Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Health & Pregnancy

Font Size

Sick of Pregnancy? You Could Be Having A Girl

continued...

So, should women start thinking 'sugar and spice' when they're feeling anything but nice? "This by no means is a way for the individual couple to determine the sex of their offspring. This is purely a statistical phenomenon that can only be proved or shown in large groups," Askling tells WebMD. "We've studied a million births, where a number of thousands of women had this very severe morning sickness. So, we have studied women at one end of the spectrum. Extrapolating from there, to an individual expectant woman, would be stupid, and you cannot really do that, and as illustrated by our study, almost half of the women with severe nausea did eventually give birth to boys, so the predictive value of this, for the individual mother, is not much better than tossing a coin."

Sharon Phelan, MD, an associate professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, mentioned some of the same limitations Askling did. She says the accuracy of the diagnosis about the woman's severe morning sickness "creates additional confusion" because the definition of hyperemesis isn't "straightfoward".

Phelan says she doesn't know if the study has "an adequate sample size to make that conclusion" because although there were one million births, the speculation is based on about 5,900 pregnant women. Then there are the odds: "He [the researcher] is saying it's 56 to 44, and those are almost 50-50 odds, it's not that different."

Beyond modern techniques, most of what people use to determine a child's sex are "old wives' tales," Phelan tells WebMD. And as Askling did, she worries that "this [information] could be potentially misused."

"What are you going to do with that information? The fear would be that if you had some sort of a marker test that at six weeks into the pregnancy you could tell with very good accuracy the sex of the baby, the fear would be: would people selectively choose which pregnancies they would continue to carry based on something as basic as gender?

 

1|2

Pregnancy Week-By-Week Newsletter

Delivered right to your inbox, get pictures and facts on
what to expect each week of your pregnancy.

Today on WebMD

Woman smiling as she reads pregnancy test
Slideshow
pregnant woman with salad
Quiz
 
pregnancy am i pregnant
Article
babyapp
NEW
 

slideshow fetal development
Slideshow
pregnancy first trimester warning signs
Article
 
What Causes Bipolar
Video
Woman trying on dress in store
Slideshow
 

pregnant woman
Article
Close up on eyes of baby breastfeeding
Video
 
healthtool pregnancy calendar
Tool
eddleman prepare your body pregnancy
Video