What is a Gender Prediction Test?

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

A gender prediction test is a test done on or by pregnant women to determine the sex of babies. The traditional medical methods for determining gender in the past, and presently include chorionic villus sampling (CVS), amniocentesis and ultrasound. Prior to these methods evolving, a number of folklore based concepts sought to accurately serve as gender prediction tests.

An ultrasound will reveal a baby's gender.
An ultrasound will reveal a baby's gender.

An old gender predictor test might encompass any number of factors. If a woman was carrying a baby “low” she was usually pregnant with a boy. Craving sweet things was said to mean you were carrying a girl. Acne also supposedly indicates a girl, and having uneven breasts means a boy. These gender prediction test types are of course inaccurate. But with only a 50% chance of getting it wrong, enough women who were curious about the sex of their unborn child were willing to try a few in order to guess at the baby’s gender.

Pregnant women may wish to know the gender of their baby.
Pregnant women may wish to know the gender of their baby.

The introduction of CVS, amniocenteses, and ultrasound brought more accuracy to the gender prediction test. Yet there were still chances to get it wrong. CVS is one of the earliest tests performed, and it does carry risk factors for miscarriage. Most women undergo CVS if they are at high risk for having children with severe medical problems or genetic anomalies, not because they wish to use the sampling as a gender prediction test.

Midwives and physicians offer parents the option of learning their baby's gender at around 20 weeks gestation.
Midwives and physicians offer parents the option of learning their baby's gender at around 20 weeks gestation.

In CVS a small amount of placenta material is carefully removed from the uterus. The placenta sampling is usually taken during the later part of the first trimester of pregnancy and. Since chromosomes are analyzed, CVS can accurately predict a child’s gender by detecting the presence of Y chromosomes. When these are absent, chances are you are having a girl.

Amniocentesis is not used as a gender prediction test but to detect possible problems with the baby. This is normally performed between the 16th and 20th week of pregnancy and analyzes a small amount of amniotic fluid to look for chromosomal problems. It can detect presence of Y chromosomes.

A less invasive gender prediction test is ultrasound or sonogram. Ultrasounds will most reliably predict gender after the 18th week. These don’t always work. Some babies are “shy” and don’t want to turn around to give the sonographers a full view. Occasionally, an ultrasound is inaccurate. Labial folds can sometimes look like a penis, or the penis may be hard to visualize.

One of the latest trends is moms using a non-invasive home gender prediction test. The most popular is The Baby Gender Mentor® by Acu-Gen. It uses a small finger prick sample of blood to test for y-chromosome presence. The mother performs the test, usually after the 8th week of pregnancy, and sends the result to Acu-Gen’s lab. The company claims a 99.9% accuracy rate and will refund money, about $275 US dollars (USD), if the test turns out to be wrong. There is some concern about accuracy, with some women now coming forward to claim Acu-Gen did not work. Acu-Gen has not published on their specific testing methods pending patent status for their test.

Also, there exists concern that a gender prediction test of this type would lead to gender selection. In other words, women might abort babies that were not the sex they wanted. This is considered less likely in the US, but more likely in countries where one gender is preferred. Regardless of stance on abortion, many bio-ethicists feel that gender selection disrupts the natural order of gender distribution and could result in gender imbalance if practiced on a wide scale.

Some people choose a finger prick test to determine their baby's gender.
Some people choose a finger prick test to determine their baby's gender.
Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Tricia has a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and has been a frequent wiseGEEK contributor for many years. She is especially passionate about reading and writing, although her other interests include medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion. Tricia lives in Northern California and is currently working on her first novel.

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Discussion Comments


GreenWeaver - I agree with you. What I find interesting are the people that actually want to be surprised at birth.

I think that it would be fun to be surprised, but I know that I would be too curious not to find out the sex of the baby even though it really would not matter to me because I would love either one the same.

I just could not stand not knowing. I know that the ultrasound pictures of the baby are three dimensional now which is really cool. You can really see the baby in such a clear way that it is incredible how far technology has come.


Cupcake15 - I understand the need for gender prediction tests but it is scary to think of what this would do in other societies that may not value girls as much as boys.

In those countries I think that the baby gender prediction test is dangerous because more children will be aborted needlessly.

My biggest concern is that a country like China would abort female fetuses because the males are more valuable to the families.

In addition, China has a limit on the amount of children that a couple can bear so this only adds to the problem.


I think that just about every pregnant women wants to know the sex of her baby for many reasons. First the natural curiosity of knowing what are you carrying is important and also the practically of knowing the sex can allow you to plan better.

If you know that you are having a girl you do not have to stick with gender neutral tones for the baby room theme or clothing.

In addition, you can narrow down the list of names considerably if you know the sex ahead of time.

There is a Chinese gender prediction test that is not scientific but many women swear by it. It is the Chinese Lunar calendar.

The Chinese Lunar calendar predicts the sex of your baby based on when it was conceived.

I have to tell you that I learned about this with my first pregnancy and the calendar predicted the sex of both of my children 100% accuracy. It is a free online gender prediction test that is kind of fun if nothing else.

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