Published on October 17th, 2020
From old wives’ tales to ancient Mayan calendars, future parents, today, have heard every kind of gender prediction test out there. Maybe your grandma swears by the pencil method, while your cousin advises consulting a Oujia board. Maybe your partner feels confident you’re having a girl based on your voracious sweet tooth. Or perhaps your work buddies have placed bets on the gender of your child, putting their own eccentric gender prediction theories to the test.
All of this gender predicting may leave you wondering if pregnancy brings out the crazy in everyone, not just you!
But it makes sense—learning a baby’s gender is one of the first things you get to find out about your little baby-to-be. And waiting and wondering until the second trimester ultrasound to find out can sometimes feel maddening.
However, according to Dr. Saad “Steve” Ramzi Ismail, your first ultrasound scan may hold the key to unlocking the mystery of your baby’s gender, opening the door for another avenue to the highly desired answer diverging from the commonly known gender blood test.
The Name Behind the Method
Dr. Ismail isn’t a medical doctor—but he earned a PhD in Public Health and a master’s degree in Diagnostic Medical Sonography. For over 34 years, Dr. Ismail has worked and taught ultrasound techniques across the world. Here are just a few interesting highlights from Dr. Ismail’s resume:
- The royal sonographer – For five years, Ismail worked as the official pediatrics sonographer to the royal family of Brunei—a small island nation west of the Philippines.
- Award-winning sonography research and practice – Did you know there are awards for sonography? In 2005, Ismail earned the Excellence Award in Sonography from Sonography Canada, Canada’s national organization for diagnostic medical sonographers.
- Animal lover – In the ‘80s, Dr. Ismail volunteered at the famous San Diego Zoo as a vet sonographer, working under the zoo’s head vet to check the organ health of various animals.
What is Ramzi Theory?
There have been developments in the theories regarding gender prediction including the Nub Theory and Skull Theory, although, Dr. Ismail theorized that there was a relationship between a baby’s gender and where the placenta is formed. By looking at an ultrasound image, you can see the location of the placenta within the uterus.
According to the Ramzi Theory, if the placenta is formed on the left side of the uterus—the mom’s left side —you’re having a baby girl.
If the placenta is formed on the right of the uterus, you’re having a baby boy.
The Key Elements of the Ramzi Method: Explained
To understand Ismail’s logic and scientific reasoning, let’s first break down the Ramzi Theory building blocks.
- The placenta – Vital to your child’s growth, the placenta is an organ that develops in the uterus of a pregnant woman’s body. It helps the baby grow by providing oxygen and nutrients and removing waste from the baby’s blood. Attached to the wall of the uterus is the placenta. This is where your baby’s umbilical cord is “anchored.” The placenta grows in size and shape alongside your baby.
- Placental or chorionic villi – Just as your baby starts out as a little zygote, your placenta starts out as a collection of placental or chorionic villi. Chorionic villi are fibers with their own blood supply anchored to the lining of your uterus. Think of the villi as bits of yarn that, over time, weave into a thick, protective blanket of nourishment for your child.
- The development of the baby’s sex organs – After 4 weeks of gestation, your baby’s sex organs start to form. However, they’re undetectable to an abdominal ultrasound until around 18-22 weeks into a pregnancy.
- An ultrasound image – To try the Ramzi Theory, you will need to have a special ultrasound picture—a mirrored traverse ultrasound. A normal traverse ultrasound shows the view of your uterus from the viewpoint of someone outside looking in. Your left ovary is on the right, and your right ovary is on the left.
A mirrored traverse ultrasound shows your organs from your point of view. Your left ovary is on the left, and your right ovary is on the right.
Because you can see the beginnings of the placenta—or the chorionic villi—early on in the pregnancy, Dr. Ismail claims that this baby gender prediction method can be done at your first trimester ultrasound—as early as 6 weeks into pregnancy.
Where did Dr. Ismail discover this theoretical connection to a baby’s gender and the placenta placement? From an extensive sonogram study he worked on for nearly ten years.
The Study’s Aim
The researchers set out to understand the relationship between the placenta, the uterus, and a baby’s gender.
This study examined 5,376 pregnant women from 1997-2007. The women had ultrasound examinations 6 weeks into their pregnancy, then again at 18-20 weeks. Gender results were recorded at each stage and then again at delivery.
Dr. Ismail published the results of his study, “The Relationship Between Placental Location and Fetal Gender (Ramzi’s Method)” in Contemporary OB/GYN.
In the article, Dr. Ismail reported:
- 97.2% of moms with baby boys had chorionic villi/placenta on the right side of the uterus.
- 97.5% of moms with baby girls had chorionic villi/placenta on the left side of their uterus.
How to Use Ramzi’s Method
If your first ultrasound is around the corner, and you’re itching for a hint at your baby’s gender, you can follow these steps to try the Ramzi Method for yourself.
1. Request a mirrored traverse ultrasound
Dr. Ismail believes that the clearest way to see the placenta placement is through a mirrored traverse ultrasound.
2. Ask your ultrasound technician or doctor to point to where the placenta is
Reading a sonogram that early can be difficult if you’re not a certified ultrasound technician. Simply ask the medical professional conducting the examination to point out the placenta to you.
3. Read your results
Once you can spot the placenta, you can give the Ramzi Method a try. If your placenta is to the right of your uterus, Dr. Ismail would say you’re having a little boy! If your placenta is to the left of your uterus, you’re having a little girl!
How accurate is Ramzi Theory?
