Ever wondered if there was something you could just do to determine the sex of your baby?
Traditionally, couples have an equal chance of conceiving a male or a female child through normal old-fashioned intercourse.
Yet there are some people who might want to stack the odds in their favour, either for cultural reasons, for dreams of raising a son or a daughter or to balance out the sexes in their families.
Proponent of these methods believe it is possible to determine the sex of your next child.
But to most health experts, the thesis that one can certainly plan and produce the baby of their desired sex is still but a fallacy.
However, as long as the route you take doesn’t hurt mom or baby, surely, there isn’t any harm in trying.
Here are 6 natural sex-determination techniques for you to consider:
1. Timing Of Sex (The Shettles Theory)
The Shettles method is arguably the most popular natural strategy for choosing the sex of your baby.
It was developed in the 1960s by Landrum B. Shettles. The technique revolves around timing intercourse to a woman’s cycle and assuming certain sexual positions.
In his book: “How to Choose the Sex of Your Baby”, Shettles explains that the male (Y) sperm is smaller, faster, and more short-lived than the female (X) sperm which is heavier, with a life-span longer than that of the male.
According to Shettles, what this means is that if you have sex a few days before ovulation and then abstain (while the male sperm die), this should increase the chances of conceiving a girl.
Also, having sex on the day of ovulation would increase the chances of conceiving a boy.
2. Sexual Position
This theory states that male sperm are more vulnerable and the vagina becomes less acidic closer to the cervix.
Hence, if penetration is deep – woman-on-top or man-behind positions, – the male sperm will enter a more alkaline environment and are more likely to survive the short journey.
Therefore, deeper positions support that a male child is more likely to be realised. Shallow penetration favour your chances of conceiving a female child.
The slower female sperm are resistant enough to withstand the acidic conditions at the entrance to the vagina. This helps the sperm make it through to the egg after the male sperm have died off.
READ ALSO: Best sex positions for pregnancy
3. Timing Of Orgasm And Sex Of Your Baby
The theory is that if the woman reaches orgasm before their male partners, the vagina becomes more alkaline, thus creating a better environment for male sperm.
Female sperm survive better in the naturally acidic environment of your vagina, so climaxing first would favour the conception of boys.
However, the success rate of this sex-determination technique is believed to be low since prolonged foreplay has the same effect of increasing vaginal secretions, which could be just as effective at reducing its acidity, but no one has suggested female foreplay as a method for conceiving boys.
4. Male Sexual Abstinence
Abstaining for a few days before making love according to this theory increases one’s chances of conceiving a male child.
The greater the volume of sperm, the more male sperm should be present.
So, theoretically there’s a greater chance that a male sperm survives and fertilises the egg before a female sperm can reach it.
On the success rate, the news is that with more sperm, the chances of you getting pregnant may be higher, but there’s no gender factor.
5. Diet Change And Sex Of Your Next Child
The theory here is that certain minerals in a woman’s diet could affect her metabolism and the environment of the eggs.
Therefore, to improve conditions for male sperm she should consume more foods high in potassium. Some of such foods are meat, bananas, and apricots.
To improve conditions for female sperm, she needs more magnesium-rich food. Some of such foods are nuts, soya beans, and leafy green vegetables.
But then, there is no scientific data on humans to support the potassium or magnesium theories, although experts say diet does seem to play some part in gender selection.
Also, historical events have shown that famine can result in more boys being born but also that women weighing less than 54.5kg are more likely to have girls.
This could very well mean that the type of food and nutrients available to such people played a part, or that calorie intake has an effect – but a low-calorie diet has a very different effect to malnutrition.
Some belong to the school of thought that male sperm favour alkaline conditions, so douching (flooding the vagina via a syringe) with a dilute alkaline solution, such as sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) before intercourse can increase the chances of conceiving a boy.
Nevertheless, there’s minimal amount of medical evidence backing up this theory, but some experts warn women against putting sodium bicarbonate into their vagina because they may not know how diluted to make it. Besides, the acid in the vagina is, therefore, necessary protection against infections like thrush.
7. Altering The Body Chemistry (Acid/Alkaline Levels)
A woman’s monthly bodily cycle features alternating pH levels (acidic and alkaline) within her reproductive tract.
The changes in the pH environment within believed to affect the baby’s sex. Experts report that alkaline in the follicular fluid will favour Y sperm (conceive a son) while acidic in the follicular fluid gives preference to the X sperm (conceive a daughter).
Therefore, if you want a girl, you should:
- Avoid alkaline foods such as bananas, orange, potatoes and watermelon.
- Opt for a diet higher in magnesium, calcium and acidic foods such as corn, meat, beans, fish, plums, coffee, eggs, liver, and yogurt.
- Take supplements such as calcium, folic acid, magnesium, and vitamin C to help make the cervical mucus acidic (which will in turn kill the Y sperm).
While to conceive a boy you should:
- Increase foods that contain potassium, e.g. bananas
- Avoid dairy products and lower magnesium and calcium supplements
- Increase vegetables and fresh fruits
- Eat plenty of alkalinising foods including, fresh lemons, cherries, avocado, almonds, carrots, red radish, fresh red beets, etc.
The father should also avoid excess heating around the genitals because heat destroys male sperm faster than female ones. He should avoid tight-fitting underwear, hot tubs, saunas, etc.