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Terra_Mater September 5th, 2012 08:36 AM

Challenging Your Thinking
Hi all-

This board hasn't been very active lately and I can tell you one of the reasons why: It doesn't work. Gender swaying has a place in the scientific community, but let me tell you food has nothing to do with it. I will get into this more as I write.

DF and I are not TTC until about another year or so, but in the meantime we have been discussing plans and dreams and both decided that we would like a boy first. We have talked about just having one child but if we had a second we would try for a girl then. Of course I will love whomever decides to join our family, but might as well give it our best shot! This has led into extensive research and as a scientifically minded adult, I reason with the data and find what seems to be working best in the rest of the world.

First of all, the food you eat has nothing to do with what kind of child you will conceive. Maybe the more nutritious the food, the better, but gender is determined by genetic material not food. Instead of dieting, I am going to spend this time eating as healthy as I can to be as fertile as I can possibly be for TTC. Increasing folic acid and vitamins/minerals seems to be the best thing to do to make your womb a prime candidate for carrying life.

The most scientifically accurate info I can find is the timing of conception, because girls swim faster and live longer than boys as sperm. Time BD for girls 4-5 days before ovulation, and for boys 1-2 days before ovulation. It seems the most successful people are the ones who have a predictable cycle. Any success story I can find seems to be all about regulating and being able to predict your cycle and O day. Doing things like supplementing to lengthen luteal phase, and increasing fertility will naturally regulate your cycle.

Plus, I just know that dieting shouldn't be all about what gender you want. As a nutritionist I simply cannot back that up. Your body needs nutrients, just one example is the risk for osteoporosis. As women it is risky to lower calcium intake - we are supposed to be taking extra calcium between 20 and 30 years of age to lower that risk. I don't know about you, but I'd like to preserve my hips as long as possible. As a second example, pH is not something you should f*** around with. Cancer thrives in acidic environments and studies have shown the more alkaline foods you eat (spinach, apples, lemon water, etc) lowers your risk for cancer. There are plenty more examples of why you should choose a diet that is best for your body, and not what someone else tells you is good for you. I will not give up my health just to have a boy, and neither should you!

I have found no success story based on food alone. Let's create some success stories based upon timing and scientific material :) Who's with me?

RUNNER25 September 5th, 2012 08:53 AM

Re: Challenging Your Thinking
I never purposely swayed for one gender over the other. But, I have extremely regular cycles and I can also feel when I ovulate as well as always getting a positive OPK. Both times with my boys we DTD on the day of ovulation, so for me at least the timing thing really rings true!

Now this time we weren't trying and we avoided DTD around when I ovulated, but I still got pregnant- DH has great swimmers! So, we'll see what happens with the gender this time!

jscott0244 September 25th, 2012 01:55 PM

Re: Challenging Your Thinking
Im not really for sure

shell1981 September 27th, 2012 04:19 AM

Re: Challenging Your Thinking
What you are talking about is the shettles method for swaying. However this has been dicredited over the years. The sperm swim at the same speed and female sperm swim in circles and boys zig zag. The diet idea is about ions and ph. There have been lots of studies to prove it works, even farmers do it with their animals, especially dairy farmers to produce more female offspring.

Terra_Mater September 30th, 2012 08:14 PM

Re: Challenging Your Thinking
Hm, what you say sounds interesting. I would like to see some research. Where did you say you found this information?

ashj_1218 October 1st, 2012 07:43 AM

Re: Challenging Your Thinking
True scientific research has found that diet DOES play a role in the gender child you conceive. Female embryos are heartier and more likely to survive in less-than-ideal conditions...and a woman who is losing weight, is taking in few nutrients, and/or had low blood sugar IS more likely to conceive a girl child than a boy. Boy embryos suck up more glucose than females (the ONLY difference seen between the two genders in the embryonic stage) and require more calories from the second they are conceived. Human nature wants our race to survive. Our bodies are smarter than our minds and have multiple ways to solve it's own problems. And one of those ways is that if the mother ovulates and is not in a healthy stage of life, she is more likely to have a female child. If she ovulates and has vitamins, sugar in her blood, a healthy amount of weight in her body, and her body believes she can support a male fetus, she will be more likely to have one.

