If you’re talking with other aspiring mommies, you might hear “trying to conceive a girl”. But is there really any way to tip the scales in favor of one gender versus another? Today we’re going to look at the Shettles theory which gives you some idea about how to conceive a girl.
What determines a baby’s sex?
A baby’s physical sex is determined at the moment of conception, depending on what kind of sperm cell the father supplies. There are two kinds: X-chromosome carrying sperm, which carry the genetic codes for “female,” and Y-chromosome carrying sperm, which have the codes for male. The egg cell from the mother, on the other hand, has one X chromosome. Depending on whether an X-Sperm or a Y-Sperm combines with the egg, the combination of chromosome will be either XX (genetically female), or XY (genetically male).
What if I’m trying to conceive a girl?
There’s no 100% foolproof way to ensure the gender of your baby. However, the Shettles theory developed in the 1960s claims that there are distinguishing characteristics between the X-carrying sperm cells and the Y-carrying ones. According to this theory:
X chromosome sperm cells
- Prefer acidic environments to alkaline
- Live longer than Y chromosome sperm
- Fewer in number than Y chromosome sperm
- Travel slower than Y chromosome sperm
Y chromosome sperm cells
- Prefer alkaline environments to acidic
- Live shorter than X chromosome sperm
- More in number than X chromosome sperm
- Travel faster than X chromosome sperm
Ultimately, there isn’t much science to back these observations up. However, some moms claim methods based on the Shettles theory worked. So, how do they do it?
How to conceive a girl (maybe)
There are a number of steps that you can take to swing the odds in favor of conceiving a boy or girl based on the Shettles theory. Let’s run through the methods.
Time sex for 2 days before ovulation day
The internal pH of the vagina is usually on the acidic side. As you approach ovulation, your vagina becomes more alkaline. Therefore, if you time unprotected intercourse for 2 days before ovulation, it will be easier for the X-carrying sperm cells to make their way through. Also, since the X-carrying sperm are thought to be longer lived, there should be more of these left around in time for ovulation. However, the success of this method depends on you tracking your ovulation date correctly.
Let the semen become more dilute
The longer a man goes without ejaculating, the more sperm builds up in the testes, and the more the concentration of Y-chromosome-carrying sperm cells rises. To keep the levels of these genetically male sperm on the low side, encourage your partner to ejaculate regularly (once every three days, or at least once a week).
Avoid orgasm during intercourse
The secretions released at the female orgasm are alkaline, which makes it easier for the genetically male Y-sperm to get through to fertilization. If you’re trying to conceive a girl, take it easy when you and your partner are having intercourse.
Trying to conceive a girl? Remember this…
The take-home message for aspiring moms hoping to conceive a girl is timing! Accurately predicting your ovulation date will give you an idea of the best time to have unprotected sex. By ensuring you keep your apparatus acidic side, you should – theoretically, at least – have the best chance of conceiving a girl.
However, there isn’t any foolproof method for conceiving a boy or girl. On top of that, there’s a big difference between genetic sex (male or female), and gender identity (masculine, feminine or a mix of both). One set of sex chromosomes is no guarantee your child is going to grow up acting a certain way, and there’s always a chance your child might grow up to be transgender. Even if you’re trying to conceive a girl, the most important thing is to love your kid – no matter what gender they turn out to be.