How To Get Pregnant With A Girl: Facts vs. Fiction

Even though we might deny it, many us has a preference when it comes to the gender of our child. Whether you already have your fair share of boys or simply prefer a doting baby girl, I’m going to tell you all the tips on how to get pregnant with a girl.

Have you tried gender kits, supplements, or other products to increase your chances of a baby girl? There are other methods that might prove more effective.

So how can you know which methods are myths and which are scientific evidence? I’ll tell you, but remember, these methods aren’t fool-proof.

Why Parents Might Hope To Have A
Girl vs. A Boy?

According to the World Health Organization, there are three main reasons for people seeking gender determination.

Medical Reasons

Imagine being afraid of passing on a disease to your baby; it’s terrifying, isn’t it?

A lot of people out there are living with that fear. They seek sex selection to avoid passing on gender-linked disorders to their kids.

Family Balancing

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Most parents want to determine the sex of their children because they fear being overrun by the latter gender. Having a boy is awesome, but imagine having two, three, or even more. You might dread having another hell-raising boy, am I right?

People who have more than one boy sometimes desire a little girl to smother them with affection. Who wouldn’t? Little girls are such a blessing. (As are their brothers of course!)

Gender Preference

What’s there to say? Some people simply prefer having a baby girl.

What Determines The Sex Of Your
Child?

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It all comes down to our chromosomes; it all goes back to science. 

Our gender is determined by a pair of sex chromosomes. Both females and males have an X chromosome, it’s the second chromosome that’s the determining one.

The second sex chromosome of a woman is also an X, which means that females, all mammal females, in fact, have a pair of XX chromosomes.

Males, however, have a Y chromosome, making their sex chromosomes XY.

Since it’s only the male who has the Y chromosome, it’s his sperm that dictates the sex of your babe. If the little swimmer that reaches your egg is carrying a Y chromosome, then you’ll have a baby boy. If it’s carrying another X, then congratulations! You’re having a baby girl. 

This is why having a boy or a girl is a 50-50 chance. It’s literally in our genes; no external factors can change that, which is why scientific approaches are the most effective ones.

So how can you differentiate between myth and science? Now I’m going to explain 12 of the most widespread methods and classify them as either myth or science.

In-vitro fertilization (IVF) With
Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD)

IVF with PGD comes at the top of the list of effective gender selection methods. It’s a scientific procedure that has proven effective.

What Is IVF?

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IVF is a common assisted reproduction technology that has brought bundles of joy to people all over the world. People who have trouble conceiving often resort to IVF.

IVF is performed by extracting a woman’s eggs and freezing the eligible ones. Then the male’s sperm is added to the eggs and stored in a laboratory dish to ensure fertilization. If the cells successfully divide, they’re officially declared as embryos, and fertilization is a success.

What Is PGD?

The initial purpose of PGD was to identify genetic defects in embryos, especially those created by IVF. People nowadays, however, use it to determine their baby’s gender.

After the IVF procedure, when the embryos start to develop, they’re genetically tested by a biopsy. This reveals whether or not the embryos are carrying diseases, as well as their gender. Once the embryo is chosen, its planted in the uterus.

What Are The Chances?

PGD has proved nearly 100% effective. IVF, on the other hand, has fewer chances. According to the American Pregnancy Association, its success rate is up to 43%.

If a couple has no trouble conceiving and simply want to choose their baby’s gender, they shouldn’t face difficulty. It’s those who are struggling with fertility that have fewer chances.

Pros

  • One of the most effective methods
  • Reduces the likelihood of genetic disorders
  • You avoid accidentally having another boy

Cons

  • Invasive procedure
  • Could involves destroying embryos
  • You might not get any XX embryos
  • Could go against personal, ethical or religious beliefs

The Verdict

This gets stamped as science and not a myth.

Sperm Sorting Method

Sperm sorting is another scientific method that involves the separation of the X chromosome-bearing sperm from the Y chromosome-bearing sperm.

What Is Sperm Sorting?

MicroSort® has been able to determine differences between sperm bearing the X chromosome and those carrying the Y chromosome.

