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Finding out your baby's gender through ultrasound is the single most exciting aspect of prenatal care for many women. Knowing whether your baby is a boy or a girl means many things to many expectant mothers. For some, it awards the opportunity to start splashing out on cute baby outfits, and choose a nursery. For others, knowing what the gender of their baby is means being able to bond more easily. Yet others want to prepare older children for a new brother or sister. So, when can you find out or baby's gender through ultrasound?

Ultrasound is getting more and more accurate and technology is advancing fast. Depending on the position of your baby and the skill of your ultrasound technician, it is possible to find out whether you are expecting a boy or a girl as early as 16 weeks. But the general consensus is that it becomes easier to determine a baby's sex as your pregnancy advances, and the majority of couples find out the gender of their baby around 20 weeks, which is incidentally a time when many healthcare practitioners schedule ultrasounds.

I was among those lucky ones who found out their baby's gender early in the game. When I went for my first scan at 16 weeks, I cautiously asked the OB who was carrying out the scan whether there was any way to tell if it was a boy or a girl. "Girl," he answered in a matter of fact way, and that was that. Of course, there is always the chance that the ultrasound technician makes a mistake, and they usually tell you as much when they announce the gender of the baby you are carrying. The baby's umbilical cord can sometimes get in the way, and look like a penis. Labia and a clitoris can sometimes look like scrotum and a penis, although this is much rarer. If you do intend to find out what your baby's gender is at an ultrasound appointment, always keep in mind that ultrasound is not 100 per cent accurate.

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