Timing is COMPLETELY false. The settles method was based on capacitated and uncapacitated sperm (shedding of the heads) which has nothing at all to do with gender. It has to do with readiness to fertilize an egg. There are no size or speed differences between male and female sperm. And despite the fact that the gender sperm might swim differently in pattern (straight versus zigzag), sperm generally does not swim toward the egg, it is carried by vaginal fluids and pulled along by contractions of the uterus from orgasm or arousal. So speed actually has very little to do with gender selection. Ask around and you will find people who conceived a baby PERIOD are more likely to have conceived the two days prior to ovulation. The stats of concieving a child 3-4 days before ovulation are rather low...somewhere around 10%, so it's fairly obvious why most people who have boys say "I conceived the day before ovulation." The same is true for women who have girls. You have the greatest chance of getting pregnant at that time (25%). Gender aside. (You will also find a fair number of people are not exactly sure when ovulation occurs and therefore, it is nearly impossible to determine when they conceived in relation to ovulation).

As far as acidity versus alkaline, no sperm likes acidity. Some women naturally have a more acidic environment. It doesnt mean they have cancer or anything, just that their baseline is more acidic than others. And as I said before ANYTHING that makes conception less desirable would lean girl. Hence the assumption that acidity sways girl. I wouldn't be putting anything in myself to make myself more acidic. But it makes sense how that works in relation to gender. HOWEVER, it is not the acidity of the vagina that matters, it is the coffers of the cervical canal that matters, since that is where sperm await the egg, in crevices and nooks. And that is not somewhere you could safely alter the PH of anyway.

I didn't and don't plan to gender sway. It's not worth it to me in the end. I am lucky to produce healthy children and I will welcome a child of either gender. But I love the science of it (and anything conception, pregnancy, or birth related) and enjoy knowing everything I can about it. Check out this article on a site called Gender Dreaming: The TROUBLE with timing! There are dozens of articles on true proven gender swaying methods, if you wanted to go that route. All of them have noted scientific studies to back up the science behind them. It's an interesting read.

Terra_Mater October 1st, 2012 11:02 AM

Re: Challenging Your Thinking
It was not my intention to debate about opinions and post articles. I am truly interested in the data and results, so if you can share that please do.

For example:

Let’s start with the basics, the moment of conception. What kinds of things are necessary for conception to happen? Sperm transport, egg transport, fertilization and embryo development, implantation (UCSF Health). The sperm must be capable of meeting the egg, the egg must be released, the sperm has to meet the egg, and the egg has to implant into the uterus. All of these conditions are required in making a baby.

Assuming you can agree with that, I will mention that the healthier you are the more likely you are to ovulate and the more regular your cycles will be, all improving the chances of getting pregnant (JustMommies). Your body needs to be ready in order to sustain a healthy pregnancy. Does this play a role in gender? No.

What actually plays a role in which gender you conceive? At conception, gender is determined by chromosome characteristics, it is actually the father that determines the gender (Baby2See, Science2.0, BabyCenter, Pregnancyandbaby, Wikipedia). The baby will be a boy or a girl depending on whether or not the father gives the baby his X or Y chromosome. Scientists have found methods of separating girl and boy sperm, and injecting only one gender via IVF, which is called preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) and is almost 100% effective, making it the most effective method out there, as well as the most expensive (BabyCenter, Wikipedia, FertilityFriend).

There are several other cheaper methods out there that claim to be effective in gender swaying, but get nowhere near the results of PGD. The most common are Shettles method, Whelan method, and Ericsson method. “In 1970, Landrum B. Shettles published an article called ‘Factors influencing sex ratios’ in the International Journal of Gynaecology and Obstetrics” (FertilityFriend), which suggested that boys are less resilient than girls, and so to time intercourse closer to ovulation if trying for a boy. This method yields conflicting results and is inconclusive to being an effective method or not (FertilityFriend, Wikipedia, BabyCenter).

