You may be wondering if there is anything you can do to increase your chances of conceiving a girl. The Shettles method for gender selection is one of the most well-known methods for selecting a baby's gender. According to Dr. Shettles’ book, if you follow the book’s rules correctly, you have a 75 to-80% chance of conceiving a girl. If you would like more information on the Shettles method, you may want to read How to Choose the Sex of Your Baby by Dr. Landrum Shettles, M.D., Ph.D.
Conceiving a Girl: Female Sperm vs Male Sperm
The gender of your baby is determined by your partner’s sperm. Female sperm are bigger and live longer than male sperm, but they are also slower. Thus, having intercourse a few days before ovulation will give the female sperm an edge over the male sperm.
When to Have Sex to Conceive a Girl
Timing intercourse for having a girl may be more challenging than trying for a boy. You will want to have sex several days before you ovulate. However, if you have intercourse too close to ovulation you may end up conceiving a boy. Sperm can live up to five days. You want to time intercourse so that you are having sex as far from ovulation as possible, but still close enough that the sperm will survive until ovulation. The female sperm live longer than the male so if you time things right, the male sperm will not make it to the egg to fertilize it. You want to try not to have sex during the two days before your peak day. Unfortunately, if you don’t have a regular cycle or if you ovulate earlier than you normally do, you may end up having intercourse close enough to ovulation to conceive a boy.
Using Ovulation Tests to Help You Conceive a Girl
Using an ovulation kit is not really helpful for trying to conceive a girl. Ideally, you want to have sex several days before you ovulate. Although using an ovulation prediction kit would be helpful for figuring how you did as far as your timing goes, it is only helpful in retrospect for this current cycle. Knowing your cycle well before attempting to conceive a girl can be helpful if you have regular cycles.
When not to Have Sex if You Want to Conceive a Girl
If you want to try to conceive a girl, you will want to abstain from having sex or use a barrier method during the two days before when you expect to have your peak day. This may be difficult to determine if you do not have a regular cycle. You can start having intercourse as soon as you start having fertile cervical mucus and try to stop two days before your peak day. You will probably want to look at previous charts to try to predict this.
Drawbacks to Trying to Conceive a Specific Gender
Using the Shettles method is not a guarantee that you will conceive a girl, and you may become frustrated if you do not get pregnant right away. If you find you are not getting pregnant, you may want to time intercourse a little closer to when you anticipate your peak day. Still, keep in mind that limiting the days you have sex to well before ovulation may decrease your chances of getting pregnant. If you are having problems getting pregnant, you may not want to attempt gender selection methods.
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