Published on August 11th, 2020 and Updated on March 22nd, 2021
Do you remember the moments before your pregnancy test read “positive?”
You might have been nervous, uncertain, or hopeful, the only thought in your mind buzzing loud and clear—“Am I pregnant?”
Then, the answer came. And along with the excitement and elation and popping of sparkling cider, more questions sparked in your mind. Questions like “Is my baby a boy or a girl?” likely made you curious about a gender prediction test.
Two Ways to Know Baby’s Gender Without an Ultrasound
An ultrasound exam can answer your question, but there’s a catch—you have to wait until you’re about 18 to 22 weeks pregnant to get an ultrasound exam. Let’s face it. That’s too far away.
So, if you’ve been googling, “how to know baby’s gender during pregnancy without ultrasound,” we have some good news. You don’t have to wait until the middle of your second trimester to find the answer.
In fact, you can learn your baby’s sex or gender as early as 8 weeks into pregnancy.
There are two accurate, scientifically-proven methods of determining an unborn baby’s gender without an ultrasound session. They are:
- Physician/midwife-ordered NIPT
- SneakPeek Early Gender DNA Test
This guide will break down how each method of gender identification works and everything else you need to know.
For about nine months, you will share practically everything with your baby from what you breathe to what you eat. At the same time, your baby will also be sharing with you. Throughout your pregnancy, little bits of your baby’s DNA transfer from the placenta into your bloodstream. This type of DNA is called cell-free fetal DNA (cffDNA), and because it’s in your blood, a non-invasive blood test can be used to analyze your baby’s genetics.
This test is known as an NIPT, which stands for Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing.
So what is NIPT test, anyways? In mom’s blood, the majority of cell-free DNA (cfDNA) is mom’s, but a certain percentage is the baby’s (cffDNA). This percentage is called the fetal fraction, and it increases the further along a woman is into pregnancy. cffDNA are nucleic acid fragments that carry with them the blueprint of the child’s genetic code and the secrets of the chromosomes—including gender.
But determining gender isn’t the main focus of a physician/midwife-ordered NIPT.
The Purpose of a Physician/Midwife-Ordered NIPT
This NIPT is a screening for chromosomal abnormalities, such as Down syndrome. It uses statistical analysis to analyze both mom’s and baby’s DNA and report whether the baby has an extra chromosome present (known as a trisomy) or is missing one or partially missing one chromosome (known as a monosomy).
To return accurate results, an NIPT requires mom’s blood to consist of at least 4% cffDNA, which is a 4% fetal fraction. This typically occurs around the 9-12 week mark, which is why a physician has to wait that long to perform an NIPT.
Gender Information in NIPTs: Because the NIPT is analyzing baby’s DNA at the chromosomal level, the test can also report on baby’s sex chromosomes, which identifies the gender.
What a Physician/Midwife-Ordered NIPT Test Can Tell You
As mentioned, while an NIPT can identify an unborn baby’s gender, it’s primarily used to detect genetic abnormalities and disorders, including:
- Edwards syndrome
- Patau syndrome
- Down syndrome
- Klinefelter syndrome
- Turner syndrome
How it Works
Once you’ve talked to your doctor/midwife about why you want an NIPT (or maybe your doctor/midwife has recommended it based on your personal situation), you’ll schedule an appointment for the test. A healthcare provider will draw some blood and send it to a lab for testing.
How long does it take to get the results?
After you’re through with the gender blood test, you should get the results back—and find out the baby’s gender—in about one to two weeks.
Reasons a Doctor/Midwife Might Order an NIPT
Your doctor/midwife may recommend an NIPT if…
- You’re over 35 years old
- You or your partner have a genetic condition that can be determined through an NIPT
- You or your partner know that you have a family history of a genetic condition
- You or your partner might be carriers for a genetic condition
- Previous pregnancies showed a high risk for genetic abnormalities
Benefits of NIPT
An NIPT test is an easy and relatively painless way to discover your child’s gender before the second trimester.
- You can learn your baby’s gender early – While not the earliest gender test, an NIPT can tell you the gender of your baby around 12 weeks into pregnancy.
- Non-invasive – A needle prick and a little blood is all it takes to learn more about your baby’s genetics.
- Accuracy – When it comes to detecting your child’s gender, the NIPT has an accuracy rate of 98.9%.
Other Factor to Consider: Cost
Although you can find out your child’s gender earlier than with an ultrasound session, the cost may outweigh the expediency of this test.
