How to conceive a baby boy - A Scientific Approach
- There are methods through which you can increase your chances of having a baby boy or a baby girl
- Shettles Method is one such method
- The method is simple and has no side effect, hence any couple can try it
Gender selection has always been a hot topic among couples who prefer to have a baby girl or a baby boy. Most of the time couples have their preferences, they dream of having a beautiful baby girl or an adorable baby boy. However, they don’t usually know if there is something they can do to make that dream come true. Well, there are ways through which you can try to increase the probability of having a baby of a specific gender. One of such scientific methods is the “Shettles Method”. But before diving into the method of how the shettles method can help you have a baby boy or a baby girl? Let’s first discuss how a baby boy or a baby is actually formed in the mother’s womb.
Once a girl starts her periods, her ovaries release one egg each month during each menstrual cycle. The release of the egg is called Ovulation. When a woman ovulates an egg, the egg carries an X chromosome (a chromosome is a thread-like DNA structure which carries genes). The sperm of the man, however, can carry either an X chromosome or a Y chromosome.
During fertilization, if the sperm with X chromosome fertilizes the egg, the embryo will develop into a girl (XX chromosome). If the sperm with Y chromosome fertilizes the egg, the embryo will develop into a boy (XY chromosome) . This is why, usually, a sperm with X chromosome is referred to as “female” and sperm with Y chromosome is referred to as “male”. There are some attributes that are shown specifically by a male and female sperm and depending on which Shettles Method predicts the probability of having a baby boy or a girl. Let us find out how.
In this article/\
1.Shettles Method for choosing the sex of your baby
Initially, it was found that sperm carrying X and Y chromosomes carry different qualities and attributes. By understanding these qualities and attributes, the environmental and reproductive incidents can be manipulated to ensure the birth of a baby boy or a girl. Based on this theory, many methods have been put forward by scientists which may be used to have a baby of a specific gender. Dr. Shettles (an Obstetrician and Gynecologist from USA) published a book called “Your Baby’s Sex: Now You Can Choose” in 1970 describing how to have a baby of your preferred gender based on these attributes.
What are the characteristics specific to X and Y chromosomes?
Before we jump into what is the Shettles method and how to use it for having a baby boy or a girl, it is necessary to understand the different characteristics of X and Y chromosome carrying sperms.
Characteristics of Y-chromosome sperm (boys):
As per Dr Shettles finding the sperm containing Y chromosome are smaller but faster than the X chromosome (female). These types of sperms survive better in an alkaline environment and cannot live in an acidic environment for long. It means a sperm carrying Y chromosome may die quickly under the vaginal environment (which is a relatively acidic environment). In simple terms, a sperm carrying Y chromosome (boy sperm) lives fast and dies young.
Characteristics of X-chromosome sperm (girls):
X-chromosome carrying sperm have been found to be slower than Y chromosomes carrying sperm. However, X-chromosome carrying sperms are bigger and can withstand the acidic environment  of the vagina. Where a sperm carrying Y chromosome lives fast and dies young, a sperm carrying X chromosome is like a tortoise - slow and steady.
What is the Shettles Method and How does it work?
Shettles Method is a set of instructions that are based on the specific characteristics of sperm carrying X and Y chromosomes. The method can be used to have a child of the desired gender be it a boy or a girl. The two biggest advantages of this method are that - it costs nothing to try this method and this method doesn’t require any medical intervention. If you are trying to have a baby and have a dream of having a baby boy or a baby girl, you can give this method a try.
As mentioned earlier, the Shettles Method works depending on the distinct features of X and Y chromosomes. For example, as mentioned above sperm with x chromosome can survive in an acidic environment, which is mostly present in the vagina whereas a sperm with Y chromosome can survive in an alkaline environment which is mostly present in female's cervix and uterus. Now, this is the general case, but at the time of ovulation the pH level of a woman’s vagina changes and it becomes alkaline making it more suitable for Y-chromosomes carrying sperm to survive. Hence, the timing of sex is one of the most important factors in the shettles method. Let's understand the factor according to which the Shettles Method work so that you can plan your pregnancy in a better way:
Factors affecting the sex of your baby according to the Shettles Method:
- Timing with respect to Ovulation
Dr. Shettle says It is important to time your sexual intercourse with respect to ovulation in order to have a baby of a specific gender. During ovulation, you have the best chance of getting pregnant as the ovaries have just released the egg and they will be passing through the fallopian tubes in order to get fertilized. Apart from this, if you can time your intercourse right on the day of ovulation, getting pregnant with a baby boy is much easier as the survival rate of Y- chromosome carrying sperm increases as you ovulate.
