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The Ramzi Theory: What is it all about

The Ramzi theory (otherwise known as Ramzi's method) asserts that by using images from an ultrasound, one can predict the sex of a baby 6 weeks into pregnancy. In fact, there is no proof of its efficacy, and several experts have denounced this theory.

Although it appears to be a sham,  some expecting mothers still give it a try. However, the probability of the accuracy of its outcome is a 50/50 - which is more or less, a guess. The theory claims that you can predict the sex of your baby as long as you can determine how the growing placenta is placed. According to the theory, a placenta forming on the right side of the uterus implies that the baby will likely be a boy. On the other hand, if a placenta is forming on the left side of the uterus, it is likely to be a girl.

What is the origin of the Ramzi method?

The Ramzi method seems to have come into public glare after the 2011 publication of a research paper by a website www.obGyn.net. However, the paper failed to reveal the identity of the author. In another piece, the theory was traced to one Dr Saad Ramzi Ismail. Till now, his personality has not been established.

 The ownership of the website ObGyn.net can be traced to a media company, a self-acclaimed medical professional online community. It lacks peer review mechanism because publications on the site need not be reviewed by other medical experts or scientists to confirm its validity.

The research paper stated that about 5,000 pregnant women had an ultrasound in the 6th week of pregnancy to examine the position of the placenta in the uterus. In the 18th to the 20th week, they had another ultrasound to determine the sex of the baby. At this stage, healthcare providers can determine the sex of a baby by looking at the baby's genital. According to the paper, 98 to 99 percent of the time, it was discovered that the placenta of a baby boy was forming on the right side of the uterus while that of the baby girl was forming at the left side.

Is there any proof to substantiate the Ramzi theory?

There is no proof to back up the Ramzi theory. Rather, many studies have disproved the method. According to a publication by an Australian journal, Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology, the theory was tested and found to be untrue. The result stated that there is no correlation between the location of the placenta and the sex of a baby.

The Ramzi theory is not in any way recognized by the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), or any other professional medical associations. According to the ACOG spokesperson, the assumption that the location of placenta gives a clue of the sex of a fetus is untrue.

Also, according to Jason Retzke who is an OhioHealth maternal-fetal medicine doctor in Columbus, the notion that male fetuses implant are located in different places from the female fetuses has no basis. He added that the lack of any other research to support Ramzi's study that was published in 2011 is a proof of its illegitimacy.

Can I guess the sex of my baby using the Ramzi method?

There is no harm in using the Ramzi method to guess the sex of your baby. However, it is unwise to use the outcome of such a guess for important decisions. Moreover, it's possible that you don't have an ultrasound during the early stage of your pregnancy. Experts do advise against frequent use of ultrasound, although there is no proof that ultrasound causes any harm to the growing fetus.

Some doctors prescribe ultrasounds from the 6th to 9th week to confirm the date of the pregnancy. Other doctors and midwives recommend it only when there's a serious condition like ectopic pregnancy or miscarriage.

 Your sonographer can inform you of the location of your placenta if you have an ultrasound in your first trimester. However, you can easily misinterpret if you are not well-trained.

You can also post your ultrasound photos to BabyCenter Community (a gender prediction group), and seek the opinion of others on your baby's likely gender. The opinions of the BabyCenter Community members are informed by their use of the Ramzi method or any other unproven theories of predicting the sex of a baby.

There are other write-ups on the factors that influence the chances of having a baby boy or girl. You can read them for fun.

Is there any proven way to determine the sex of my baby during pregnancy?

You can know the actual sex of your baby from the mid-pregnancy ultrasound done between the 16th and 20th weeks of pregnancy. During this period, the sonographer can see the genitals of your baby.

Besides, there are some prenatal tests that reveal your baby's sex. These tests are restricted to women who are at high risk of giving birth to a baby with a chromosomal condition. These tests include:

Non-invasive Prenatal Testing (NIPT):

 Non-invasive Prenatal Testing is a blood test used to detect some chromosomal conditions and Down syndrome at 10 weeks of pregnancy. It has about 99 per cent accuracy in determining a baby's sex.

Amniocentesis:

This test is done by taking a sample of the amniotic fluid which surrounds the baby in the uterus. The test is carried out between the 16th and 20th weeks to check for chromosomal abnormalities. However, there is a risk of miscarriage associated with this test.

Chronic Villus Sampling (CVS): This test is done between 10 and 13 weeks. To carry out this test, a doctor sends the sample of cells taken from your placenta to a lab for genetic analysis. Like Amniocentesis, there is a risk of miscarriage associated with this test.

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