Ramzi Theory (also known as the Ramzi Method) is a way of predicting from an early ultrasound scan (as early as 6 weeks) whether your baby-to-be is a boy or a girl – by looking at where the placenta is situated in your uterus.
If the placenta is placed on your right, you’re having a boy; if it’s placed on your left, you’re having a girl. Well, that’s how the theory goes – and, say its fans, the method is “97% accurate”.
But is there any truth in it?
We asked Professor Christoph Lees, Professor of Obstetrics at Imperial College London, consultant obstetrician and spokesperson for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. He told us:
We also explained the theory to our expert GP Dr Philippa Kaye and she said: “There is no scientific evidence to support the Ramzi Method: the only ways to know your baby’s sex before birth are to pay for a private NIPT test or to ask your sonographer to tell you after looking at its genitals on your 18 to 22-week scan.”
What’s the ‘science’ behind the Ramzi Theory?
People first started talking about the Ramzi Theory after a study, carried out by Dr Saam Ramzi Ismail, was published online on Obgyn.net.com, a US-based website run by the private medical company MJH Life Sciences.
In the study, Dr Izmail describes looking at at the laterality of chorionic villi, the hairlike formations that make up the placenta, on a group of 6-week ultrasounds and, after at checking the baby’s confirmed sex at a 20-week ultrasound, concludes that his method is accurate for 97.2% of baby boys and 97.5% of baby girls.
At first glance, it seems to be convincing research: it talks about studying 5,376 women who had pregnancy scans from 1997 to 2007, for a start – and that’s a substantial number.
But then, if you read on, you see that only in 22% of that number were “trans-vaginal sonograms performed… at 6 weeks’ gestation, and [then] trans-abdominal sonograms performed at 18 to 20 weeks gestation” to confirm the baby’s sex.
So that takes the number of women actually studied down to 1,182.
What’s more, it seems that Dr Ramzi isn’t actually a qualified doctor. According to an interview on the bottlesoup website, he has, instead, a PhD in Public Health and a master’s degree in medical ultrasounds.
And finally – and most importantly of all, we think – this study has not been published in any mainstream scientific journals, where, as part of the publication process, it would have been ‘peer-reviewed’: scrutinised by doctors or scientists with expertise in this area to check it for its methodology, quality and accuracy.
Nor have there been any other published studies, corroborating or following up on Dr Ismail’s findings – which is unusual for a supposedly ‘breakthrough’ study of this kind.
I still want to try Ramzi Theory: how does it work?
Even though the Ramzi Method isn’t corroborated by experts, we reckon there will still be some of you who want to give it a go – just for fun – to see what it predicts for your baby.
The 1st thing to do, obviously, is to spot where your placenta is on your scan pic. Look for a bright area around your pregnancy sac (the dark area at the centre of your scan, that’s surrounding your baby-to-be). It’s not always obvious and, to be really sure, you’re best off asking your sonographer to show you where the placenta is while your scan is being done.
The most important thing to know, when you’re looking at the scan pic, is that if you’ve had an abdominal ultrasound (the one where the sonographer puts a hand-held transducer on and over your belly), then the pic is a mirror image – so if the placenta is on the right in the pic, it’s on the left in real life. You can see this in the pic below, taken from 1 of the many YouTube videos that explain the Ramzi Theory.
Remember that it’s not scientifically proven – but have fun working out what the Ramzi Theory predicts for you!
Top pic: Getty