You will need to time your ovulation in order to pick the right timing for sexual intercourse in order to have a baby girl or a baby boy. There are many ovulation calculators available online and there are phone apps as well which you can use to time your ovulation and prepare for having a baby boy/ girl.
2. pH levels of Vagina
As mentioned earlier, the environment of the vagina and cervix is acidic i n nature. However, before and during ovulation the vaginal and cervical environment becomes less acidic. This happens due to the increased production of cervical mucus. Cervical mucus is a fluid discharge produced by the cervix, it can be wet, creamy, eggy, sticky and stretchy to feel depending on the stages of your menstrual cycle.
The function of cervical mucus in reproduction is that it acts as a medium which helps the sperm swim faster and decreases the acidity of the vagina and cervix helping the sperm live longer in that environment. Hence, cervical mucus also plays an important role in deciding which sperm (X or Y) swims and lives long enough to fertilize the egg.
3. Sexual Position
The sexual position might not seem like an important factor in deciding a baby’s gender. But Dr. Shettle says that it can be a huge component which can help you have a baby of the desired gender. For example, if your sexual position is such that it provides maximum penetration inside the vagina, then the sperm will have to travel less distance in order to find the egg and fertilize the egg. And if you are aiming to have a boy which requires the Y chromosome carrying sperm (the sperm that has a shorter life span) to fertilize the egg, then deep penetration can be an advantage as the sperm will have to travel less and will get enough time to travel and fertilize the egg.
Keeping these three factors in mind, we can use the Shettles Method to try to have a baby of our desirable gender. So if you want to have a baby boy or a baby girl, try the following method.
2.How to have a boy?
If you want to have a baby boy, then the egg of the female partner has to be fertilized with the sperm carrying the Y chromosome. An egg can only survive for 24 hours after ovulation. Hence, it is important to time your sexual intercourse in such a way that would be in the favour of the Y chromosome carrying sperm.
According to the Shettles Method, in order to have a boy, don’t have sexual intercourse during the transitional fertile 4 to 5 days before ovulation. It is better if you have sexual intercourse two days before or on the day of ovulation. The reason behind this is, during ovulation your cervix will produce more cervical mucus which will decrease the acidity of your vagina and cervix and the male sperm (Y chromosome) will be able to survive longer and will have better chances of fertilizing the egg. In order to maintain a less acidic environment, the Shettles Method also suggests that the woman should try to have an orgasm as the man. This will help increase the endocervical secretion making the vaginal and cervical environment less acidic.
Also, choose a sexual position which allows the deepest penetration. Shettles method recommends a rear entry or “doggy style”. This will help reduce the distance that has to be travelled by the sperm to reach the egg. Hence, the fastest (Y chromosome carrying) sperm may be able to reach the egg sooner and fertilize the egg.
Apart from this, it is advised that the man should not wear tight clothes or have hot showers, go to hot sauna before the sexual intercourse, as it may hamper the sperm.
3.And what if you want to have a baby girl?
The Shettles Method for having a baby girl is the complete opposite of that of having a boy. Instead of timing your sexual intercourse before or during ovulation as we do in order to have a boy, you can have sexual intercourse during the transitional days and 2 to 3 days before your ovulation.
Also, try to avoid sexual intercourse when your cervical mucus is the most fertile (when the vaginal discharge is egg-white in colour). Shettles Method also suggests that woman should avoid having an orgasm and the couple should have sexual intercourse that leads to shallow penetration (this will decrease the chances of having a boy). Hence, it is advised to have sexual intercourse in a missionary position.
All the methods mentioned above will work together against the odds of having a baby boy and in favour of the odds of having a baby girl. They will create an environment which will be more suitable for a slower but resilient sperm (sperm carrying X chromosome) to survive.
Shettles Method has been one of the most popular methods to have a baby of a specific gender for years. This method has worked for many couples who followed the method exactly to its bone. However, it is not guaranteed that this method will work 100% but this is the case with almost any technique whether it is a medical or a non-medical technique.
We know every parent has a dream of having a perfect family and desires to have a baby boy or baby girl. And the shettles method can help you make your dream come true. This is not a method which requires any medical attention and can be easily practised at home. There are no side effects to this method either, hence there is nothing to be afraid of. If you do have a preference for having a baby boy or a girl then surely you can give this method a try.
Last updated on:: 13 Oct 2020
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Ibukun P. Oyeyipo, Michelle van der Linde, et al. “Environmental Exposure of Sperm Sex-Chromosomes: A Gender Selection Technique”. Toxicol Res. 2017 Oct; 33(4): 315–323, PMID: 29071016.
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