Since X chromosomes are larger and have more DNA than Y chromosomes, it makes it easier to distinguish between them. A dye is applied to the sperm to reveal the amount of DNA within it, which makes it possible to identify the gender of the future embryo.

You can have your baby through insemination or IVF.

What Are The Chances?

MicroSort® claims their method has proved 93% effective with girls and 82% effective with boys.

Pros

  • Proven to be effective
  • Scientific method

Cons

  • Less effective than PGD
  • Not available in the US 
  • Unknown side effects

The Verdict

Since this method relies on science and has proved effective, I give it the science stamp of approval.

Ericsson Albumin Method

Dr. Ronald Ericsson’s method is another sperm sorting option. If you’re in the US, then this is the only sperm sorting technology available in your area.

What Is Ericsson Albumin Method?

Dr. Ericsson studied the male sperm and concluded that boyish sperm is actually faster than girly ones. In this way he’s able to sort the sperm, thereby selecting the baby’s gender.

What Are The Chances?

There is no solid evidence of whether or not this method works. In fact, many people claim that it tips the balance towards having boys over girls. In fact, a study conducted in 1993 reveals that there’s a 72% chance you’ll get pregnant with a boy.

Pros

  • If you want a boy, the odds are good
  • Available in the US

Cons

  • Low chance of having a girl
  • Effectiveness is not certain

The Verdict

Since there is at least some evidence that this method works, I’ll stamp it as science-ish.

Shettles Method

Dr. Landrum Shettles was a pioneer in IVF. He believed the secret to gender selection comes down to the menstrual cycle and whether the uterus is acidic or alkaline.

What Is The Shettles Method?

Dr. Shettles also claimed that boy-sperm is faster than girl-sperm. Do you know the theory that women outlive men? Well, he believed the sperm version of it; X-chromosome sperm lives longer than Y-chromosome sperm, according to his research.

Consequently, he argued that the optimal timing for conceiving a baby girl is three days prior to ovulation. For a boy, however, it’s the day of ovulation.

What Are The Chances?

According to Dr. Shettles, the success rate of his method is 75%. There are no statistics, however, to prove this rate.

Pros

  • Natural
  • Doesn’t require any external factors

Cons

  • No proof of effectiveness
  • Timing ovulation isn’t accurate

The Verdict

A lot of people debunk this theory. I stamp it as a myth.

Whelan Method

Do you remember the Shettles method? Well, forget it. Elizabeth Whelan’s Method is the exact opposite.

What Is The Whelan Method?

Whelan adopted Dr. Rodrigo Guerrero’s research, claiming that the best timing for having a baby girl is prior to the ovulation with a maximum of three days. If having a boy is the goal, then chances are higher at the beginning of the menstrual cycle.

What Are The Chances?

Whelan claims her method’s success rate is 86% in males and 66% in females. Nonetheless, there is no concrete evidence that backs this up.

Pros

  • Natural
  • Doesn’t require any external factors

Cons

  • Lack of evidence

The Verdict

Lack of evidence of this theory’s effectivity supports that it isn’t, in fact, science. I stamp it as a myth.

O + 12 Method

Ovulation plus 12 hours is another time-based method. 

What Is O + 12 Method?

As the name suggests, the theory is that 12 hours after ovulation is the peak have-a-baby-girl time. This requires you to use ovulation prediction kits and test your body temperature to try to pinpoint the exact time of your ovulation.

What Are The Chances?

While it’s claimed that O + 12 boosts your chance of having a girl beyond the 50-50, there are no statistics.

Pros

  • Natural

Cons

  • Hard to implement
  • Lower chance of conception

The Verdict

This one is definitely a myth-worthy stamp.

Timing of Intercourse

Many people swear it’s all about the timing.

What Are The Chances?

Who knows? I’ve covered three different methods so far that state three different timings and there’s no proof that any of them work. In fact, they’re all contradictory!  So, we’re back to square one; the chances are 50-50.

Pros

  • Natural

Cons

  • Unpredictable outcome
  • No evidence

The Verdict

This gets the myth stamp.

Foods, Supplements, and Diets

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A study funded by the National Institutes of Health proves that a diet does affect the outcome.

