White "Boy or girl" cake for gender reveal party

Can You Choose Your Baby’s Sex? Here’s What a Doctor Says

In certain societies, wanting to have a baby boy is very common. Some parents, however, prefer a certain gender because they already have several of the opposite one.

Parents whose kids have passed away usually desire another one of the same gender to help them cope psychologically.

Why parents want to select the sex of their baby

In some cases, it may be medically indicated to avoid transmission of sex-linked diseases like hemophilia and color blindness.

Hand Points to Egg. Gender Selection concept

Natural ways of sex selection and their scientific basis

The more educated couples are, the better their odds of getting pregnant. The natural methods discussed below have contradictory scientific evidence, with some studies supporting them and others negating them.

In the studies supporting some of these methods, the success rate of conceiving the desired gender (when the methods are combined) is approximately 80 to 85 percent.

Timing intercourse with ovulation

This is perhaps the most scientifically backed natural method of all. It is said that Y sperms are lighter in weight and faster than X sperms.

They are also relatively fragile and short-lived. The sperms are viable in the female genital tract for up to 3 days. 

Hence, timing intercourse with ovulation and avoiding it in the preceding few days will increase the likelihood of a male sperm fertilizing the ovum.

Conceiving a female will be vice versa, i.e., engaging in intercourse 2 to 3 days before the expected ovulation day and then abstaining for the subsequent few days.

Nutrition and diet

Studies suggest that peri conceptual nutrition has a role in selecting the baby’s gender.

Diets high in magnesium and calcium favor the conception of a female, while a diet high in sodium and potassium helps in conceiving a boy.

In addition, high caloric intake at the time of conception also increases the possibility of a boy.

Season of conception

Babies conceived in spring are more likely to be males, while babies conceived in summer and winter are more likely to be females.

This is again thought to be due to the fragility of Y sperms not tolerating the weather extremes well.

Intimate factors

The sexual positions allowing deeper penetrations, with sperms deposited deep in the vagina and closer to the cervix, increase the possibility of conceiving a boy.

Shallow penetrations, with sperms deposited near to vaginal opening, raise the chances of having a girl. 

The theory is that the X sperms can tolerate the acidic vaginal pH better than the Y sperms, which prefer an alkaline environment. Other intimate factors also play a role due to the same reason.

Being able to achieve enhanced female orgasm before the male partner does will make the vaginal pH alkaline and will favor a boy.

Factors differentially affecting X and Y sperms

Psychological stress and occupational factors can affect the quality of semen. The male sperms are influenced more due to their fragility.

Historically, periods of famine or warfare changed the sex ratio, with more girls being born than boys. 

Proven scientific way of baby’s gender selection 

In vitro fertilization, commonly known as IVF, is a technique used to treat couples struggling with subfertility. It involves retrieving ova from a woman’s ovaries and obtaining sperm from the partner.

They are then brought together in the laboratory to achieve fertilization. The embryos are then transferred into the woman’s uterus. This technique helps in assisting the conception process.

Preimplantation genetic diagnosis is another technique adjunct to IVF for the genetic evaluation of the embryos.

In the last two decades, it has gained popularity because of its ability to check for genetic disorders before conception and for the sex of the prospective baby.

After fertilization, 1 or 2 cells are aspirated from the embryo and tested for genetic makeup. 

Parents undergoing IVF usually prefer preimplantation genetic screening to avoid invasive prenatal screenings and pregnancy termination in case of a malformed baby.

IVF with PGD is the only scientifically proven way of gender selection, with almost all successful conceptions being of the desired gender. However, its use without a medical indication, just for gender selection, is ethically debatable. 

Final take

The desire to have a girl or a boy is natural among parents. The only proven way for gender selection is IVF with PGD.

It costs an arm and a leg, requires multiple hospital visits, and is invasive.

So unless you are struggling with subfertility or your doctor recommends it for preventing genetic diseases in your offspring, it is better not to consider it. 

Although the natural ways suggested above lack substantial scientific evidence, we still recommend couples consider them for conceiving the baby they want.

Author’s Bio

Dr. Jehan Ara

Dr. Jehan Ara is a highly qualified consultant obstetrician and gynecologist with a passion for writing and health education. She has more than 10 years of practical patient care experience.

She is currently working as an Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology in a medical school and a clinical supervisor for postgraduate residents of obstetrics and gynecology in the affiliated teaching hospital.

In addition to her clinical work, Dr. Jehan is also a passionate writer and educator. She regularly writes articles and blog posts on women’s health.

She is committed to helping women understand their bodies and make informed decisions about their health.