We’ve all heard about which boy or girl early signs can help pregnant women predict the sex of their baby. But do they really know how sex is determined, and which of these signals are true or false? Read this article to clear your doubts and finally confirm what gender your baby will have.
Why know the sex before giving birth?
When you find out that you are pregnant, the first thing you want is to have a healthy baby. But the sex of the baby can also be on your mind from the moment you get a positive pregnancy test. In the end, families are happy to welcome their new, healthy addition regardless of gender.
You may have been thinking about unisex baby names and finding out the gender of your baby might make you want a different name. Or hey, those names could also make awesome names for twins if they surprise you!
When do babies have sex?
The process by which gender is determined is called human sexual differentiation. You won’t find out the gender of your baby until your pregnancy is a few months long, but it has already been set in stone from the moment of conception.
The genes your baby contains will determine the sex he will have. This is because women contain eggs that carry the X chromosome, and on the other hand, men carry an X or Y chromosome in their sperm. So, if the egg is fertilized by a sperm carrying the X chromosome, the embryo will be a girl, and if on the contrary it carries a Y chromosome, the baby will have a male sex, and will have XY chromosomes.
At first, all embryos look the same regardless of gender. In fact, if it weren’t for the effects of testosterone, all babies would develop feminine traits. Until week 7 of your pregnancy, your baby will have a structure called the “genital ridge.” Then, during the next 5 weeks, your baby begins to produce hormones that stimulate the development of his sexual organs.
All sexual organs come from the genital crest. The ovaries and labia are equivalent to the testes, which means that they are formed from the same cells, as are the clitoris and the penis. So once those hormones take effect, the genital ridge begins to differentiate into these structures.
In boys, the genital ridge begins to lengthen into a penis at week 9. Small buds will form the prostate around week 10, and the urinary system forms at week 14. The testicles descend into the scrotum around week 26 and the penis continues to grow during the third trimester.
In girls, the ovaries develop between weeks 11 and 12, filling with 7 million primitive eggs. These eggs will be reduced in number until birth, and your baby will be born with approximately 2 million eggs in his ovaries. Two structures called paramedic ducts fuse to form the uterus and vagina during the third month of pregnancy. The vagina will open around week 22.
Signs that you are having a girl.
There are many popular beliefs and myths that claim to predict the first signs of boys or girls. And while it’s tempting to think that you can absolutely determine the gender of your baby through physical symptoms, medical research has debunked many of these myths. Here’s the lowdown on 5 alleged pregnancy signs for a girl:
Carry the baby up.
One of the most common myths around the gender of the baby says that having a taller bulge means that you are going to have a girl. However, this has proven to be a myth.
The most important factors that determine the appearance of your lump are your physical condition, the number of pregnancies you’ve had, the physical shape of your abdominal muscles, and your overall weight gain during pregnancy.
Being stressed before conception.
Another popular belief is that your stress levels before you get pregnant can play a role in determining the sex of your baby. And surprisingly, scientific studies have found a correlation between these two facts.
One study revealed that women with higher levels of cortisol (the stress hormone) were more likely to have a girl. However, the reason for this has yet to be discovered.
Some people think that the estrogen that girls produce can affect the mother’s mood, causing mood swings. However, scientific studies have found that this is not true.
All pregnant women can suffer from mood swings because their own hormones fluctuate during pregnancy. But these mood swings are not related to the gender of your baby.
Have more morning sickness.
Another popular belief states that as girls produce more hormones, their mothers will suffer from a more severe case of morning sickness. But science and experience have shown that morning sickness can vary from woman to woman. The same women may even experience different levels of morning sickness during different pregnancies.
One published study found a small correlation between severe morning sickness and the likelihood of having a girl. However, their evidence was not conclusive, so this myth remains well, a myth.
Having acne or dull skin.
Have you ever heard the saying that a girl steals her mother’s beauty? Some people believe that if you are going to have a girl, you will develop oily or dull skin and a lot of acne. But this is just another false belief. The pregnancy hormone can be unpredictable and will affect each woman’s skin and hair differently.
Signs that you are going to have a boy.
Craving for salty foods.
Research has shown that between 50% and 90% of all pregnant women experience food cravings at some point in pregnancy. And a popular belief states that women who carry girls crave more sweets. They also think that if you are going to have a child, you will crave especially salty and salty foods.
The truth is that a woman’s cravings are more likely to be related to her nutritional needs than to the gender of her baby. So, this is not really a pregnancy symptom for a boy.