here.  The uterus is like an upside down pear, right? There would be more room to work with if the butt was at the top of the pear than the bottom.  If the cord is running between the legs, parts can be obscured.  Sometimes a foot or hand is in the way.  At times, the rear is pushed up against the uterine wall or the legs are closed.  We can poke and prod all day long but there is nothing more we can do to force Baby to move into a better position.  And, no, jumping jacks won’t help.

Mom’s size is also a limitation.  It is a simple rule of ultrasound physics that the more tissue the sound waves have to travel through, the more unclear the image will be.  The more belly fat one has, the more fuzzy the image will appear.  A lack of resolution will always create a more difficult image to read.

Other factors include having an adequate amount of amniotic fluid around Baby (fluid helps us see better) and a gestational age over 18 weeks which is preferable.  Too early and parts are just too small, especially when boys and girls start out looking the same around 12-13wks. I don’t care what ANYONE advertises!  NO ONE can guarantee gender.  Sure, you might get your money back but that won’t pay for the new nursery or make up for the emotional transition.

All of the above make a difference in how well we can determine fetal sex for the parent.  One of these factors coming into play can make this task super difficult but seeing more than one or all of them and the job becomes impossible.  Ultimately, however, even the best of views doesn’t matter a hill of beans if the sonographer doesn’t know the difference.  At the end of the day, if the sonographer is too inexperienced or simply jumps the gun, you’ll be repainting that room!

Comments: No Comments »