Boy Or Girl? You Decide

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While most leave it up to fate, some parents-to-be are taking things into their own hands and choosing the gender of the unborn babies.

WORDS MELISSA ESPECKERMAN

With our babies tucked safely in our womb, we’ve all wondered just exactly how the little one is going to look like…or who – Mum or Dad? Will she have curly hair like her dad or brown eyes like her mum? But one of the first things most parents want to find out when they’re expecting is, is it going to be a boy or a girl?
What if you could determine the sex of your baby even before you conceived? Would you take that route? Well, now you have the option to. With methods ranging from the natural to complicated high-tech techniques, you might just be able to get the baby you desire.

Keeping It Natural

Some o f you might have heard this before…if you get busy between the sheets on odd days you’ll have a baby boy but if try for a baby on even days, you’ll have a baby girl. Or for a son, eat more red meat or treat yourself to chocolatey desserts if your preference is for a daughter. And that’s just a couple of the theories that women have claimed to work for them. But the question that remains is – can we really choose the sex of our offspring?
According to Dr Landrum Shettles, we can. Here’s how.

The Shettles Method

What exactly is it?
The Shettles method that has been around for quite a while now, recommends that you time intercourse on specific days of your cycle depending on whether you want to conceive a boy or a girl.
How does it work?
The theory behind the Shettles method is that the X and Y chromosome carrying sperm have different characteristics. The girl sperm (X-chromosome-carrying sperm) though slower than the boy sperm (Y-chromosome-carrying sperm) are sturdier and tend to live longer. Environment plays a part as well. The more acidic secretions in the vaginal canal, the more favourable it is for the female-producing sperm. Whereas male-producing sperms prefer a more alkaline condition.
Conceiving a Boy

Timing is Everything
As cervical secretions are most ideal at or near the time you ovulate, it is best to time intercourse as close to your ovulation as possible. Abstain from sex from the beginning of the cycle until the day you attempt to conceive a boy, as higher sperm counts have been associated with a higher incidence of male offspring.

Take your Position
For a boy, the deeper the penetration the better your chances. As recommended by Dr Shettles, the best position for this would be vaginal penetration from the rear as this ensures that the sperm are deposited near the opening of the cervix.

The Big O…or no?
If it’s a son you want, then you’re going to want to ensure you have an orgasm. The female orgasm is known to increase the quality and flow of the natural alkaline secretions while the contractions that come along with it aids in transporting the sperm into the cervix.


In the book, How to Choose the Sex of your Baby, Dr Landrum Shettles and David M. Rorvik add another tip to conceiving a boy. “Drinking a couple of cups of strong caffeinated coffee fifteen to thirty minutes before having intercourse, on the try for a boy, may impart some extra speed to the male-producing sperm.” But do keep in mind that this only applies to the men.

 

Conceiving A Girl

Timing is Everything
Have intercourse two to four days before ovulation. After the cutoff day, abstain from intercourse completely till two days after ovulation. To up your chances of conceiving a girl, have intercourse frequently – from the time bleeding stops up through the cutoff date, as this will naturally diminish the sperm count, favouring female conception.

Take your Position
When it comes to conceiving a baby girl, the missionary position is best as the male-producing sperm will be less likely to be deposited near the opening of the cervix. Shallow penetration is key.

The Big O…or no?
Well, the answer is no. If you want a girl, don’t have an orgasm as this increases the flow of alkaline secretions. Furthermore, the contractions may help the sperm along, propelling it up and into the cervix.
Jelyn Chew, mother of one with another on the way, successfully conceived her baby boy using the Shettles method. “I read up on the Shettles method and followed the advise on having the intercourse as close to ovulation as possible. We did it one day after the supposed peak and we also made sure there was deeper penetration.” But that was not where she stopped at. “After the deed, I followed what some authors recommended – to elevate the lower body and lie in bed for a while. This supposedly aids the sperm to move faster into the ovaries before they die.”

Going High-Tech

Besides the do-it-yourself at home methods, there are clinics in certain parts of the world that offer gender selection but at a hefty price.

Pre-Implantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD)

What exactly is it?
This process is used to screen the genetic make-up of embryos created during in vitro fertilization. This is done to allow doctors to discard of the embryos carrying markers for genetic disorders. “Some genetic disorders are specific to one gender or another. Haemophilia, for example, affects boys more than girls. If a family has a history of haemophilia, the couple may then choose to select only female embryos,” writes John Bliss, author of Designer Babies.
How does it work?
While some clinics stick to screening for genetic disorders, others offer parents the chance to choose the gender of their future kids. As we all know, gender is determined by a combination of X and Y chromosomes, so this allows those working behind the scenes to separate embryos into XX and XY.
What was originally used as a way to screen for genetic disorders, is now offered to couples as a method of “family balancing”

Microsort

What exactly is it?
By using a dye, sperm is sorted into two groups – girl-producing sperm and boy-producing sperm. Once that is done, the sperm of the gender the couple desires is implanted into the uterus through artificial insemination.

How does it work?
“X chromosomes carry slightly more genetic material than Y chromosomes. Because of this, it is possible to separate X and Y sperm using specialized equipment. The process has a high rate of determining gender,” states John Bliss. Because this method sorts sperms rather than embryos, it avoids some of the ethical problems people have with destroying embryos created for IVF.
Ancient Secrets
With no need to separate sperm or to time your ovulation, some ancient ways reveal all it takes to conceive a boy or a girl is by consulting a chart.

Chinese Gender Predictor

What exactly is it?
The Chinese gender predictor is based on a chart that is used to predict the sex of your unborn child. According to an ancient Chinese legend, the chart was discovered in a royal tomb and is said to be more than 700 years old.
How does it work?
It’s pretty easy to work out. Simply look up the month of conception and the age at which you conceived and the chart will tell you if you’re expecting a boy or a girl. With just two choices, it has a 50 per cent chance of being right, but surprisingly it has been said to be highly accurate.

Thanks for sharing!