According to Dr. Ismail, his study showed that the method is 97% accurate.
Others are not so convinced.
Below are a few factors that bring the accuracy of the study into question.
The Study Was Not Peer-Reviewed
Back in school, you knew the value of handing your essay to a tutor or walking through a rough draft with a teacher before turning in the assignment. By giving your work to an expert—or two—you could be sure your work was at its best.
The same goes for scientific studies and research.
When an article or study’s results are peer-reviewed, other scientists in the same field put the work under a metaphorical microscope. That means double-checking every aspect of the data, methodology, results, and conclusions. The highest caliber scientific and medical journals require research to undergo peer review before it can be published. This practice helps ensure that scientific claims are made on a rock-solid foundation.
Dr. Ismail published his findings in a journal that does not require peer-reviewed studies.
So if Dr. Ismail was so sure of his study’s accuracy, why didn’t he submit his research to peer review?
In most cases, when a more lax publication publishes a study, it’s because the research doesn’t hold up in front of a peer-review group. And the only way to get the results out in the world—and enhance the researchers’ list of published works—is by submitting to a less discerning publication.
Another important aspect of scientific discovery is the ability of other scientists to replicate the experiment and get the same results. It’s kind of like sharing your approach to a math problem with a study buddy—if your study buddy uses the same methods on a different problem and gets the correct answer, the approach works. If not, then maybe it’s time to go back to the textbook.
A 2010 study attempted to replicate Dr. Ismail’s results, taking sonograms at 6 weeks, recording the placenta placement, and noting the gender of the child at delivery. Although the study included only 277 pregnant women, if Dr. Ismail were correct, the study would show about 97% accuracy.
Here were the study’s findings:
- Out of 277 babies, 159 were girls and 118 were boys.
- In 78 cases, the placenta was actually located in the midline—so not left or right.
- In 89 women, the placenta was located on the right side. Out of those 89 women with right-placed placentas, 51% had boys.
- 110 placentas were located on the left side—57% of women with left-placed placentas had girls.
In other words, the researchers found that Ramzi Method’s accuracy was about 50-50: no better than a coin toss.
The first line of the study’s conclusion summarizes their opinion of Ramzi Theory:
“There is no relationship between placental location and fetal gender.”
And before you ask, yes, this study was published in a peer-reviewed journal.
A Ramzi Theory without a Cause
Dr. Ismail’s article claims that whether you’re having a boy or a girl can affect placenta placement as early as 6 weeks.
But he doesn’t say why.
Neither his published study nor Ismail himself offers possible causes for the placenta placement. In an interview with a lifestyle blog, Dr. Ismail offers little more than vagaries:
“I know that the sex chromosomes are in charge, but there is a great deal that the sex chromosomes do change and switch depending on the placenta position in the uterus, and this research is too long to explain and it is still controversial.”
Dr. Ismail is reportedly working on additional research to expand upon his claims. Time—and hopefully peer-reviewed research—will tell if his 97% accuracy claim has a leg—or placenta?— to stand on.
Know with Certainty: SneakPeek
At SneakPeek, we know you want answers. After all, the sooner and more confident you can be about your baby’s gender, the sooner you can share the exciting news with loved ones and make plans. That’s why we developed the SneakPeek Early Gender DNA Test with scientific experts and solid research.
The SneakPeek Early Gender DNA Test works a lot like a genetic screening test that you would get at your doctor’s office, but you can take this affordable test right at home.
Here’s how it works: At about 8 weeks into pregnancy, tiny pieces of DNA from a growing baby will be present in the mom-to-be’s blood stream. This DNA is called cell-free fetal DNA. The SneakPeek Early Gender DNA Test screens a small blood sample for Y chromosomes—also known as the male chromosome. Since mom has two X chromosomes, if the test finds Y chromosomes, congrats, it’s a little boy! If no Y chromosomes are found, you’re having a little girl!
All you have to do is order the kit, complete the test, then mail your DNA sample in the prepaid package back to SneakPeek Labs. You’ll have your news soon after the sample arrives!
The test is simple, safe, and has proven to be 99.1% accurate in peer-reviewed laboratory studies.
So what are you waiting for? Start finding answers today with SneakPeek!
Healthline. The Ramzi Theory: Is It for Real? https://www.healthline.com/health/pregnancy/ramzi-theory
LinkedIn. Steve Ramsey, PhD. https://www.linkedin.com/in/steve-ramsey-phd-public-health-msc-hon-in-med-ultrasound-b68293193/
Mayo Clinic. Placenta: How it works, what’s normal. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/pregnancy-week-by-week/in-depth/placenta/
Bottle Soup. Dr. Saad Ramzi Ismail. https://bottlesoup.com/2014/03/06/dr-saad-ramzi-ismail-responds-to-my-article-on-the-ramzi-theory/
Contemporary OB/GYN. The Relationship Between Placental Location and Fetal Gender (Ramzi’s Method). https://www.contemporaryobgyn.net/view/relationship-between-placental-location-and-fetal-gender-ramzis-method
ULTRASOUND in Obstetrics & Gynecology. P18.17: The role of placental location assessment in the prediction of fetal gender. https://obgyn.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/uog.8569
Medical News Today. What is the Ramzi theory? https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/ramzi-theory?c=1401360127412
Mayo Clinic. Chorionic villus sampling. https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/chorionic-villus-sampling/about/pac-20393533#:~:text=During%20pregnancy%2C%20the%20placenta%20provides,share%20the%20baby’s%20genetic%20makeup.