Heba Alkutbi

Gender Scan: What should you expect?

January 18, 2024, 13:01

The pregnancy journey is filled with moments of excitement and anticipation, and one of the most eagerly awaited is the gender scan.

This special ultrasound is usually performed between 18 and 22 weeks of pregnancy. It not only offers the first opportunity to learn your baby's gender but also provides essential insights into their development.

If you have any questions about the gender ultrasound, please get in touch. Our friendly team is here to assist in any way we can.

What Is a Gender Scan?

A gender scan is an ultrasound examination conducted mid-pregnancy to determine the sex of your baby. 

While gender scans are generally very accurate, it's important to remember that no scan is 100% definitive. Factors such as the baby's position can affect visibility. 

Regardless, this non-invasive scan is an exciting milestone for many parents-to-be, offering a glimpse into the world of their growing baby. Beyond revealing gender, the scan also checks the baby's overall development and well-being.

What to Expect During the Gender Reveal Scan

On the day of your gender ultrasound, expect a straightforward and comfortable experience.

The sonographer will apply a special gel to your abdomen and gently glide a transducer across your skin. This device emits sound waves that create an image of your baby on a monitor.

You'll be able to see your baby's movements and, in most cases, find out if you're having a boy or a girl.

What You Will Learn

For many, the highlight of the gender scan is, of course, confirming your baby's health and discovering whether you're expecting a son or a daughter.

However, the scan also assesses foetal growth, checks the placenta's position, and evaluates the amount of amniotic fluid. It's an overall check-up for your baby, ensuring a healthy pregnancy.

Here's a more detailed breakdown:

Foetal Biometry

This involves measuring your baby to estimate their size. These measurements are crucial as they help our specialists calculate the Estimated Foetal Weight (EFW). Your consultant will then plot this data on a growth chart, allowing you to see how your baby is progressing compared to typical growth milestones.

Amniotic Fluid Assessment

The amniotic fluid is a vital component of your baby's environment in the womb. During the scan, we assess the volume and quality of this fluid, ensuring it is at an optimal level for your baby's development and well-being.

Placental Location

Understanding the position of the placenta is important for several reasons, including planning for delivery. The scan evaluates the placenta's location, checking for any conditions like placenta previa that might impact your pregnancy.

Cervical Assessment

We also examine the cervix's length and opening. Typically, this is done via a transabdominal ultrasound, where the transducer is placed on your abdomen. If any anomalies are suspected, and with your consent, a transvaginal ultrasound may be performed. This involves inserting a small, tampon-like probe into the vagina, which is quick and generally painless.

Basic Anatomy Check

This check is preliminary and does not replace the detailed anomaly scan between 18 and 24 weeks. For those who require or prefer a private service, Harley Street Ultrasound also offers comprehensive anomaly scans.

Keeping Gender a Surprise—It's Your Choice

The gender reveal is one of the most anticipated stages of the pregnancy journey for many parents-to-be. However, not everyone wishes to learn their baby's gender before birth. At Harley Street Ultrasound, we understand and respect the variety of preferences when it comes to this special moment.

So, if you prefer to keep your baby's gender a surprise until delivery, simply communicate this wish to your specialist before the scan begins. Our team is committed to honouring your preferences and ensuring your experience is tailored to your desires.

After the Gender Scan

Following your scan, you can resume your normal activities right away. The sonographer will discuss the findings with you and provide images of your baby. If there are any concerns or anomalies detected during the scan, they will advise you on the next steps.


Can I bring family or friends to the gender reveal scan?

Absolutely! We understand that a gender scan is a special moment, and sharing it with loved ones can make it even more memorable. Feel free to bring your family or friends along for the appointment. Just give us a heads-up beforehand to know about any guidelines we might have on the number of people you can bring.

How long does the gender ultrasound take?

Expect the gender scan to last around 20 to 30 minutes. This gives our team enough time to do a detailed check, make sure everything's going well with your baby's development, and find out the gender if you want to know. Sometimes, the scan's duration might vary depending on how your baby is positioned and how clear the images are.

What should I do if the scan cannot determine the gender?

It's rare, but sometimes we can't figure out the gender during the scan, maybe because of how the baby is lying. No worries—we can always schedule another scan a bit later to give it another try. It's just one of those things; sometimes, babies don't sit still for us, and that can affect what we can and cannot see.

How accurate are gender reveal ultrasounds?

Gender reveal ultrasounds are usually spot-on, but they're not 100% all the time. One study found that they're about 87.6% accurate for boys and 96.8% for girls.

Ready to Schedule Your Ultrasound?

A gender scan is a memorable part of your pregnancy journey. At Harley Street Ultrasound, we are committed to providing a supportive and informative experience, helping you to connect with your baby and enjoy this special moment.

If you are ready to schedule an appointment, get in touch or book online. We look forward to welcoming you and your family into our London clinic.


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At the HSUG, our specialist team delivers private ultrasound scans designed to give you the insight and peace of mind you need. We are the experts when it comes to ultrasonic diagnosis and treatment, and we have a strong track record of providing reassurance to our patients when they need it most.

You’ll find us on Harley Street in London — a convenient location with a rich history of medical excellence. Our team is committed to continuing that history with our own set of expert services.

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