Q&A: How Is My Baby's Gender Determined?

How is my baby's gender determined?
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ByDr. Joseph Hill
Cardiologist
Updated
Mar 2017
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The sex of a baby is determined by two sex chromosomes inherited from both the genetic parents. A baby will normally inherit one sex chromosome from the mother and one from the father. A woman has two X chromosomes and thus gives either of her X chromosomes. The father has one X chromosome and one Y chromosome, can give either his X or Y chromosome. The egg (from the mother) already contains an X chromosome. Therefore the sex of a baby is determined by the X or Y chromosome of the  sperm cell from the father. A baby girl will result if there is XX, and a baby boy will result if the final arrangement is XY. It is possible to have an abnormal arrangement of sex chromosomes, however, this is very rare.

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