There are hundreds of old wives tales about what you can do to determine the sex of your baby (eat a certain food, make love with a wooden spoon under your bed…) but in reality they’re just that. That’s because the only thing that controls whether you get a girl or a boy is your partner’s sperm – if a male sperm comes into contact with the egg you’ll conceive a boy and if it’s a female one that gets lucky, you’ll have a girl. Simple as that.
Many experts do concede, however, that the timing of sex could influence the gender of your baby, as follows:
If you want a boy
Have sex on the day you’re ovulating (i.e. when your ovaries release an egg). According to Dr. Landrum Shettles, author of How To Choose The Sex Of Your Baby, this is because male sperm swim faster so they’re more likely to reach the egg first. This is especially true if your partner hasn’t ejaculated for at least a week prior to sex.
If you want a girl
Have sex several days before ovulation so that sperm is already present when an egg is released. Researchers argue that this is because while male sperm swim faster, female sperm are hardier and so more likely to stick around for that egg.
If you can’t leave it to chance
If having a boy or a girl is a matter of genetic health (for example if you and your partner are carriers for a disease that affects only boys), in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) could be the solution. Doctors can use this technique to fertilise eggs and then ‘put back’ only the female or male embryos in the womb. This is only ever performed for medical reasons, however.
Now tell us what worked for you…
What tricks did you use to try and choose the sex of your baby?