How to Get Pregnant with a Boy (or a Girl!)

Are you trying to get pregnant with a boy for the first time after giving birth to three daughters? Do you want your daughter to have a sister? There are many reasons a family may want to choose the sex of their child. Below are some of the ways you can try to influence the gender of your next child. You’ll find both natural and medical options discussed here. Make whatever decision is best for you, your body, and your family.

Natural (Non-Medical) Suggestions

The methods below are not scientific. There’s no real evidence any of them work, but what’s the harm in trying? Have fun with your pregnancy journey!

  • Starting a Special Diet Throughout time,  women across cultures have held beliefs that certain diets work better for producing a boy or girl baby. For a male child, high calorie, high sodium diets are suggested. For a female child, a low calorie, low sodium diet is recommended.  There is no scientific evidence for this, but as with many old wive’s tales, you’ll come across people who swear that this works.
  • Trying to Conceive by Season Another old wive’s tale that is based primarily on anecdata, suggests you try a certain time of year for conception. If you want a daughter, you will want to conceive in the cooler, winter months. If you want a son, you will want to conceive in the warmer, summer months. The idea behind this is that male sperm perform better in hot conditions, so you are more likely to conceive a boy during warmer weather.
  • Trying to Conceive at the Right Age Folklore suggests trying to conceive during a certain age range for boys or girls. In order to make a boy, mothers should try to become pregnant between the ages of 23 and 30. To become pregnant with a girl, Mom should try to conceive between ages 30 and 35.
  • Avoiding Drinking and Smoking Some believe that in order to have a boy, the father must abstain from smoking and drinking.
  • Engaging in Specific Sex Positions The sex positions below are said to be preferable if you’re going for a boy, as they allow for deeper penetration and a shorter trip for the male sperm.
    • Rear Entry You make know this position as “from behind” or “doggy style”.
    • Straddling This is the woman on top, with the man sitting down.
    • Standing Up For the adventurous (and well coordinated), having sex standing up is also suggested if you’re trying to have a boy.
  • Resting After Sex For those trying for a boy, you’ll want to rest for a whole 10 minutes post-coitus. Lie down and don’t get up. If you’re going for a girl, feel free to move around.
  • Changing Dad’s Underwear If the two of you are trying to make a girl, have Dad wear tight brief-style underwear. If you’re aiming for a boy, loose boxer-style shorts are preferred.

Chinese Gender Chart

Ah, the lazy girl’s route for sex selection–who wants to change her diet, get her partner to give up his preferred underwear, and have a planned mating season? Lucky for you, there’s ancient planning wisdom that will make it easier.

Your age at conception and the month you get pregnant may help predict the gender of your baby according to an Ancient Chinese calendar. You can find Chinese Gender Chart calculators anywhere online (we like this one from The Bump).

Of course, you can use the chart in reverse when trying to get pregnant. According to the chart, if you’re 32 and get pregnant in February, you will have a girl. If you conceive in June, you’ll have a boy. If you’re 24 and get pregnant in June, you would have a girl. If at 24, you conceive in February, you would also have a girl.

Again, this isn’t scientific, but a fun way to try for the sex of your choice.

Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) Sex Selection

If you’re conceiving through ART (assisted reproductive technology), you may have been informed that you may be able to choose the sex of your baby. In fact, this is the only factually based, scientifically proven method of sex selection.

A woman’s egg only has an X chromosome, but sperm can have either X or Y. If the sperm bears an X chromosome, your baby will be a girl. If the sperm is carrying the Y chromosome, you will have a boy. In nature, there is a 1:1 ratio of X and Y-carrying sperm, so odds are always 50/50. However, with ART, you can tilt the odds in your favor. There are several methods of influencing sperm toward the sex of your choice.

  • Sperm Separation With this technique, heavier X containing sperm are separated from the lighter Y sperm. Success rates for sperm separation are 60-75% if trying for a male and 70-85% when trying for a female. This method was originally designed to select out gender-specific genetic disorders, but it now serves as a method of sex selection.
  • Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) During this process, the mother undergoes In vitro fertilization (IVF), during which several fertilized embryo is implanted in her uterus. A single cell or a blastomere is removed from each embryo to detect X and Y chromosome material. Only embryos that are the desired sex are transferred. With this method, success rates are essentially 100%. While there is some controversy around the procedure, it is the absolutely most effective way to choose the sex of your child.

While there are many old wive tales you’re free to try, the most effective way to choose the sex of your child is through ART (assisted reproductive technology) techniques.

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