Whelan method is another timing method, which basically suggests intercourse four to six days prior to ovulation to increase likelihood of fertilization by male sperm (Wikipedia). I have found little research information about this method and will move on to Ericsson method, which uses higher concentrations of sperm of the desired gender to increase your chances of conceiving that gender (Wikipedia). This method has about a 70% success rate in the research community (Beernink).

In conclusion, I have found no research information or verifiable data on diet and gender swaying, leading to the assumption that there is no more conclusive information about it than Shettles method. The most accurate way to do so appears to actually take control over which gender enters your body to begin with. Basically, it’s a 50/50 chance no matter what you try unless you physically implant the egg yourself, as in the PGD method.

You may not like my answer but it is a factually-based, researched answer that tries to limit as much as possible the opinions and beliefs of assumption.

Works Cited

Beernink, FJ; Dmowski, WP; Ericsson, RJ (1993). "Sex preselection through albumin separation of sperm.".Fertility and Sterility 59 (2): 382–6. PMID 8425635

"Boy or Girl? The Mysteries of Gender Selection." Pregnancy & Baby. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Oct. 2012. <http://www.pregnancyandbaby.com/the-hatch-blog/articles/936883/boy-or-girl-the-mysteries-of-gender-selection>.

"Can I Choose My Baby's Sex?" BabyCenter. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Oct. 2012. <http://www.babycenter.com/404_can-i-choose-my-babys-sex_1933.bc>.

"Chromosomes Are So 20th Century - Male Genes Really Determine Baby Gender, Says Study." Chromosomes Are So 20th Century - Male Genes Really Determine Baby Gender, Says Study. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Oct. 2012. <http://www.science20.com/news_releases/chromosomes_are_so_20th_century_male_genes_really_ determine_baby_gender_says_study>.

"Conception: How It Works." UCSF Medical Center. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Oct. 2012. <http://www.ucsfhealth.org/education/conception_how_it_works/index.html>.

"Gender Selection Methods - Scientific Evidence?" Gender Selection Methods - Scientific Evidence? N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Oct. 2012. <http://www.fertilityfriend.com/Faqs/Gender-Selection-Methods---Scientific-Evidence.html>.

"Improve Chances of a Boy or Girl." Girl or Boy? What Decides Your Babys Gender, Chance, Sexual Positions, Time of Intercourse. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Oct. 2012. <http://www.baby2see.com/gender/index.html>.

"Sex Selection." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 18 Sept. 2012. Web. 01 Oct. 2012. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sex_selection>.

ashj_1218 October 2nd, 2012 06:52 AM

Re: Challenging Your Thinking
I don't really have time or desire to debate any of this stuff. It's not that important to me. I clearly know how to make children, sprem meets egg, since I have two and one on the way. I can cite articles out my behind. But like the articles you cited, I am sure mine would have many that refute them. Therefore this is all opinion. I will believe what I can wrap my head around and you will do the same.

I would not suggest using Wikipedia as an "accurate" information source, as it is an online database that anyone can add to, accurate information or not. It's not scientifically based at all. Articles from peer reviewed journals (aka: abstracts from actual studies) are about the only sources I use for accurate information.

Look up the Travis-Willard's hypothesis and the maternal dominance hypothesis and you will find a load of information about diet having an effect on gender and also the fact that men do NOT determine the gender of the child exclusively.

But if you were to actually gender sway, I would suggest looking up all the refuting data from shettles and Ericsson (whose "results" have never been able to be replicated by anyone but himself). I would hate to put all of my "eggs" in baskets that have the least likelihood of working.

Terra_Mater October 2nd, 2012 03:45 PM

Re: Challenging Your Thinking
“The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.”

― Stephen Hawking

Debating is the only way that a society can move forward in truth. It does not need to be emotional, only factual.

If swaying is possible, I would like to help others find a successful way of doing so. It is more for the greater good, less for my personal gain.

