Even though we'd love our baby no matter what gender, there are very few of us who wouldn't love to be able to choose whether we have a boy or girl.
Wives' tales and folklore abounds on how to influence the gender of your baby. Here are just a few examples:
If you want a boy
- Make love standing up
- Make love on an odd day of the month
- Warm testicles and sperm
- Woman sleeps on the right left side of the bed
If you want a girl
- Give in to your chocolate craving
- Make love with the woman on top
- Make love when the moon is full
- Cool testicles and sperm
- Woman sleeps on the right side of the bed
- You put a wooden spoon under your bed and a pink ribbon under your pillow
Is it truly possible to choose your baby's gender? (I'm referring to methods that do not involve sperm selection and in-vitro fertilization) Many people believe that yes, science shows us we can.
X-chromosome sperms are slower swimmers than Y's but survive better in cervical mucus. Y-chromosome sperms are faster but less hardy and survive for a shorter amount of time in cervical mucus.
Here is a summary of what he found in his study:
1. Timing: The closer to ovulation you have sex, the better your chances of having a boy because the Y-sperms are faster and will get to the egg first. Having sex 3 or more days before ovulation will give you a better chance of conceiving a girl because the weak Y-sperms will die and the X-sperms will still be hanging around when your egg is released.
2. pH of a woman's vaginal tract: More acidic environments favor X-sperms. Y-sperms will be killed off. According to Dr. Shettles, women should try not to orgasm during sex if trying for a girl because it will make the environment more alkaline. When trying for a boy, both partners should try to orgasm at the same time.
3. Position of intercourse and Depth of penetration: Deep penetration places the sperm closer to the egg and the quick aggressive boy sperms will get a head start. Also, shallow penetration is a more acidic environment. Shettles recommends missionary position for a girl and rear-entry (doggy style) for a boy.
4. Sperm count: When trying for a boy, don't have sex for 3-4 days before you reach the target date (right before ovulation). For girls have sex every day until 3 days before ovulation. Men should wear loose underwear (switch to boxers!) to keep testicles cool for Y-sperms, although Shettles doesn't recommend the opposite when trying for girls.
5. Caffeine for the man right before sex to give Y-sperms a boost.
Is the Shettles Method scientifically sound?
There are numerous medical articles that examine why the Shettles Method is flawed and most medical studies have not been able to replicate the numbers that Shettles himself claims to have seen. In fact, some studies have shown that those using the Shettles Method may actually have trouble conceiving.It seems pretty clear that many of the methods of trying for a girl, especially, would make it harder to conceive at all. The time closest to the actual period of ovulation is the time during which humans are most likely to conceive. It is incredibly hard to conceive at all - I remember learning in an Anthropology course that the human species has a very low probability of conception. The Shettles Method recommends that if trying for a girl baby that you stop having intercourse at 3 days before ovulation, which makes you less likely to conceive overall! I also remember learning from a Psychology teacher (though this wasn't part of the curriculum, haha) that the best intercourse position to conceive in was doggy style - Shettles' recommendation for a boy!
Many women and their partners will say that it can't hurt to try the above methods, just in case they might work! They'll mark dates on their calendar to have sex, measure the pH of cervical mucus, withhold orgasm (gasp!) and so forth. But is this just as fruitless as "putting a wooden spoon under your bed and a pink ribbon under your pillow"?
What do you think?