The sonographic identification of fetal gender from 11 to 14 weeks of gestation

Ultrasound Obstet Gynecol. 1999 May;13(5):301-4. doi: 10.1046/j.1469-0705.1999.13050301.x.


Objective: To determine the feasibility of correctly identifying fetal gender from 11 to 14 weeks' gestation.

Methods: A prospective cross-sectional study in a university Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, London. A total of 524 women from an unselected population underwent a detailed assessment of fetal anatomy at 11-14 weeks of gestation (confirmed by crown-rump length) by means of transabdominal sonography, and transvaginal sonography (26%) when necessary. Fetal gender was identified in the transverse and sagittal planes, and was confirmed at birth.

Results: The overall success of correctly assigning fetal gender increased with gestational age from 46% to 75%, 79% and 90% at 11, 12, 13 and 14 weeks, respectively. The ability of the operator to assign fetal gender significantly improved with increasing gestational age (p < 0.0001), being 59%, 87%, 92% and 98% at 11, 12, 13 and 14 weeks, respectively. The accuracy of correctly identifying fetal gender when attempted did not change with gestational age. Fetal gender or the performance of the scan by different operators did not affect the results.

Conclusion: Whilst the accuracy of sonographic determination of fetal gender at 11-14 weeks is good, it still falls significantly short of invasive karyotyping tests.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Genitalia, Female / diagnostic imaging*
  • Genitalia, Female / embryology
  • Genitalia, Male / diagnostic imaging*
  • Genitalia, Male / embryology
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Sex
  • Sex Determination Analysis / methods*
  • Time Factors
  • Ultrasonography, Prenatal*