How to conceive a boy
Some couples are almost desperate to conceive a baby of one particular gender. Fathers especially, can be eager to have a boy but there are also mothers who long for a son. Most couples however, are happy with either a boy or a girl baby, as long as it is healthy and strong. But if you are keen to try to sway the odds of having a boy then there is no harm in trying. Just remember that there are no guarantees and the odds of conceiving a boy or a girl are almost exactly the same for each and every pregnancy.
No matter what claims are made by companies asserting their skills in predicting whether a boy or girl will be conceived, don’t be too trusting. A lot of time, money, trust and energy can be wasted by couples who think they can consciously influence their baby’s gender. It’s worth remembering that the only scientifically proven strategy which can sway the odds, just slightly, is the timing of intercourse.
Diet, lunar calendars, sexual positions and even the boy/girl patterning within families do not change the likelihood of gender determination.
What’s a fact and what’s a fallacy?
- Fact – men influence the gender of the baby, not women. Men provide the sperm which either has an X (girl) or Y (boy) linked sex chromosome.
- There is no sure-fire guarantee of having a baby of a particular gender. Hoping and trying for a boy or girl is just that, and does not influence the odds in either direction.
- One testicle does not produce girl sperm and the other boy sperm. Both produce an equal number of X and Y sperm and it is random chance, rather than management, which one fertilises the egg.
- Some men do seem to produce better quality X or Y sperm which may account for the reason why particular families have large numbers of girls or boys.
- Herbal and complementary medicine remedies do not impact on the likelihood of having a girl or a boy. They tend to offer spurious claims which are not based on scientific fact and reason.
Can’t I choose which sex my baby is?
At the current time in Australia, the only occasion when gender selection is done via fertility assistance is when there is a likelihood of the baby inheriting a sex linked disorder. Genetic counselling is often recommended as one part of an overall treatment regime. It is true that in some countries “designer babies” are more common, with clinics freely advertising their success rates. Though the important issues of control over biology, quality of the parent/child relationship and expectations which may be placed on the “perfect” child need to be thought about by parents very carefully in advance.
|Characteristics of boy sperm||What this means to you|
|Are identified as looking like a Y||Nothing really, just an interesting point.|
|Are not as resilient or strong as girl sperm.||Interesting but nothing more.|
|Have short bursts of power before they fizzle out in energy.||This affects the timing of sex to coincide with ovulation; don’t expect them to hang around.|
|Are not capable of fertilising the egg past 24 hours after they have left the man’s body.||Timing sex to coincide with the day of ovulation may help slightly to increase the odds of having a boy.|
|Move at high speed towards the egg.||Interesting but out of your control.|
|Characteristics of girl sperm||What this means to you|
|Are identified as looking like an X.||Interesting – some people remember the differences because they claim that the extra arm on the x indicates more strength.|
|Are more resilient and live for longer than Y sperm. This means they can still fertilise the egg 4-5 days after they have left the man’s body.||You don’t need to be so particular about timing sex to coincide with ovulation. Female sperm can wait around for longer until the egg is ready to be fertilised.|
|Require less “nurturing” to find their way to the egg.||Interesting, but you don’t need to do anything consciously to look after them. Just don’t douche.|
|Move more slowly than Y sperm but retain their energy.||Again, you don’t need to do anything in particular.|
Timing of intercourse
The timing of when a couple has sex is thought to actually make a difference in helping to conceive with a boy. It is one of the strategies suggested in The Shettles Method, which claims that the chances of having a boy are boosted when conception occurs as close to ovulation as possible. Boy or Y sperm are not as resilient as the X or female sperm, and according to Shettles it may help to provide a bit of additional support in supporting the Y sperm to get to their destination and not have to compete any more than they absolutely have to. Of course, this all depends on the willingness of a couple to track the woman’s ovulation and be available to each other over those crucial fertile hours.
According to Shettles, if you want a boy then avoid having sex:
- no earlier than 24 hours before you are about to ovulate.
- not after 12 hours since you have ovulated.
Shettles also advises that if couples want to conceive with a boy:
- Deep penetrative sex is preferable. This helps to deposit the semen and sperm closest to the woman’s cervix so they are given the best opportunity to get to the egg in the fallopian tube. Twelve hours before ovulation is thought to maximise the chances of conceiving with a boy.
- It also helps if the woman orgasms. This boosts the alkaline properties of the vagina which again, supports the sperm to do their work. Orgasm also causes uterine and vaginal contractions which help to push the sperm upwards where they need to go.
How do I know when I’ve ovulated?
- Many women develop a distinctive pain on one side of their lower pelvis, which occurs mid-way through their monthly cycle.
- Changes in the cervical mucous. Fertile mucous is clear, watery and stretchy – it appears similar to egg white. The cells change to encourage the smooth passage of sperm upwards through the cervix towards the fallopian tubes. Fertile mucous is also less acidic than non-fertile mucous and this environment favours the sperm rather than killing them off.
- You could try using an ovulation testing kit. These detect hormonal changes which occur at ovulation, particularly an increase in Luteinizing Hormone. But there is still some disagreement over their effectiveness. Kits cost anywhere between $25.00 – $40.00.
- You may feel different. Women who have ovulated and are at their most fertile often experience and increase in their libido, they appear more attractive and are more relaxed.
- An increase in your basal body temperature. This is the lowest temperature which is attained by your body during rest and sleep. Just before ovulation occurs there is a rise in the temperature by a couple of degrees. If you are trying to conceive a boy, then it can be useful to chart your basal body temperature for a few months so you know your peak times of fertility.
General tips to help conceive a boy
- Caffeine may help to give the Y laden sperm an additional boost. An energy drink, cup of coffee or even some chocolate before having sex won’t do any harm.
- Suggest your partner change his underpants preference if he’s into the tighter briefs. Boxer shorts may look less glamorous but they don’t “hug” the testicles close to the body and cause them to overheat. This in turn, can reduce the number of sperm which are produced and in turn, the likelihood of conceiving with a boy.
What about the food I’m eating?
It does seem that male sperm prefer an alkaline vaginal environment, which is where the correlation between diet and gender selection comes in. But whether or not eating a less acidic diet makes a difference is still open to debate. But it probably does no harm.
If you want to conceive a boy baby then you may want to consider eating less of these types of foods:
- Spicy foods which contain vinegar, citrus juices and fruits and tart/tangy flavours.
- Avoid eating dairy foods such as milk, cheese, youghurt and ice-cream.
- Eat more foods which contain potassium such as bananas, broccoli, potatoes, spinach and brussel sprouts.
- Some researchers believe that taking a daily supplement of Evening Primrose Oil boosts the chances of conceiving a boy.
Try eating more of these foods:
- Bread, avocado, almonds, sprouts and wheatgrass.
- Pine nuts and cherries.
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