What Kind Of Diet?

A diet that’s rich in fat but low on carbs tips the scales towards having a blue nursery. For a pink one, a low-fat and high-carb diet increases the chances.

Another research suggests that you should eat less sodium and potassium and more magnesium and calcium to increase your chances of carrying a girl. Supplements could be used to ensure the diet.

What Are The Chances?

The study proved a success with a rate of up to 81%.

Pros

  • Scientifically proven
  • Natural

Cons

  • Unsupervised diets are risky

The Verdict

This gets the science stamp.

Boxers vs. Briefs

Generally speaking, to increase your chances of conceiving definitely make your better half stick to boxers.

What Are The Chances?

High-temperature damages sperm, so wearing briefs or tight pants might kill sperm since it practically suffocates them. It takes around 11 days for sperm to develop, so better stay safe than sorry.

Some people claim that since X chromosomes are tougher than Y chromosomes (girl power!), then wearing briefs might increase your chances of buying pink balloons. This theory has no basis.

Pros

  • Those who prefer briefs will like this theory

Cons

  • There’s no proof
  • You might be killing sperm

The Verdict

This gets the myth stamp.

Changing Your Vaginal pH

It’s a fact that sperm carrying X Chromosomes can live in an acidic environment while those with Y Chromosomes prefer an alkaline environment.

How To Change Your pH?

The most widespread method is douching, washing with with vinegar to conceive a girl, and with baking soda for a boy. This way, you sway your pH to suit you.

What Are The Chances?

There is little to no proof that this method works. It’s merely a theory based on a fact.

Cons

The Verdict

Definitely a myth.

At-Home Sex Selection Kits

Sex selection kits rely on pH level tests, pH supplements, diets, and dates. They combine these theories in an effort to maximize the possibility of having your desired child.

What Are The Chances?

They’re pretty much the same as what I’ve previously mentioned. Nothing solid; just theories.

Pros

  • Cheaper than IVF and PGD
  • Non-invasive

Cons

  • Not very effective
  • Douching is risky

The Verdict

I give this the myth stamp.

Normal Intercourse and Sex
Positions

It’s commonly said that missionary intercourse is more likely to result in a baby girl, while rear-entry results in a boy. This is because rear-entry gives boy-sperm a head start and since it’s faster, it has a better chance at reaching the egg.

What Are The Chances?

While it’s widely recommended, it’s not sufficient enough by itself. I’d encourage you to follow it if you’re going to be trying other methods simultaneously to maximize your chances.

Pros

  • It’s easy
  • Natural

Cons

  • Not effective on its own

The Verdict

Even though it’s a prevalent belief, no science supports its effectiveness. I have to go with myth.  

Conclusion: What’s Fact vs. Fiction?

The WHO clearly states, “the principal reliable techniques for sex selection are limited to post-fertilization methods.” This means that PGD with IVF is, up till now, the most effective method. It’s the one with concrete percentages and results.

The runner-ups are sperm sorting methods since, they too, fall under the science spectrum.

Since the Shettles, Whelan and O + 12 methods all contradict one another, I wouldn’t recommend relying on them.

If you want a natural method or a cheap one, what I would suggest is following up with a nutritionist to follow a dietary plan and supplements that won’t harm you or your precious bundle.

 While the rest are myths, it wouldn’t hurt to keep using the suggested positions to maximize your chances.

Have you used any of these methods for how get pregnant with a girl? Leave a note in the comments to let us know how it worked out for you!

Princila
 

I’m Princila, founder of Check Ovulation and a proud mom of two. I’m an alumna of James Lind Institute. After working in clinical jobs, my passion for writing took its toll, and I ended up switching careers to work in the medical publishing industry. I also have a passion for healthy food, which prompted me to take several online courses in nutrition and health offered by Wageningen University. (I still haven’t completed the courses thanks to my busy mommy schedule!). When I’m not writing/editing scientific and medical manuscripts or taking care of my family, I use my free time to research, learn, and write about healthy living. I have also authored a few books in the self-help niche using the pen names Princila Murrell or PN Murray.

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