THE angry uterus October 2nd, 2012 05:28 PM

Re: Challenging Your Thinking
I've noticed diet is a huge factor when I conceived girls vs boys.

The girls I was underweight and didn't eat much. The boys I had a better balanced diet and was 30 pounds heavier (in a normal weight zone.)

ashj_1218 October 3rd, 2012 06:57 AM

Re: Challenging Your Thinking
It's not that I don't love a good debate. It's that I not have time. The difference here is two children and desire. If people want to learn actual sway techniques, they need to research themselves. It's major stuff and shouldn't be entered into by reading a couple posts from one forum and believing it wholeheartedly.

I'll post a couple articles when I have a second on a real computer.

ashj_1218 October 3rd, 2012 01:07 PM

Re: Challenging Your Thinking
Okay, kids are napping for the moment...here are some sources. I am including a Wikipedia overview, which I hate doing. But sometimes it is all about just getting the jist of something and not reading 15 peer review papers. It at least gives the basics of the method (which I realized my Ipad "spell checked")

Wikipedia article on the Trivers-Willard Hypothosis:

An article (short and to the point) about fetal gender selection based on diet:
You are what your mother eats: evidence for maternal preconception diet influencing foetal sex in humans

Ridiculously long PDF about gender selection based on fats and carbs in mice

Article about the maternal dominance theory:
Sex determination and maternal Dominance

Article about birth stats in wartime which goes along with the testosterone produces more boys theory:
Sex ratios of births conceived during wartime

A forum informational article about the French Gender Diet (there are books on this) and some of the stats from the studies.
Choosing Your child through Diet- The French Gender Diet Introduction

An "all around" sex selection article...note about 1/2 way down the paragraph that completely refutes the timing of Shettles, saying that babies concieved closest to ovulation were most likely to be girls.
The Biology of . . . Sex Ratios | Sex & Reproduction | DISCOVER Magazine

A Psychology Today article that deals with Trivers-Willard (which is a very complex theory that extends to physical appearance, intelligence, and physical characteristics when discussing which gender is more likely to be produced...but it does circle back to diet and health at the base)
Boy or girl? What determines the sex of your child? I | Psychology Today

New England Journal of Medicine abstract that refutes the Shettles Method (and furthermore proves it is really difficult to get pregnant with sperm older than 3 days)
MMS: Error

Sorry if some of these are not applicable to what you were asking. Or if they are little long-winded. I did not have time to read each article all the way through.

My thoughts on sex selection: It can be swayed MILDLY in one direction or another depending on how in depth you are willing to go...messing with natural hormones (aka: testosterone levels), Ph, or physical health is not only difficult, but not terribly desirable. Some things are not possible to be changed. BUT, by tricking your body into thinking you are less healthy or less fertile (or actually making it less fertile through breastfeeding/dieting/weight loss), I think you can increase the chances of having a female child (or by doing the opposite and doing everything you can to increase fertility to produce a male child). I concieved both of my boys at a time where I was the healthiest I had been in my life. I was a healthy weight (after years of anorexia...there are studies on that too), I was eating well, I was at the prime fertility of my life (early-twenties). I had boys both times. I concieved them at every stages of my cycle (one was 2-3 days before, one was the day of ovulation). And I can say my diet was very meat, breads, and vegetables based (aka: high protien, high carb).

Happy reading.

ashj_1218 October 3rd, 2012 01:07 PM

Re: Challenging Your Thinking
Sorry, double post

Terra_Mater October 3rd, 2012 03:43 PM

Re: Challenging Your Thinking
Thank you so much for sharing! Will spend some time looking over and post a reply soon :)

RUNNER25 October 4th, 2012 12:22 PM

Re: Challenging Your Thinking

Originally Posted by THE angry uterus (Post 26603392)
I've noticed diet is a huge factor when I conceived girls vs boys.

The girls I was underweight and didn't eat much. The boys I had a better balanced diet and was 30 pounds heavier (in a normal weight zone.)

