If you want kids, chances are you probably have a preference for gender. Maybe you’re just starting to grow your family and have always hoped for a baby boy or girl. Maybe this wouldn’t be your first child and you once asked yourself “will I have a boy or girl”? Maybe you already have kids and want the next one to be a different gender. We’ve always been told that it’s 100% up to chance, but what if there was a legitimate way to sway the gender of your child? We’re not talking about old wives tales or folk legends like eating certain foods or facing a certain direction during conception.
The Shettles Method is a technique discovered by Dr. Landrum Shettles after studying the behavior of sperm in the 1950s and 60s. Shettles was a biologist and early advocate of IVF. Some couples swear it works and have successfully conceived the baby boy or girl they had been hoping for by using the Shettles Method.
What Is The Shettles Method?
The Shettles method takes several things into account, but the most important thing is when the couple has sex in relation to the woman’s ovulation cycle. To have a boy, have sex as close to ovulation as possible – within 12 hours is said to be ideal. To have a girl, have sex a few days before ovulation. You can start trying right after your period ends, but avoid sex in those few days before your expected ovulation.
The reasoning behind this theory has to do with the sperm’s swimming patterns and the pH balance of the vaginal environment. Shettles noticed that male producing sperm are smaller and swim faster than female producing sperm. He also observed that male producing sperm swim better in high alkaline environments while female producing sperm do better in an acidic environment. It just so happens that the cervical mucus is the most alkaline during ovulation, and becomes more acidic again before and after ovulation.
How to Choose the Gender of your baby
Therefore if you want a baby boy, having sex close to ovulation creates the best environment for the male producing sperm and they should be able to reach the egg faster than the female producing sperm. Shettles also recommends having sex in positions that involve deep penetration to get the semen as close to the cervix as possible, such as from behind (doggy style). He suggests that the woman should have an orgasm during sex to help the sperm swim faster.
Shettles noticed that female producing sperm swims slower but lives longer. If you have sex well before your expected ovulation date, the sperm should still be there when the egg is ovulated, and you will be more likely to have a baby girl. Some other tips Shettles recommended were having sex in positions that allow shallow entry (such as missionary). This way the semen can be deposited away from the cervix where the vaginal environment is more acidic. He also recommends not having an orgasm. Orgasms change the pH balance of the vagina, creating a more alkaline environment. Not having an orgasm keeps the acidity levels up so female producing sperm can survive comfortably for longer.
Does The Shettles Method Work?
The logic and scientific reasoning behind the Shettles method seems to make perfect sense. After all, the key to getting pregnant is creating the perfect environment for the sperm so that it can reach and fertilize the egg as quickly and conveniently as possible. If you browse around enough family blogs you will find that real couples have successfully used the Shettles method to sway the gender of their child. You might even know a couple or two that have used this method in real life.
However, just like any theory, the Shettles Method does have some flaws. When Shettles noticed the the smaller sperm cells swam faster than the larger sperm cells, he decided that the smaller sperm cells must be the Y chromosome carrying cells (male producing) and the larger sperm cells must be the X chromosome carrying cells (female producing). In the 1980s computer assisted sperm analysis was invented, which discovered that Y-sperm cells actually don’t swim faster than X-sperm cells.
It’s also very difficult to track the exact moment of ovulation. Though home tests are available, they are never entirely accurate. And it’s a fact rather than a theory that a woman is most fertile right before ovulation, regardless of the pH balance of the cervical mucus. Since there is no difference in the swimming speed of X and Y sperm cells, the positions during sex also don’t matter (although the closer the sperm is to the cervix, the less distance they have to swim).
How Can I Conceive a Baby Boy?
Many studies have been done on the subject and about sperm cells and conception in general. All have shown mixed and inconsistent results. Some studies support the Shettles Method, some suggest the complete opposite (the Whelan Method), and some continue to say that there is no difference and it is impossible to choose the gender of your baby. Although there are couples out there who may have successfully used the Shettles Method, it’s still not entirely accurate to say that it works. After all, when it comes to having a child the odds are always 50/50, which are pretty large in the first place.
The Accuracy of Gender Selection
It’s perfectly normal to dream of having a little boy or a little girl, or one of each, or any combination possible if you want several children. Maybe you already have two boys and want a girl or vice versa. There’s no harm in trying the Shettles Method – you might end up being another success story couple! Regardless, it’s important to remember that as of now there is no scientific proof that you can accurately select the gender of your child at the moment of conception. There are certain facts that you can keep in mind while trying to get pregnant, such as male producing sperm preferring alkaline environments and female producing sperm preferring acidic environments, or that a woman’s fertility peaks at the time around ovulation. Althogh there is information available on how to conceive a boy, at the end of the day, the most important thing is conceiving a healthy baby, no matter what the gender ends up being. Once you’re holding your baby in your arms for the first time the love you feel will be just as strong whether it’s a boy or a girl.