When does ultrasound show gender?

Curiosity about the gender of a baby is a natural part of pregnancy for many expectant parents. Ultrasound scans play a crucial role in unveiling this exciting piece of information, but people often aren’t sure when an ultrasound shows the gender of the baby. In this comprehensive guide, we will tell you the best time for a Gender Scan and explain what to expect during a gender baby scan.  

When does ultrasound show gender?

Ultrasound technology allows for gender determination with remarkable accuracy. At Ultrasound Direct, due to our high-quality machines and expert training, we are proud of our 99.9% accuracy rate for gender.  

A baby’s gender can be seen through an ultrasound scan from 16 weeks’ gestation. This is because their anatomy will have developed enough to give an accurate gender confirmation. Before 16 weeks’ gestation the results will be much more unreliable. 

 You can get a baby scan to see gender up to 32 weeks’ gestation. This is because in the last weeks of pregnancy your baby will settle into their birth position, and it’s unlikely the sonographer will be able to get a clear view of their genitals to determine gender.  

 We recommend booking a Gender Scan between 16 and 32 weeks’ gestation.  


What happens at a Gender Scan?

Gender Scan appointments will be different at different ultrasound providers. At Ultrasound Direct, you’ll be welcomed by a friendly clinical assistant and introduced to your sonographer. They will make sure you understand everything about the scan.  

Before your scan starts you will be asked whether you want to find out the gender during the scan or if you want the sonographer to write it down for you secretly. This is completely your choice! If you want to find out during the scan, the sonographer will explain what they’re looking for on the screen to determine the gender.  

All Ultrasound Direct scans prioritise your baby’s wellbeing, so the scan will start with a wellbeing check to make sure the pregnancy is continuing as expected. This will include checking the baby’s heartbeat.

If you’ve decided to keep the gender a secret, the sonographer will turn off the screen while they determine gender to not ruin the surprise. If you’d prefer to find out in the room, the sonographer will reveal the gender and explain the image.  

During the scan, the sonographer will talk you through everything they’re checking and will make sure you have the chance to ask questions.  

 As a special Ultrasound Direct option you’ll be asked whether you want to look at your baby in beautiful detailed 4D. This is a free extra!  

After the scan you’ll receive printed images. If you want to find out the gender later at home, these printed images won’t include the ‘potty shot’ that will be marked with your baby’s gender. You’ll be able to look at this online later.

How does a sonographer determine gender?

Sonographers are trained professionals who interpret ultrasound images with expert precision. When determining the gender, they look for specific visual anatomical markers. These can be thought of as the ‘three lines’ or ‘hamburger’ that indicate female genitalia, or ‘turtle’, which indicates male genitalia. While technology provides a clear picture, the expertise of the sonographer is crucial in accurately identifying these subtle details. 

Choosing a Gender Scan provider

When booking a gender scan it's essential to choose a reputable provider with experienced sonographers. You can also check to see if a company charges extra for a rescan – for example, if your baby is in an awkward position and the sonographer can’t determine the gender. While Ultrasound Direct does not charge for rescans, other providers do and may have further hidden costs.  

 Here's a breakdown of things to look out for when booking a Gender Scan: 

Ultrasound Direct Other private ultrasound providers
Trusted partner of several healthcare service providers Yes No
All scanning staff that clients meet are appropriately medically trained Yes Some chaperones or assistants in the scanning room may not be medically trained – you can always ask to double check
Longer than average appointment times Yes Appointment times will vary at different providers. It’s worth checking how long your appointment will be so you know what to expect
Free of charge rescan if the primary purpose of the scan cannot be completed Yes Some providers don’t offer a free rescan – make sure you check before you book
Extra cost to scan twins No Several providers charge extra to scan twins – make sure you check before you book
Company founded and run by sonographers and healthcare professionals Yes No
Uses authentic and genuine client reviews on Trustpilot Yes Some providers are flagged by Trustpilot as using non-supported methods to collect reviews
A comprehensive range of health scan services as well as pregnancy scans Yes No
Blood tests for pregnancy, fertility and general health with phlebotomy-trained staff Yes No
Patients must download an app to view their images No – a link to your images and diagnostic scan report is sent directly to your phone number for easy access and sharing You will need to download an app to access your scan images from some providers