Are you longing for a girl? Do you already have a one boy or more and now want to see if you can tip the gender balance in your household? There are lots of theories and claims made about influencing the chances of having either a boy or a girl baby, but the scientific facts are absolutely clear.
The chances of having a boy or a girl are almost exactly equal for each and every pregnancy. Even though some couples only seem to make boys, or girls, this patterning owes more to luck than management.
Top tips for conceiving a girl
have sex 2.5-4 days before you ovulate
keep an ovulation chart so you know when you are ovulating
have sex every day from the day when you finish your period
avoid having sex which involves deep penetration – missionary position is best
purchase an alkaline testing kit from the pharmacy to find out your vaginal ph
eat foods that support a more acidic vaginal ph, like green leafy vegetables, wholegrains, meat, sweets, corn and blueberries
What’s a fact and what’s fallacy?
To conceive with a girl, an X chromosome linked sperm from your partner needs to get to your egg first.
If a Y linked sperm gets in before an X, then you will have a boy.
It’s important to remember that it is always the man who determines the sex of the baby. Women always carry a pair of X chromosomes whereas men carry an X and Y.
It is a fallacy that men who are less masculine father girls.
It is a fallacy that one of the testicles only produces X (girl) sperm and the other only produces Y (boy) sperm.
Lunar cycles, diet, sexual positions, homeopathy and assorted complimentary medicine practices do no influence the likelihood of having a boy or a girl.
If you really want to minimise your chances of having a boy and maximise the odds of having a girl, then gender selection through a fertility clinic is your best bet. But in Australia at the current time, just having a preference for one gender more than the other is insufficient reason to sign up.
This process is tremendously expensive and fraught with potential problems, especially if the desired baby is not the ‘right’ gender. So, unless there is a strong likelihood of your baby carrying a sex linked chromosomal abnormality, it is unlikely that using a gender selection clinic is an option for you.
Timing of intercourse
If you are keen to have girl, then you need to think about, plan for and execute your strategy to include exactly how and when you are going to have sex. Forget just waiting to see what happens or being relaxed about it.
Bear in mind that in order to maximise your chances of conceiving either a boy or a girl then you need to have produced an egg which the sperm can then fertilise. Having lots of sex throughout your cycle will provide you with the best chances of having any baby. If you limit the opportunity for conception to occur this will in turn, reduce your chances of having either a boy or a girl.
In the 1960’s Dr. Shettles developed a range of strategies which could boost the probability of parents having either a girl or a boy.
According to Shettles, to conceive a girl you need to:
Have sex 2.5 – 4 days before you ovulate. Timing sex is the key here, so it would help if you keep an ovulation chart where you can predict what days of your cycle you are likely to ovulate and have lots of sex before you release an egg.
Have sex everyday from the day when you finish your period. This helps to deposit lots of the longer lasting X sperm so they are ready to fertilise the egg once it is released from the ovaries.
Preparation is the key to conceiving a girl. Don’t wait for the last moment to have sex. Boosting your chances of having a girl is similar to saving for a home loan. Make lots of deposits nice and early and then, when the time is right you are in the best position to gain the rewards.
Shettles also advises that if couples want to conceive with a girl:
Avoid having sex at the time when you ovulate or just afterwards. Having sex when ovulation is still some days away supports the slower moving X sperm.
Mucous which is produced before ovulation tends to be more acidic and this helps to conceive with a girl. Women who are sensitive to their body’s changes are in the best possible position to know when they are fertile.
If manageable, women need to avoid having an orgasm during sex. Shettles claims female orgasm helps to produce a more alkaline vaginal environment which favours boy sperm. The muscular uterine contractions also give the boy sperm a boost towards the fallopian tubes which is where conception usually takes place.
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. This is because 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 (see below).
You may feel different. Women who have ovulated and are at their most fertile often experience an 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.
Bear in mind that the ovulation testing kits which work by measuring hormonal levels in the saliva, rather than the urine, are supposed to be more exact.
General tips to help conceive a girl
Avoid having sex which involves deep penetration. The missionary position may be preferable because the semen/sperm are not deposited as closely to the cervix as the all fours position. A shallow position is preferable when trying to have a girl baby.
Enlist your partner’s cooperation if you’re trying to have a girl. There may be changes from your usual sexual routine. Communication and shared decision making will go a long way towards avoiding misunderstandings at ‘delicate’ moments.
It seems that girl sperm favour a more acidic environment. This is largely out of your control though there may be some foods which favour the acidic ph. Alkaline testing kits are available from pharmacies if you’re keen to find out what your individual vaginal ph may be.
There is a theory that girl sperm are more prolific when a man is ejaculating daily. But just to confuse us, there is another theory which claims that it takes a couple of days for total sperm numbers to build up to maximum numbers after ejaculation.
One option is to use condoms during sex which occurs over the woman’s most fertile days. These will limit the opportunity for any conception to occur, but does support Shettles theory of a greater likelihood of boy conception at the time of ovulation.
Foods which are likely to support a more acidic vaginal ph are thought to be great for boosting the chances of having a girl.
To boost your chances of having a baby girl, try eating more of these foods:
Green leafy vegetables. Be aware that some researchers claim mothers who are keen to conceive with a girl should avoid most fruits and vegetables, though in a dietary sense this is generally not advisable for anyone. Folic acid is an important nutrient in the first trimester and green leafy vegetables are one of the major sources of folate.
Wholegrains such as breads, cereal and rice.
Sweets, lollies, desserts and cakes. (Lucky you)!
Avoid eating nuts, specifically almonds.
Eat corn and blueberries.
Aim to eat foods which are high and rich in magnesium, such as fish, fruit and grains.
There is some science to support the theory that women who have a higher energy intake in their diets are more likely to have boys. More kilojoules per day favours those little boys it seems. So the reverse may be true to help boost the chances of having a girl. Just remember, there are no guarantees.