Are you hoping to get pregnant with a baby boy? While natural methods for gender selection can never guarantee the result you wish for, this article summarizes the available methods for trying to tip the odds.
In fact, when your preference is for a boy, Mother Nature has already given you a slight advantage. Worldwide, approximately 105 baby boys are born to every 100 girls. Many of the methods for trying to conceive a boy are also better for your overall fertility than the methods for conceiving a girl, and shouldn’t make it more difficult for you to get pregnant at all.
Dr. Shettles’ Method for a boy
Dr. Shettle’s method has probably been the world’s most widely used gender selection method since the publication of his bestseller, How to Choose the Sex of Your Baby, in the 1960s. Although his claims to a 75-90% success rate have never been proven, the method has the advantages of being natural, low-cost, and reasonably easy to implement for any couple.
The Shettles Method is based on the assumption that male sperm cells are faster, but more fragile, than female sperm cells. In order to get pregnant with a boy, you therefore have to create conditions that favor the fast-moving male sperm rather than the more robust female sperm. Here’s how.
Intercourse close to ovulation
The most important element in the Shettles Method is intercourse timing. Because male sperm cells are moving faster, having intercourse as closely to ovulation as possible increases the chance that a male sperm will reach the egg first. On the other hand, intercourse in the days before ovulation will increase the likelihood of having a girl: Because the female sperm cells live longer, there will be more female than male sperm still around when the egg is finally released and ready to be fertilized.
As a result, Shettles recommends not to have intercourse (or to use a condom) during the last 4-5 days before ovulation, except the “now or never” intercourse which should take place no more than 12 hours before ovulation.
To make this work, you obviously need to be able to pinpoint the time of ovulation very precisely. Temperature charting is a great tool for getting to know your cycle if it takes more than a few months to get pregnant, but it will only indicate the ovulation day once ovulation is over and it’s too late for conception. Observing your cervical mucus can help you to know when you’re in your fertile period, but is not precise enough for the Shettles Method. Your best option is therefore to use ovulation tests, and avoid intercourse until the tests become positive.
Create the right vaginal pH for conceiving a boy
As a general rule, sperm cells thrive in alkaline (high pH) environments and dislike acidic (low pH) conditions. According to Shettles, a low vaginal pH will kill the weaker male sperm first, favoring the more robust female sperm. In order to get pregnant with a boy, you should therefore strive to create a more alkaline vaginal environment. Here are a few of the methods you can try.
Choose the right lovemaking position: The area around your cervix is more alkaline than the entrance to you vagina. Making love in a position which allows deep penetration, such as the doggy style, will make sure that the sperm is released as closely to the cervix as possible, which favors the male sperm cells.
Have an orgasm: When you have an orgasm, the cervical mucus inside your vagina becomes more alkaline and creates a better environment for male sperm. Ideally, the woman should climax before the male partner.
Eat the right foods: Your diet may also influence your body’s pH levels and thereby your chances of getting pregnant with a boy. Try to increase your intake of alkaline foods such as millet, brown rice, potatoes and sweet potatoes; artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, brussels sprouts, celery, cauliflower, carrots, turnips, leek, eggplant, cucumbers, all green leafy vegetables such as cabbages and salads; onions, almonds, parsley, ginger; melons, apples, pears, apricots, fresh figs, bananas, kiwi, grapes, berries, and – surprisingly – lemons! Reduce your consumption of acidic food such as meat (in particular beef, veal, and pork including bacon), cheese, milk, wheat, corn, tomatoes, oranges, and grapefruit.
Douching: Dr. Shettles suggests enhancing alkalinity by douching with baking soda, although only under medical supervision and only for women who are very acidic. If your doctor agrees that you give it a try, here’s how to proceed:
- Purchase a douche kit from your drugstore or online
- Wash your hands
- Dissolve 2 tablespoons of baking soda in lukewarm water (ideally sterile water), and fill the rubber bottle
- Sit or squat over the toilet, a large basin, in the tub or in the shower
- Gently insert the pipe into your vagina, and squeeze the bottle until it’s empty
Be aware that douching may cause vaginal infections. Do consult your doctor before using a douche.
Take a supplement: To complement your dietary efforts, a supplement can further stimulate a more alkaline environment.
Men: Keep cool and drink coffee
To increase your chances of getting pregnant with a boy, Shettles recommends that the male partner try to keep his testicles cool. Again, a lower scrotal temperature is good for sperm in general, but male sperm will get a greater benefit than the more resistant female sperm. Use boxer shorts instead of briefs, avoid tight clothing in general, and avoid hot baths, saunas and heated car seats.
Dr. Shettles also believed that a couple cups of coffee (or another caffeinated drink) 15 to 30 minutes before intercourse would give both male and female sperm an extra boost, but that male sperm would be most favored. Worth trying.
Other tips for conceiving a boy
While Dr. Shettles’ Method remains the reference for trying to influence the gender of your baby naturally, here are a couple bonus tips that the good doctor might not have been aware of:
Eat your breakfast
A British study of the relationship between women’s diets and the gender of their babies found that breakfast cereal was the only food item strongly associated with infant sex: Women producing male infants consumed more breakfast cereal than those with female infants. The study also found that individual mothers had a greater chance of having baby boys if their overall energy intake was high prior to conception. So if you’re hoping to get pregnant with a boy, this isn’t the right time to go on a diet, and definitely don’t skip your breakfast.
Marry a billionaire
If you’re reading this, you’ve probably already chosen your children’s father, and this tip is coming too late. But if your man happens to be a billionaire who inherited his fortune, you’re in luck: Male billionaire heirs get more male children than the general population, according to a recent study. Unfortunately, the same isn’t true for self-made billionaires. But if a self-made billionaire was all you got, we’d still recommend that you keep him. You’ll just have to put your faith in Dr. Shettles.