Natural Methods to Increase Your Chances of Conceiving a Boy
Trying to conceive comes with its fair share of challenges. For couples who have a specific preference, things can get even more complicated! That being said, if you are hoping for a boy, here are some ways to improve your odds.
The Characteristics of XY and XX Sperm
The method explained here, which was developed by Dr. Landrum Shettles, is based on the fact that male sperm (with XY chromosomes) and female sperm (with XX chromosomes) have some distinct characteristics.
Male sperm are smaller, lighter, and quicker than their female counterparts, so they can reach the egg faster than female sperm. They generally have a very short lifespan—unlike female sperm, which can live for days. Alkaline environments are more favorable for male sperm.
Female sperm are bigger and stronger, so they can survive for longer periods of time, but they are also significantly slower.
How to Have a Boy
- To conceive a boy, you should try to have sex close to the time of ovulation. The window for conceiving a boy is from about 24 hours prior to ovulation to no more than 12 hours past ovulation. You should closely monitor your cycle using one or more methods of ovulation prediction. These methods are charting cervical mucus, charting basal body temperature (BBT), and/or using ovulation predictor kits (OPK).
If you have not been charting your cervical mucus or basal body temperature, then using an OPK may be easiest for you. Ovulation kits work by detecting when your luteinizing hormone (LH) levels increase. The LH levels surge about 12-48 hours prior to ovulation, so the optimal time to have intercourse would be about 12 hours after the LH surge. (See the illustration above) As you get close to ovulation, do the OPK test two times a day to catch the surge as soon as it happens.
- You should also try to have sex in positions that allow for maximum penetration. This will increase the chances of survival for male sperm on the way through the vaginal opening, where the environment is more acidic and less friendly to the male sperm.
- Another factor is a woman's orgasm, which can affect the vaginal PH. If the woman has an orgasm, it creates an alkaline environment in the vagina that is more favorable to boys.
- Eating foods that are naturally alkaline is said to encourage a more alkaline environment in the vagina.
- To minimize your chances of conceiving a girl, DO NOT have sex in the few days just prior to ovulation—that is, as soon as your fertile cervical mucus appears. (If you do, use some sort of birth control.) Female sperm are slower, but stronger and more resilient, so it is more likely you will conceive a girl if you have intercourse during that time. The female sperm will wait in the woman’s reproductive tract, ready to fertilize the egg when it is released from the ovary.
What Are the Odds?
Some sources claim that Shettles' method, when properly applied, gives couples a 75% chance of successfully choosing the sex of their child. Of course, there is no guarantee that you will conceive a boy—or even that you will become pregnant in the first place.
One important caveat: Please remember that you are reducing the number of days you have intercourse when you use this method. Overall, this will reduce your odds of getting pregnant.
Here's why: on average, the chances of getting pregnant each month are fairly low. Even healthy couples without any known fertility issues who are trying to conceive should remember that success may take time and effort. According to the American Pregnancy Association, a healthy couple who times intercourse properly only has a 25% chance of conceiving each month. If you are only having intercourse in a narrow window in order to increase your chances of having a boy, your odds of getting pregnant will be lower as a result.
If you are really determined, you can try a more technologically advanced—but significantly more costly—method of gender determination. Have your partner's sperm spun and then have an intrauterine insemination procedure with only male sperm. This method is nearly 100% effective. Boy sperm are lighter than girl sperm. When the sperm is spun in a container, the boy sperm float to the top while the girl sperm sink to the bottom. This method costs about $500.00, making it a significant investment. However, if your heart is set on having a baby boy, this is the most accurate method available.
Whatever method you choose, best of luck during this exciting time!
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