Every mom-to-be says all she wants is a healthy child, but let’s be real: Most people secretly have a gender preference for their next pregnancy. You may have even scoped out a few conception-time tricks to tip the scales one way or another.
Early bird gets the girl?
While there is no precise science to making a boy or girl outside of high-tech gender selection, there is a germ of truth behind the most commonly-touted (but not scientifically proven!) natural method. It involves having intercourse three days before you ovulate and zero intercourse after ovulation to maximize your chances of having a girl. For couples that want a boy, the advice is to have sex only on the day you ovulate.
Basically, men produce two types of sperms, the X (female) and Y (male). Studies the y-sperms are smaller, weaker, but faster than their siblings x-sperms, which are bigger, stronger, but slower.
The closer to ovulation you have sex, the better the chances to have a boy, because the y-sperms are faster and tend to get to the egg first. If you have sex 3 days or more before ovulation, the better your chances to conceive a girl, because the weaker y-sperms tend to die sooner and the x-sperms will be available in greater quantity whenever the egg is released. On the other hand, having sex from 2 days before ovulation, through a few days after ovulation, is better for conceiving a boy. Around the 2-day point, 48 hours before ovulation, seems to be the 50/50 mark.
When and how can I find out my baby’s sex?
Most pregnant women find out their baby’s sex (if they choose to know) during their mid-pregnancy ultrasound, usually between 16 and 20 weeks. However, the technician may not be able to tell for sure if she can’t get a clear view of the baby’s genitals.
While a baby’s penis or vulva begins forming as early as 6 weeks, boy and girl babies look very similar on ultrasound until about 14 weeks, and it can still be hard to tell them apart for several weeks after that. By 18 weeks, an ultrasound technician should be able to identify the sex if the baby is in a position that allows the genitals to be seen. If not, you may be able to find out the sex if you have another ultrasound later.
Some people find out their baby’s sex through noninvasive prenatal testing (NIPT). This is a blood test that can detect Down syndrome and a few other chromosomal conditions at 10 weeks of pregnancy or later. It also looks for pieces of the male sex chromosome in the expectant mother’s blood to see if she’s carrying a boy or a girl.
Other people find out their baby’s sex from a genetic test like CVS or amniocentesis. These tests are usually used to determine whether a baby has a genetic disorder or a chromosomal abnormality like Down syndrome but may carry a slight risk of miscarriage. CVS is typically done between 10 and 13 weeks and amniocentesis between 16 and 20 weeks.
Other factors that decide your baby’s gender
The pH of the women’s tract is also very important.
A more acidic environment favors girls, since it will kill the weaker y-sperms first, leaving a greater quantity of x-sperms available to fertilize the egg. On the other hand, a more alkaline environment favors boys. Shettles recommends a douche of water and vinegar (acid) immediately before intercourse to favor a girl; a douche of water and baking soda (alkaline) will help for a boy.
Position of intercourse and depth of penetration are important, partly because of pH.
The closer to the entrance to the vagina, the more acidic the women’s tract is. Also, deep penetration places the sperm closer to the egg, and gives those aggressive boy sperms a head star. So, a shallow penetration will favor girls and a deeper will favor boys. Scientists recommend missionary-position for a girl, and rear-entry (dog-style) for a boy.
Women’s orgasms can also be important.
It also has to do with pH. When a woman has an orgasm, the body releases some kind of substance that makes the environment more alkaline, favoring boys. Scientists recommend no orgasms when trying for girls!
The sperm count is another factor.
Obviously, a low sperm count to begin with doesn’t favor either sex. But a high sperm count favors boys.
- When trying for a boy, don’t have sex for 3- 4 days before you reach the target date a day or two before ovulation!
- For girls, have sex every day from day=1 or day=5 (“cleaner”), and stop 3 days before ovulation.
- Shettles recommends that for boys, the man wear loose underwear only, that is, men who usually wear briefs or other tight underwear should switch to boxers. The idea is the same as wearing boxers to increase overall fertility, the testicles need cooler temperatures for sperms to survive, and the Y-sperms, since they are weaker, will be helped more than the X-sperms by this method.
- Also, for a girl, the man is supposed to take a hot bath immediately before intercourse. “Room temperature” is fine for a boy. The idea is the same as the briefs versus boxers, give the X-sperms an advantage.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.