Both times when I conceived my boys I was right in the middle of a half-marathon training, so I was running a lot and hard and eating very lean to keep my body trim for the run, but still nourished to get through the workouts.

I was certainly very healthy, but not any extra weight on me. (120lbs both times).

This time I was also training, but at my lowest weight of 116lbs when I conceived.

We'll know in a few weeks what this baby is. This is all very interesting, but it seems what rings true for one woman, doesn't for the next.

ethan2010 October 4th, 2012 08:55 PM

Re: Challenging Your Thinking
Wow dont know where you get your information from. this board for one thing, has the wrong diet and diet is the #1 factor. check out www.genderdreaming.com......i dare you to discuss this with atomic the owner she has sooooo much to back up diet.

yep! gender dreaming is the place to go!

ashj_1218 October 5th, 2012 06:28 AM

Re: Challenging Your Thinking
^^I agree that Gender Dreaming is a huge source for learning about his stuff. It's pretty cool stuff. If one wants to go the swaying route. Truthfully, we considered it for about 5 minutes, but ultimately decided it wasn't for us. But the info on it can be overwhelming.

ethan2010 October 5th, 2012 12:36 PM

Re: Challenging Your Thinking
ash, it can be overwhelming i worked HARD and a successful girl sway. i guess it depends how much you want it. and i actually got pg the first month i was shocked.

Terra_Mater October 5th, 2012 12:37 PM

Re: Challenging Your Thinking
As promised, my reply:

For simplification, I have only referenced male swaying in this review.

I have found that yes, what you are saying about food does influence gender, but what I seem to understand is that it doesn’t necessarily matter what kind of food you eat. Most of the research I read states that the higher value of energy you have for carrying the more likely you are to have a boy. “Our results support hypotheses predicting investment in costly male offspring when resources are plentiful. Dietary changes may therefore explain the falling proportion of male births in industrialized countries” (Matthew, Johnson, Neil). This suggests that as long as your diet is high in nutritious food, you are more likely to carry male. In looking at a trend throughout the world, we are seeing that there is a decline in the male gender and this research article suggests that perhaps it is our lack of nutrition, which seems valid but it would be really hard to say exactly what causes that.

To confirm the findings of a high nutritional diet needed for the male gender, in the study done with dogs, they found as well that “females with the access to the greatest food resources, in this case a diet extremely high in fat, produced more sons than daughters and a predominance of male-biased litters” (Rosenfeld, Grimm, Livingston…). The research article also stated that “in female mammals, it remains controversial whether maternal diet and particularly the source and availability of energy can influence sex of offspring born” (Rosenfeld, Grimm, Livingston…). There seems to be a trend somewhere, but they are unsure exactly what the factor is. Getting plenty of nutrition to sustain the weaker gender seems logical after all; I see no reason why this couldn’t be found true, unless you are financially poor as stated by Trivers-Willard hypothesis.

Trivers-Willard hypothesis “predicts greater investment in males by parents in good conditions and greater investment in females by parents in poor conditions” (Wikipedia) which does not in itself suggest a specific type of diet. Duenwald agrees and reported that in the early 2000’s, a man named Lazarus reviewed 54 studies that were published and “found that 26 supported the Trivers-Willard hypothesis, one found evidence against it, and the rest found no effect.” Kanazawa also confirms this theory but warns “it is largely up to chance, but there are factors that very subtly influence the sex of an offspring,” stating further that your financial state has something to do with what you are genetically predisposed to carrying-“There is evidence for this hypothesis throughout human societies.” This method seems to be the tried and true, above any other method out there. It seems that the more healthy, strong, and financially stable you are, the more likely of carrying male. In yet another study, Cameron and Dalerum find that in 60% of billionaires have male children. The evidence seems to be relentless that evolutionary conditions play the biggest role.

