What you should know about gender reveal ultrasound

Gender Reveal Ultrasound is one of the most popular ultrasounds that is performed in private ultrasound centers. Some people mistakenly say gender determination ultrasound while we don’t determine the baby’s gender. We just see and report it. No doubt that at the beginning of each pregnancy one of the first questions that come to the parents’ mind is the baby’s gender. How accurate is Gender Reveal Ultrasound? This question doesn’t have a straight forward answer. The answer depends on some factors. We can divide them to baby’s factors, mother’s factors, machine factors, amount of amniotic fluid, the position of the placenta and sonographer’s factors

Gender reveal ultrasound in boys

If the baby is boy, more advanced in gestational age, moves better and floats in more amniotic fluid, gender reveal will be performed with more precision. In other words, if the baby opens the legs nicely and is in a better position in relation to the ultrasound probe, the sonographer can see the baby’s gender more accurately. Gender Reveal can be done as early as 13 weeks of pregnancy and in some cases even at 12 weeks. When the baby is a boy the penis usually sticks out and floats in amniotic fluid. In this case, it is seen better in comparison with female genitalia. Boys during movement sometimes have an erection that causes them to be visualized better.

Gender reveal ultrasound in girls 

In baby girls, we can see the Hamburger sign that is three parallel lines. These lines show the clitoris and the labia. We shouldn’t see the penis and the testicles as well. We can reveal girls’ genitalia at more advanced gestational ages with more accurate.

Gender Reveal in different gestational ages in pregnancy

What we mentioned in the previous paragraph does not mean that at the end of pregnancy we can necessarily see the genitalia better than 15-16 weeks of pregnancy. when the pregnancy reaches to the end, the baby curls up and bends, so, genitalia may get hidden under the legs, hands or other body parts. In this case, if genitalia is not surrounded by enough amniotic fluid, gender detection will be more difficult. So, we may need to wait for a long time until the baby moves to an appropriate position.

2D or 3D Ultrasound in Gender Reveal

Usually, 2D ultrasound works much better in gender reveal especially when the baby is small. When the baby is large we may see the baby’s genitalia in 3D 4D ultrasound if the baby’s position is good enough. We also need enough amount of amniotic fluid around the baby’s genitalia to get better results.

Gender Reveal Ultrasound - A baby boy in 13 weeks of pregnancy

13-weeks pregnancy – Baby Boy

Amniotic fluid

Amniotic fluid is also an important factor in revealing the baby’s gender. When the baby is floating in a good amount of amniotic fluid the surface of his/her body is evaluated more accurately and in more detail.

Position of the Placenta 

can also affect the clarity of the images especially in 3D and 4D ultrasound. If the placenta is in the front wall of the uterus and the baby’s genitalia is touching it, the placenta can cover it. Below you can see a 2D image of a baby boy. The face and genitalia are seen in the same frame. Although the placenta is at the front wall of the uterus, the good amount of amniotic fluid separated the face, placenta, and genitalia nicely from each other.

2D Gender Reveal Ultrasound - The face is seen close to the genitalia in a baby boy.

Baby Boy – The arrow shows the genitalia – Face also is seen in the same frame

You can see Hamburger Sign in a baby girl.

Baby Girl – The arrow show Hamburger Sign

Mother’s factors

If the mother is obese, her BMI is high and the abdominal wall is thick, the penetration of ultrasound through the abdominal wall will be more difficult. In this case, the accuracy of gender reveal ultrasound may be less and the clarity of 3D 4D ultrasound images may not be sharp enough. This is true, especially in lower gestational age. In normal or average size women, we can do Gender Reveal Ultrasound from 13 weeks onwards, even in some cases 12 weeks. Women with higher BMI (Body Mass Index) should wait till the baby gets bigger and the organs develop more to have more accurate results.   Another factor that is important is the co-operation of the mother during the ultrasound session. We will discuss it in the next article.

Ultrasound Machine Factors

The clarity of the images is directly dependent on the ultrasound machine. The new machines work according to new medical engineering standards and can provide us with clear, precise, detailed images. In this case, the accuracy of diagnosis will be more than old, out of date machines.

Our 3D 4D ultrasound machine provides the best images and videos from your unborn baby

Our new machine can show you the best videos and photos.

Sonographer’s factors

If the sonographer is licensed, he has advanced knowledge of obstetrics and gynecology and knows the ultrasound machine can definitely get better photos and videos. This is true about gender reveal ultrasound as well.

Getting Ready for gender reveal Ultrasound

For performing gender reveal ultrasound as the baby is usually more than 13 weeks, we don’t need a full bladder. It would be much better if the mother uses the washroom before doing an ultrasound as she feels more comfortable and can cooperate more. In some occasions, if the head is too low in the pelvis, a full bladder may help to raise the fetal head, especially in 3D ultrasounds. We also advise our clients to eat something sweet one hour before their appointments to give the baby enough energy to move. We already discussed the benefit of the baby’s movements during gender reveal ultrasound. If the mother is diabetic and should avoid sweet foods, she shouldn’t be hungry. She may eat a safe snack one hour before her appointment.

Mother’s factors in gender reveal and 3D ultrasound


There are many factors that are important to get better results in gender reveal, 3D ultrasound as well as 4D ultrasound. One of the most important ones is the mother’s factors. If we are familiar with them ahead of time we will be more pleased with our results.

A factor that is important is the co-operation of the mother during the course of the ultrasound. Laughing, talking and moving too much when the ultrasound is being performed can move the belly. This can cause artifacts and reduce the clarity of images. The accuracy of the gender reveal ultrasound will be reduced and the clarity of images in 3D ultrasound will be less. The smoothness of the videos in 4D ultrasound also will diminish.  It doesn’t mean that if the pregnant woman is in pain or has any other issue during the course of an ultrasound should not mention it; On the contrary she should bring up any health problem during an ultrasound eg. any pain, shortness of breath or any kind of discomfort and the sonographer should also pay attention to any symptom of hers. She should put the pregnant woman in comfortable, mostly in the left lateral position. However, it is better to avoid any unnecessary talking, laughing or moving if we want to have better photos and videos as well as an accurate gender reveal.


Getting Ready for gender reveal and 3D 4D Ultrasound

As the baby is usually more than 13 weeks, a full bladder is not needed and it would be much better if the mother uses the washroom before the ultrasound session as she feels more comfortable and can cooperate more. In some occasions, if the head is too low in the pelvis in higher ages of pregnancy, a full bladder may help to raise the fetal head. We also advise our clients to eat something sweet one hour before their appointments to give the baby enough energy to move. When the baby moves we can do the gender reveal more accurately and the possibility of seeing the baby in different positions will be more. If the mother is diabetic and should avoid sweet things, she shouldn’t be hungry and can take a safe snack one hour before her appointment.


– Dr. Sami