What Decides My Baby’s Gender?

There are many old wives tales about what decides baby’s gender. In this article, Dr Penman explains the science behind whether your baby is a boy or a girl.

The Science Behind Gender

The sex chromosomes are the indicators of gender. Typically, girls have two X chromosomes (XX), whilst boys have one X and one Y chromosome (XY). Sex chromosome arrangements that differ from the norm can occur, and tend to cause various physical abnormalities and/or learning difficulties, such as Klinefelter syndrome (XXY) in males or Turner syndrome (X) in females.

When a genetic man (XY) and woman (XX) conceive a child together, they each supply one chromosome in the fertilization process.

As the woman can supply only X chromosomes, it is the chromosome provided by the man that determines the resulting genetic gender of the child.


Medical Gender Selection

You may have heard about gender selection, or pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD). PGD is genetic testing conducted on a fertilised egg before implanting the egg via in vitro fertilization (IVF) into the mother. Usually, this procedure is done, among other reasons, to screen for gender-specific genetic disorders and single gene disorders, or in women who have experienced recurrent pregnancy loss.

However, parents may choose to follow this route, rather than traditional chromosomal testing in pregnancy such as the Nuchal test, to pre-select their baby’s gender before implanting the embryo.

There is certainly much ethical controversy over the PGD. Currently, PGD is legal for non-medical reasons only in some US states. In the UK, Australia and Canada, PGD can be conducted under very strict criteria for the screening of severe medical disorders/diseases.


When Can I Find Out My Baby’s Gender?

At the Early Gender Scan with Dr Penman, you can find out the gender of your baby from 11 weeks with 75% accuracy. The accuracy of the result increases as pregnancy progresses.

To find out more about gender result accuracy and how gender is indicated on a pregnancy scan, please follow this link.


How Much Is An Early Gender Scan?

The Early Gender Scan with Dr Penman costs £150 and includes:

  • A CD of 2D and 3D images taken at the scan
  • A short 4D film of moving images taken at the scan
  • Some printed scan images of your baby
  • A wellbeing report for you and your medical notes

There are no hidden extras in this scan fee.


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