Can placental location accurately predict fetal gender?

October 26, 2020
Lindsey Carr
Lindsey Carr

Associate Editor for Contemporary OB/GYN

A baby’s gender is often detected via ultrasound around 20 weeks of pregnancy. What if there was a way to know sooner?

There are a multitude of reasons for parents to want to know the gender of their baby. Maybe they want to get started on the nursery or register for the baby shower.

A baby’s gender is often detected via ultrasound around 20 weeks of pregnancy.1 What if there was a way to know sooner?

To answer the question, Dr. Saam Ramzi Ismali developed a theory (Ramzi’s method) that fetal sex could be determined as early as 6 weeks into pregnancy. The theory claims that the location of the placenta, or trophoblast, can define fetal gender as early as six weeks via ultrasound. If the placenta is developing on the left side, the sex is female. If it is developing on the right, the sex is male.

Unfortunately, Ramzi’s method has not been confirmed in any additional studies. There are no outward signs of sex until about 9 weeks of pregnancy. Differentiated genitalia cannot be seen clearly until about 15 weeks.2 As a result, many ob/gyns dismiss the validity of Ramzi’s method entirely.

A gender prediction method that has been studied, however, is the use of cell-free DNA. Researchers used cell-free fetal DNA in plasma of pregnant women to determine early gender of the fetus with 96.7% accuracy.3

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References

  1. Fetal Development: Stages of Growth. Cleveland Clinic. Accessed October 21, 2020. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/7247-fetal-development-stages-of-growth
  2. Santiago-Munoz P. Boy or girl? The difficulties of early gender prediction. diction. University of Texas Southwestern. December 20, 2016. Accessed October 21, 2020. https://utswmed.org/medblog/gender-prediction/
  3. Zargari M, Sadeghi MR, Shahhosseiny MH, et al. Fetal Sex Determination using Non-Invasive Method of Cell-free Fetal DNA in Maternal Plasma of Pregnant Women During 6(th)- 10(th) Weeks of Gestation. Avicenna J Med Biotechnol. 2011;3(4):201-206.