You’re thinking about trying to conceive — yay! Prepare to embark on an incredible life adventure, friend. Of course, if you’re anything like us, preparing for the adventure of pregnancy probably entails envisioning what your future child might look like. And that may lead you to wonder how to get pregnant with a girl. Is that even possible? Can you influence the sex of your offspring? Let’s take a look.
Before we do, though, please know that you don’t have to feel guilty about *not-so-secretly* hoping you’ll have a girl. It’s a natural inclination to want to put a face to the future child in your head. And having a daughter is amazing! Just remember (and understand and accept) that the sex of your child may not be the gender identity they choose for themselves later. With that said, here’s what you need to know about how to conceive a girl.
Is it possible to guarantee a baby girl?
Well, it depends on who you ask. There are some high-tech medical procedures that dramatically increase your chances of having a girl. The companies offering those might even claim that they can up your odds to 100 percent or pretty darn close. More on that in a minute. But the bottom line is that there isn’t a natural, medical-intervention-free way to guarantee preferred sex. There are, however, many wives’ tales and theories parents swear by for influencing it. These include:
There are a few different schools of theory when it comes to how food affects the sex of a baby. One British study suggests that you may be more likely to have a little girl if you’re a vegetarian. Some researchers claim that you’re more likely to have a female if you create a more acidic environment (so, maybe eat more tomatoes and chocolate?). Apparently, male sperm have a harder time reaching the eggs when in an acidic space. But keep in mind, this kind of acidic diet is not healthy for you or the baby, so don’t overdo it. Also, it’s thought that women with a low salt intake might have a slightly higher chance of having a girl. This means, cutting out the meat or blue cheeses if you’re want to give the possibility of having a little girl a fighting chance.
When it comes to gender-swaying, some people insist timing is everything. Here are a few methods that seem to back that assertion:
- The Shettles Method: The gist here is that female-producing sperm (X-sperm) are slower swimmers than male-producing sperm (Y-sperm), but they live longer. To capitalize on that, the Shettles Method recommends having sex as two to four days before ovulation. The idea is that “girl sperm” (X sperm) are stronger and have more endurance than “boy sperm” (Y sperm), so they’re more likely to last long enough for the egg to arrive.
- The Whelan Method: Not crazy about the Shettles Method? Well, you could always do the opposite — aka the Whelan Method. Here, the idea is that a woman’s body is more favorable to Y-sperm at certain times in her cycle. Specifically, it states you should have sex four to six days before ovulation if you want a boy. It recommends sex two to three days prior to ovulation for a girl (so, in that respect, similar to Shettles).
Sexual Position & More
Hey, this may not have any scientific basis, but at least it’ll be fun, right? The logic here again relies on the fact that boy sperm lacks the endurance of female sperm. They can swim fast, but only for short bursts. So, you want to choose sexual positions that get them as close to the cervix as possible, like Missionary.
There are a few other things to consider in the bedroom if you’re hoping to conceive a girl. First, the female orgasm releases an alkaline secretion that could help the sperm survive longer. Accordingly, some people believe that a woman trying to have a baby girl should abstain from climaxing (we’re just the messengers!). On the plus side — or maybe negative if you’re supposed to skip the big O every time — it’s also suggested that having a lot of sex leading up to your key conception window may help weed out boy sperm by reducing your partner’s sperm count.
What medical interventions might help conceive a girl?
If you have your heart set on conceiving a girl and cost isn’t an issue, you might want to consider a more high-tech form of sex-selection. These include:
- Preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD): This method was created to help identify markers of serious genetic disorders. However, it has also become popular for determining gender. The process, which takes place in conjunction with in-vitro fertilization, involves doctors examining cells from each fertilized embryo and keeping only embryos of the desired sex for implantation. Although it’s thought to be around 95 percent accurate, it’s also controversial. Plus, it’s extremely costly and requires IVF.
- Sperm sorting or spinning: Another approach that leans into science is sperm sorting, also known as MicroSort or “spinning.” here, the father-to-be provides a sperm sample, which is separated out into X and Y chromosomes. The sperm with the desired chromosomes (so, X if you want a little girl) will then be used for IVF or intrauterine insemination (IUI).
Are there any old wives’ tales about how to get pregnant with a girl?
As long as you take it with a grain of salt, you could always consult gender prediction calendars and use them to try to conceive a girl. You can find both the Mayan and Chinese gender prediction calendars. Your best approach with this (totally unscientific but still fun) method may be to find a block of months that are all “girl months,” then count backward to find the ideal conception time.
Some people also believe it’s helpful to eat a bunch of fruits and vegetables if you want to put that ballerina-themed nursery to good use. The same goes for consuming food that is high in calcium and magnesium.
And if you like long hot showers, you may also be inadvertently boosting your chances of having a baby girl. Granted, like all the information in this section, this is not proven. However, boy sperm apparently hates the heat. So, if your dream is to have a baby girl, go ahead and soak in a hot tub before sex. It’ll weaken any boy sperm that makes its way inside of you.
Then again, if you’re feeling really festive, you could roll the dice with a particularly adventurous old wives’ tale about conceiving a baby girl. What is it? You’re going to need to chart the lunar cycle in addition to your own, because some people believe you’ll get pregnant with a daughter if you have sex when the moon is full! If this works, you should totally give your baby girl a lunar name.
When will I find out if I’m having a baby girl?
Well, if you opted for IVF, you may already know going into the procedure — you have the option of choosing to have only embryos of your desired sex implanted. If you aren’t planning on IVF, though, you could find out as soon as 10 weeks through tests like the non-invasive prenatal test (NIPT) or chorionic villus sampling (CVS).
If you don’t have either of these tests, you’ll likely learn the sex of your baby at your 20-week anatomy scan.