Over-the-counter Gender Prediction Tests

by Shawn A. Tassone, MD, and Kathryn M. Landherr, MD

Our practice has been asked about an item that is being sold by local vendors, like CVS, called IntelliGender. This product is created by a company of the same name whose corporate headquarters are located in Plano, TX.  We thought it was a fair question as to whether or not this product actually works, so we looked into it.

The test claims that it uses a first morning urine that you mix with "proprietary chemicals" that then reacts with a combination of unnamed hormones, and viola, you know the gender of your baby. 

Honestly, we had not even heard of this test prior to writing Hands Off My Belly: The Pregnant Woman's Survival Guide to Myths, Mothers, and Moods which makes you wonder as to the accuracy of the test itself; so what is the accuracy?

The company claims that it has a 90% accuracy rate in the lab and an 82% accuracy lab in the real world. They also claim that results are being monitored in order to change the test to make it more accurate. Why would they need to change the test, and what exactly are they changing? We don't even know what this thing is testing. 

Dr. Landherr, being the journalist that she is, decided to call the company and ask them some questions about their productHer main question was what is in the test and what is exactly is it looking for in the patient's urine?  The person answering the question did not know the items included in the ingredients and she did not know what the test was looking for, but she did say that we could ask this question in an e-mail. The e-mail was sent and we have yet to receive a response. 

We have not seen the studies that were done on this product to detect accuracy rates. The only clues we have are disclaimers stating that women with polycystic ovarian syndrome will usually test positive for a BOY, and women taking progesterone should wait 10 days after they stop the medication before testing. What is it in women with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome that happens and causes the test come back positive for a BOY? We don't know. 

Why would progesterone throw the results off? Women make large amounts of progesterone throughout the pregnancy and yet this doesn't seem to alter the test so why would taking progesterone alter the test? Again, we don't know. The problem that we have with this test is that there seem to be a lot of questions revolving around the ingredients and the reported 90% accuracy rate in the lab.

We have some questions below to ask the company before buying the product and maybe you could let us know if you get better answers and we can post them here.

  1. What are the ingredients in the product
  2. What is this test, testing for...how does it predict gender?
  3. What about PCOS makes the test come back positive for a BOY?
  4. What about progesterone makes the test positive for a boy?
  5. Why does sex within 48 hours of test effect the results?
  6. Is there a chemical in semen that effects the results?
  7. Is there a money back guarantee?
  8. Are there any printed studies on this product?
  9. If I contact poison control what do I tell them I ingested?

All in all this product sounds questionable. That's not to say that it does not accurately predict the sex of some pregnancies. Obviously there is a 50% accuracy rate with guessing so if you believe the reported 90% accuracy rate then this is something you might want to try. 

Personally, we wonder if this test isn't somehow a spin-off of the crystal Drano test that we discuss in our book. The crystal Drano test also utilizes urine mixed with crystal Drano and if the mixture turns colors you have your results. The problem with this test is that it is more than likely not accurate, and definitely can be dangerous if you inhale the fumes from the mixture. If this test contains any of the compounds in crystal Drano it is potentially hazardous to you, your family, and your pregnancy, and should be treated as such; with care.

Remember, there are always better things out there to spend your money on like diapers.

For information on IntelliGender go to their website and comment to let us know what you find out.

Shawn A. Tassone, MD, FACOG, and Kathryn M. Landherr, MD, FACOG (Tucson, AZ), are the co-owners of La Dea Women’s Health in Tucson, AZ, where Dr. Tassone is the medical director and his wife, Dr. Landherr, is a practicing physician. Both Drs. Tassone and Landherr completed a residency in obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center and are board certified in obstetrics and gynecology. Each is also an Associate Fellow of Integrative Medicine under Dr. Andrew Weil at the University of Arizona. They have written Hands Off My Belly: The Pregnant Woman's Survival Guide to Myths, Mothers, and Moods. Check out their blog and website or following them on Twitter.

Copyright © Shawn A. Tassone and kathryn M Landherr. Permission to republish granted to Pregnancy.org, LLC.