Choosing the Sex of Your Baby

Most potential parents would be happy with a child of any gender, but interest in methods purported to help select gender remains high. Below is a list of popular procedures and products used by folks interested in choosing whether to add a girl or a boy to their family.

Natural/At-Home Methods

The Shuttles Method: Relies on timing of intercourse (tracking ovulation) and using particular sexual positions based on the assumption that two different types of sperm (called “Y Sperm” and “X Sperm” respectively) that result in male or female babies thrive under different circumstances.

: Relies on timing of intercourse (tracking ovulation) and using particular sexual positions based on the assumption that two different types of sperm (called “Y Sperm” and “X Sperm” respectively) that result in male or female babies thrive under different circumstances.

O + 12 Method for Conceiving a Girl – recommends intercourse about 12 hours after ovulation. Boys are theorized to be conceived on the day of ovulation. Fathers should not ejaculate 7 days before ovulation, intercourse should be performed once only, and do not have intercourse again until the woman is certain she is no longer fertile. Particular dietary recommendations are also recommended, as is douching. The latter, however, has been found to be unhealthy for women. This method is said to be slightly more effective than chance.

– recommends intercourse about 12 hours after ovulation. Boys are theorized to be conceived on the day of ovulation. Fathers should not ejaculate 7 days before ovulation, intercourse should be performed once only, and do not have intercourse again until the woman is certain she is no longer fertile. Particular dietary recommendations are also recommended, as is douching. The latter, however, has been found to be unhealthy for women. This method is said to be slightly more effective than chance.

Vitamin/Mineral Supplement Regimens – combinations of certain herbs, vitamins and minerals effect the acidic/alkaline balance in the vagina, or change estrogen levels, which are supposed to increase the chances of conceiving one gender or the other.

– combinations of certain herbs, vitamins and minerals effect the acidic/alkaline balance in the vagina, or change estrogen levels, which are supposed to increase the chances of conceiving one gender or the other.

Diets – There are various diets that are supposed to effect the gender of a child based on their vitamin/mineral content. Some people believe beans and peas slow sperm down, and coffee kills them, so these items are often regulated as well.

– There are various diets that are supposed to effect the gender of a child based on their vitamin/mineral content. Some people believe beans and peas slow sperm down, and coffee kills them, so these items are often regulated as well.

“Gender Kits” – These kits contain information about one or more of the above methods, and often include ovulation detection resources, douches, and specialized vitamins.

– These kits contain information about one or more of the above methods, and often include ovulation detection resources, douches, and specialized vitamins.

The Chinese Calendar Method – Supposedly, if the woman is a certain age, the couple can have sex on a certain day and ensure the gender of their child. This method is also said to be slightly above 50% accurate.

– Supposedly, if the woman is a certain age, the couple can have sex on a certain day and ensure the gender of their child. This method is also said to be slightly above 50% accurate.

Medical/Technological Methods

MicroSort Sperm Sorting – X chromosome sperm tend to be larger, and contain slightly more DNA than Y chromosome sperm. This method separates X sperm (which produces a female child) from Y sperm (which produces a male child) using a technique called flow cytometry (An explanation of flow cytometry can be found here: http://www.barrettsinfo.com/content/6a2_use_of_flow_cytometry.htm). The sorted sperm are then used in artificial insemination or in-vitro fertilization.

Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis – the only nearly 100% effective method of gender determination, as embryos are grown outside the womb and tested for gender before in vitro implantation.

– the only nearly 100% effective method of gender determination, as embryos are grown outside the womb and tested for gender before in vitro implantation.

Doctors caution that couples having trouble with conception need to be especially cautious of using any of these methods. Restricting intercourse can make conception even more difficult. The best way to assure the gender of your baby is to adopt!

– X chromosome sperm tend to be larger, and contain slightly more DNA than Y chromosome sperm. This method separates X sperm (which produces a female child) from Y sperm (which produces a male child) using a technique called flow cytometry.

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