At the end of the day, everyone wants a healthy baby – but you sometimes hear couples saying they’re “trying for a boy”. What does trying to conceive a boy mean? There’s no 100% foolproof method for choosing your child’s gender, but some theories say you can tip the odds in favor of either a boy or girl. How do moms do it? Let’s run through the popular methods for trying to conceive a boy.
How is a child’s sex determined?
Before talking about how to conceive a boy, it’s best to think about how a baby’s genetic sex is decided in the first place. This happens at the moment of conception, when the chromosomes from Mom’s egg and Dad’s sperm combine to form the baby’s genetic code. The egg carries an X chromosome, but the sperm cell carries either an X or a Y chromosome. If the sperm that fertilized the egg in an X-Sperm, then the baby will have XX chromosomes – so, genetically female. If it has a Y chromosome, then the baby will be XY – genetically male.
The basics of trying to conceive a boy
The idea that you can sway gender odds of the baby you conceive comes from the theory that the “male” Y-chromosome-carrying sperm are different from the “female” X-chromosome-carrying sperm. According to this theory, the X-sperm prefer an acidic environment, whereas Y-sperm prefer an alkaline one. Therefore, if you’re trying to conceive a boy, you should make sure the environment of the female reproductive tract is at its most alkaline.
The vagina is usually slightly acidic, which helps it prevent germs from colonizing it. However, as ovulation day approaches, there is a rise in the production of more alkaline cervical mucus. According to the sex selection theory, the alkaline environment makes it easier for Y-carrying “male” sperm cells to make their way through to fertilization, but slows up the X-carrying “female” ones. On the other hand, it’s difficult for the Y-carrying sperm to survive when the vagina is more acidic, while the X-carrying sperm are more likely to make it through.
How to conceive a boy: Timing is important!
Now that you’ve got the idea on how a baby’s sex is decided, you can start thinking of ways to tip the scale in favor of a boy. If you’re hoping for a boy, then you’ll want to be keeping your apparatus on the alkaline side. The main point here is timing: you’ll want to time unprotected sex for the day of ovulation itself.
Calculating your ovulation date
- Measure your Basal Body Temperature (BBT)
To calculate when your vagina is at its most alkaline, you’ll need to know when your ovulation day falls as accurately as possible. One way to do this is by calculating your Basal Body Temperature (BBT). This is the temperature your body maintains at rest, with the minimum activity. When you track this over the course of your cycle, you should see two phases: a period of low temperatures before ovulation, followed by a period of high temperatures after you ovulate. Ovulation happens in between the two.
After measuring your BBT every day for 2 cycles, you should be able to predict when your next ovulation is due. Be careful, though: you might hear about the “ovulation dip” in body temperature, but the truth is, every woman is different, so you may not experience it. It’s better to get a sense of your personal rhythms by paying attention to your own body.
- Use an ovulation test kit
By using an ovulation test kit alongside a chart of your BBT, you can pin down the date of your ovulation even better. Used like a pregnancy test, ovulation tests measure urine for rising amounts of luteinizing hormone – the hormone that triggers ovulation. By measuring your BBT over the course of your menstrual cycle, you can a sense of the week that you’ll likely be ovulating, and start to use an ovulation test to pin down the day. Start testing from about a week before you think you’re due to ovulate for the best accuracy.
- Monitor your body for changes
Over the course of your cycle, you might notice a change in the texture of cervical mucus. As you approach ovulation, this will become clear and slippery. You might also feel some slight pain in the lower abdomen when ovulation occurs. These are subjective symptoms, so not everyone will experience them. However, alongside BBT measurement and ovulation test kits, they can definitely give you a sense of what’s going on in there.
Sex tips for conceiving a boy
- Have sex on ovulation day
The environment of the vagina is at its most alkaline right before ovulation. With a combination of BBT tracking and ovulation tests, you should be able to predict the ovulation day reasonably. If you’re trying to conceive a boy, then having sex on your estimated ovulation day itself is your best bet.
- Try to reach orgasm
The cervical secretions just before ovulation might be the most alkaline, but if you and your partner aren’t enjoying things, then you’re probably not going to be releasing much of those natural lubricants! With less alkaline secretion to make the journey easier for Y-carrying sperm, it’s harder to conceive a boy. Female arousal and orgasm release plenty of these alkaline cervical secretions, so be sure you have a good time when you’re trying to conceive.
- Avoid too much alcohol
Drinking alcohol can make it harder for men to sexually perform. There’s no need for aspiring Dads to entirely abstain, but try to avoid overindulging before reproductive sex.
There’s no 100% method of how to conceive a boy
Before you set out about trying to conceive a boy, it’s important to remember that no method of gender selection is foolproof. Although the idea that you can pick your child’s gender has a lot of supporting it, there just isn’t much science to back it up.
On top of that, there’s a big difference between genetic sex and gender identity – even if you do happen to conceive a genetically male or female baby, there’s always a chance your child could grow up to identify as transgender. The most important thing is that your baby will have a family who loves them, no matter what gender they turn out to be!