When do expectant parents usually find out whether they are having a girl or a boy? In most cases, you can find out between 16 and 20 weeks, during a structural ultrasound. That’s about halfway into your pregnancy. But what if you want to know now?

There are many reasons why you might want to know sooner. Perhaps you want to get a head start on nursery decorations, or your baby shower registry. More importantly, finding out early can prepare you for if your baby is likely to have any congenital or genetic disorders. Many are linked specifically to male and female babies. If your family has a genetic history of one of these abnormalities, you likely will be interested in finding out the sex as soon as possible.

The Ramzi theory claims to be able to determine fetal gender by as early as six weeks into a pregnancy, using a 2D ultrasound. But just how sound is this theory?

The Ramzi theory was developed by Dr. Saam Ramzi Ismail. It’s sometimes called Ramzi’s method or the Ramzi method. In research published on ObGyn.net, Dr. Ismail tried to determine if there was a relationship between a baby’s gender and how the placenta formed. Specifically, he looked at which side of the uterus the placenta formed on. He did this by looking at the laterality of placental/chorionic villi, which are the hairlike formations that the placenta is made of.

In terms of credibility: It should be noted that ObGyn.net is not a peer-reviewed journal, which is where established medical studies are published so that their validity can be reviewed by other scientists and doctors.

Still, it has become a very popular topic of discussion among the pregnancy crowd. Many women are posting screenshots from their early ultrasounds to see if anyone can guess their baby’s gender using the Ramzi theory.

Is there any conclusive, scientific basis for the Ramzi theory? No. There have been virtually no further studies on using placenta placement to predict gender as early as six weeks. And therefore, doctors remain skeptical.

Dr. Sherry Ross, OB/GYN and women’s health expert at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, CA, says, “The Ramzi theory sounds too good to be true, as many point out. It may not have any real scientific validity.”

She also points out that gender is determined in an embryo at four weeks. “It would be really amazing to learn that someone could find out this information only two weeks later, with a 97 percent accuracy rate.”

So, what’s the consensus? “The important take home message about the Ramzi theory is that couples should not make any premature decisions at six weeks about the fate of the embryo,” says Dr. Sherry.

If you are concerned about genetic abnormalities based on gender, use one of the more traditionally accepted genetic tests.

The most accurate way of determining gender has always been through checking the chromosomes of the baby. This has traditionally been done through invasive tests such chorionic villi sampling (CVS) performed between 11 and 14 weeks, or amniocentesis performed at about 16 weeks.

There is also a new, noninvasive maternal blood test that might be able to determine a baby’s gender by as early as 10 weeks. This is cost-effective and is not a risk to baby or maternal health. It’s usually not performed unless there is a medical reason to know the baby’s gender. This test can be performed as early as seven weeks, but is not as reliable.