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The Ramzi theory claims that if your placenta is forming on the right side of your uterus, you're having a boy, and if it's developing on the left side you're having a girl. An ultrasound done as early as six weeks may provide this information. There's a 50/50 chance of an accurate prediction!
What is the Ramzi theory?
The Ramzi theory (also called Ramzi's method) claims that you can predict a baby's sex as early as 6 weeks into pregnancy by using images from an ultrasound. There's no evidence that it works, and mainstream experts dismiss it.
Some expecting moms like to try it anyway, just for kicks, but the chances of this technique correctly predicting your baby's sex is about 50/50 – no better than just guessing.
According to the theory, the placement of your developing placenta – which must be determined in a very precise way – can reveal your baby's sex.
If your placenta is forming on the right side of your uterus, the baby is most likely a boy, the theory claims.
If it's forming on the left side, it's probably a girl.
Where does the Ramzi theory come from?
The Ramzi theory appears to have started with a research paper published on the website ObGyn.net in 2011. The paper doesn't include an author's name or affiliation, but elsewhere the theory has been attributed to a Dr. Saad Ramzi Ismail. It's unclear who this is and what his credentials are.
ObGyn.net is owned by a media company and describes itself as an online community for medical professionals. It is not a peer-reviewed medical journal. That means research published on the site has not undergone the rigorous process of being reviewed by other scientists or medical experts to make sure it's scientifically valid.
According to the paper, more than 5,000 women got an ultrasound at 6 weeks pregnant to see which side of the uterus the placenta was forming on. Then the women got another ultrasound at 18 to 20 weeks to find out the sex of their baby. (This is when healthcare providers can usually figure out whether a baby is a boy or girl by looking at the baby's genitals.)
The paper says the location of the placenta corresponded with the baby's sex – right for a boy, left for a girl – 97 percent of the time.
Is there evidence to back up the Ramzi method?
No. Other researchers have tackled the topic, and there's no conclusive evidence to support the theory at this point. But there is evidence to disprove it. An Australian study published in the journal Ultrasound in Obstetrics & Gynecology tested the theory and found no relationship between the location of the placenta and a baby's sex.
Professional medical organizations, including the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), don't recognize the Ramzi theory. An ACOG spokesperson says it's "quite unlikely" that placental location could give an indication of a fetus's sex.
Can I try the Ramzi method to guess my baby's sex?
Sure, there's no harm in trying the Ramzi method for fun. But it's a bad idea to make any important decisions or purchases based on the results.
Also, you may not get an ultrasound until later in your pregnancy. Some doctors and midwives recommend ultrasounds as early as 6 weeks to confirm and date the pregnancy, but others only do them this early when they suspect a problem such as a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy.
If you have an ultrasound in your first trimester, you can ask the sonographer which side your placenta is forming on. Without training, you might misinterpret what you see.
If you want, you can post your early ultrasound photos to a gender prediction group in the our site Community and ask others to weigh in on whether your baby might be a boy or girl according to the Ramzi theory and other (unproven) methods of determining sex.
Read about factors that can influence your chances of having a boy or a girl, or try some just-for-fun gender predictor tests.
What are proven ways to find out my baby's sex during pregnancy?
If you want to know whether you're having a boy or a girl, your best shot is usually the mid-pregnancy ultrasound between 16 and 20 weeks. At that point, your baby's genitals are developed enough for the sonographer to see – unless your baby is hiding them.
There are other prenatal tests that can tell you the sex, though these are meant to detect chromosomal abnormalities.
The tests are:
- Noninvasive prenatal testing (NIPT): This is a blood test that can detect Down syndrome and a few other chromosomal conditions at 10 weeks. It's approximately 99 percent accurate at determining a baby's sex.
- Chorionic villus sampling (CVS): For this test, a doctor takes a sample of cells from your placenta and sends it to a lab for genetic analysis. Usually done between 10 and 13 weeks, the test can detect a host of chromosomal abnormalities and your baby's sex, but it comes with a slight risk of miscarriage.
- Amniocentesis: This test involves taking a sample of the fluid surrounding your baby in the uterus, known as the amniotic fluid. It's usually performed between 16 and 20 weeks to detect chromosomal abnormalities. Like CVS, amnio can tell you your baby's sex and carries a slight risk of miscarriage.