To contradict the diet factor, Grant reviews a study that found that the relationship is not in fact food, but personality that seems to be the contributing factor in carrying male. “The consistency and strength of these results led to the formulation of the maternal dominance hypothesis, which states that women who are more dominant in personality (when compared with the other women in their cultural group) are more likely to conceive and bear sons” (Grant). Intuitively I have found this to be true, it seems as though the “tough mothers” are the ones to have many boys. In my family, it seems the more aggressive women carry male, but I wouldn’t use my own situation to reflect on the rest of the world. It did seem that this article was a push for more research, as they only looked at 32 women and therefore did not collect nearly enough data to make a valid conclusion.

I took a look at the gender dreaming website, and found an article that contained no date or author, and to look deeper into the website you need to login or sign up, which I am not going to do. I leave the Gender Dreaming website to be represented by the members of the website, so please feel free to share any articles from there that have more information.

In conclusion, it seems that Shettles method has indeed been proven false but there is no evidence suggesting diet is the only thing determining gender either. It seems that the gender you are more likely to carry is determined greatly by genetic predisposition. Intuitively I want to say that being strong and healthy increases the chance of carrying a weaker gender, but I have a lack of evidence to prove it and will refrain from devoting myself to swaying for the time being. I continue to stand by my statement that it is dangerous to mess with your diet, I would never compromise my health to take the chance in carrying one gender over another. I still say it is best to follow a diet tuned for your body, keeping yourself healthy and strong is most important.

Works Cited

Cameron, Elissa Z., and Fredrik Dalerum. "A Trivers-Willard Effect in Contemporary Humans: Male-Biased Sex Ratios among Billionaires." PLOS ONE:. University of Pretoria, South Africa, n.d. Web. 05 Oct. 2012. <http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0004195>.

Duenwald, Mary. "Living World / Sex & Reproduction." The Biology of . . . Sex Ratios. N.p., June 2005. Web. 05 Oct. 2012. <http://discovermagazine.com/2005/jun/biology-of-sex-ratios>.

"Gender Dreaming Forums." Choosing Your Child through Diet- The French Gender Diet Introduction. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Oct. 2012. <http://genderdreaming.com/forum/gender-swaying-discussion-ttc-boy-girl-home-swaying-info/2221-choosing-your-child-through-diet-french-gender-diet-introduction.html>.

Grant, Valerie J. "Sex Determination and Maternal Dominance." Sex Determination and Maternal Dominance. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Oct. 2012. <http://www.bio.davidson.edu/courses/molbio/restricted/01Dom/Dom.html>.

Kanazawa, Satoshi. "The Scientific Fundamentalist." Boy or Girl? What Determines the Sex of Your Child? I. N.p., 1 Feb. 2009. Web. 05 Oct. 2012. <http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-scientific-fundamentalist/200902/boy-or-girl-what-determines-the-sex-your-child-i>.

Matthews, Fionna, Paul J. Johnson, and Andrew Neil. "You Are What Your Mother Eats: Evidence for Maternal Preconception Diet Influencing Foetal Sex in Humans." You Are What Your Mother Eats: Evidence for Maternal Preconception Diet Influencing Foetal Sex in Humans. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Oct. 2012. <http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/275/1643/1661.abstract>.

Rosenfeld, Cheryl S., Kristie M. Grimm, Kimberly A. Livingston, Angela M. Brokman, William E. Lamberson, and R. Michael Roberts. N.p., n.d. Web.

"Trivers-Willard Hypothesis." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 23 Aug. 2012. Web. 05 Oct. 2012. <http://www.wikipedia.org/>.

2Nlove October 5th, 2012 01:13 PM

Re: Challenging Your Thinking
Honestly, if I wanted a girl so badly that I'd be willing to eat an acidic diet and jeopardize my health I would probably just pay to have the boy sperm spun off and do IVF if it was that important to me. I have one boy and one girl. I worked out the same amount, ate the same foods, and DTD missionary for both. DTD the week before and day of, and after ovulation for both (I know this b/c I was temping and keeping track on fertility friend). I think that it varies from woman to woman. I think after all the years humans have been reproducing if it was as easy as timing, diet, and positions....we would have figured it out by now.

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