If your doctor/midwife doesn’t see the NIPT as medically necessary or if your insurance doesn’t cover NIPTs unless certain conditions are met, you may wind up paying for the test yourself. And that can get expensive. Some companies end up charging thousands of dollars for an NIPT.
However, if all you want to know is your baby’s gender, thankfully, there’s an easier, more affordable option for expectant parents. And you can find out even sooner.
SneakPeek Early Gender DNA Test
Instead of using a physician/midwife-ordered NIPT test to discover your baby’s gender, you can take the SneakPeek Early Gender DNA Test. With just the prick of a finger, you can get to know your future little boy or girl as early as 8 weeks into pregnancy.
What SneakPeek Early Gender DNA Test Can Tell You
The SneakPeek Early Gender DNA Test is a type of NIPT that can be taken from home. While it still uses cffDNA (which is what makes it an NIPT), this test isn’t screening for chromosomal abnormalities. It’s only looking for one extra ingredient in mom’s blood—male DNA, or more specifically, a Y chromosome.
- If the test detects a Y chromosome, you’re having a boy!
- If no Y chromosome is detected, congratulations, your baby is a little girl!
Because this type of NIPT is only detecting Y chromosomes, not performing statistical analysis to screen for chromosomal abnormalities, the fetal fraction needed is significantly lower. This is what allows the SneakPeek Early Gender DNA Test to be taken weeks sooner than a physician/midwife-ordered NIPT.
How it Works
All you have to do is order the at-home gender test. Then, follow the instructions to take the test. Once you’re ready, mail back your DNA sample using the prepaid label included in your order.
Your sample is tested for the Y chromosome back at SneakPeek Labs, which takes just one day, so you’ll be emailed the happy news soon after the sample is received.
And that’s it!
Benefits of SneakPeek Test
The beauty of the SneakPeek Early Gender DNA test is in its simplicity, accuracy, and speediness.
- Find out as early as 8 weeks – Because the test is designed to focus only on fetal sex and return just one answer—male or female—it only needs a small cffDNA sample and can be taken at just 8 weeks into pregnancy.
- Accuracy – The SneakPeek Early Gender DNA test has an incredible accuracy rate of 99.9%, as proven in laboratory studies.
- Incredibly fast results – Unlike the physician/midwife-ordered NIPT, you’ll receive your results shortly after your sample arrives at SneakPeek Labs.
- Easy to use – Every SneakPeek Early Gender DNA Test kit comes with a clear step-by-step guide and everything you need to take the test.
Other Factor to Consider: Creating a Male-Free Testing Zone
To achieve the most accurate results, you need to create a Y chromosome-free zone. Simply put, that means no boys allowed. The blood tests look for any trace of a Y chromosome. So even if the tiniest bit of your male partner’s DNA sneaks into the sample, let’s just say you might wind up painting the nursery blue when it should have been pink!
Thankfully, SneakPeek gives you all of the tools and guidance you need to make the whole process simple.
Find Your Answer Sooner (and Safer) with SneakPeek
You can’t wait to get to know your baby. And discovering whether you’re going to have a bright-eyed little girl or a bouncing baby boy should be simple, safe, and soon. The SneakPeek Early Gender DNA test is the safest way to find the answers you’re looking for.
Skip waiting for the sonogram and learn more about your child as early as 8 weeks with SneakPeek. For more information and fun facts about baby gender, check out the blog. You can learn what determines the gender of a baby or confirm if gender cravings are a real thing.
This post has been reviewed for accuracy by the following medical professional:
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Mount Sinai. Amniocentesis Information. https://www.mountsinai.org/health-library/tests/amniocentesis#:~:text=Results%20of%20genetic%20testing%20usually,Diagnose%20infection
NCBI. Non-invasive prenatal testing: use of cell-free fetal DNA in Down syndrome screening. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5565870/
Healthline. NIPT (Noninvasive Prenatal Testing): What You Need to Know. https://www.healthline.com/health/pregnancy/nipt-test#what-it-is
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CBS News. Prenatal Testing Leads to Unexpected, Staggering Bills for Some Parents. https://dfw.cbslocal.com/2019/08/15/prenatal-testing-leads-to-unexpected-staggering-bills-for-some-parents/
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WebMD. Pregnancy and Amniocentesis. https://www.webmd.com/baby/pregnancy-amniocentesis#2-5