Are you hoping to conceive a baby boy?
Natural methods for gender selection can never guarantee the result you wish for. But there are a few things you can try to sway the odds.
In fact, when your preference is for a boy, Mother Nature has already given you a slight advantage. Worldwide, for every 100 baby girls, about 105 baby boys are born.
Many of the methods for trying to conceive a boy are also better for your general fertility than the methods for having a girl. Therefore, trying for a boy won’t make it more difficult for you to conceive in the first place.
Dr. Shettles’ method for getting pregnant with a boy
Dr. Shettles’ method is probably the world’s most widely used gender selection method. His bestseller, How to Choose the Sex of Your Baby, was published in the 1960s. (You can still purchase the book from Amazon).
His claims to a 75-90% success rate have never been proven. Nevertheless, the method has its advantages. It’s 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.
Shettles’ tip #1: Have intercourse close to ovulation
The most important element in the Shettles Method is intercourse timing.
Because male sperm cells are moving faster, having intercourse close to ovulation increases the chance that a male sperm will reach the egg first.
On the other hand, intercourse a few days before ovulation will increase the likelihood of having a girl. Because the female sperm cells live longer, more female than male sperm will still be around when the egg is finally released and ready to be fertilized.
So when you want to conceive a baby boy, Shettles recommends using a condom or avoiding intercourse during the last 4-5 days before ovulation. With one exception: the “now or never” intercourse, which should take place maximum 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. However, it will only indicate the ovulation day when ovulation is already over. At that point, it’s too late for conception.
- Observing your cervical mucus can help you to know when you’re in your fertile period. Unfortunately, it’s not precise enough for the Shettles Method.
- Your best option is therefore to use ovulation tests. Avoid intercourse as long as the tests are negative, and have sex on the first day with a positive test.
Shettles’ tip #2: Create the right vaginal pH for conceiving a boy
As a general rule, sperm cells thrive in alkaline (high pH) environments. They dislike acidic (low pH) conditions. According to Shettles, a low vaginal pH will kill the weaker male sperm first.
In order to get pregnant with a boy, a more alkaline vaginal environment is therefore better.
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 your 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.
Have an orgasm: When the woman has an orgasm, the cervical mucus inside her vagina becomes more alkaline. This creates a better environment for male sperm. For maximum effect, the woman should come before the male partner.
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 (available from Amazon)
- 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.
Use a gel: A simpler alternative to douching is to use a gel designed to support optimal vaginal pH balance. IsoFresh Balancing Gel is a paraben-free vaginal gel which helps maintain a healthy vaginal pH.
Take a supplement: A supplement can also help create a more alkaline environment.
Shettles’ tip #3 (for 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 baby boy
Dr. Shettles’ Method remains the reference for trying to influence the gender of your baby naturally. But here are a couple bonus tips that the good doctor might not have been aware of:
Tip #4: 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 who had baby boys consumed more breakfast cereal than those who had baby girls.
The study also found that individual mothers had a greater chance of having baby boys if their overall energy intake was high before they got pregnant. So if you’re hoping to conceive a baby boy, this isn’t the right time to go on a diet. And definitely don’t skip your breakfast!
Bonus tip: Marry a billionaire
If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve already chosen the father of your children. In that case, 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 2013 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.