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How to Choose the Sex of Your Baby

How to Choose the Sex of Your Baby

In eighteenth-century France men who wanted a boy would tie a string around their left testicle because they believed that male sperm came from the right. There was a time the moon was thought to play a role. One old belief has it that intercourse during a full moon helps conceive a girl, while a quarter moon leads to boys.

Finally, consider the Chinese conception chart, which apparently was discovered in a royal tomb over 700 years ago. The chart predicts gender by cross-referencing the age of the mother at the time of conception with the month the baby was conceived.


Scientific techniques

Preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD):
An in vitro fertilization (IVF) technique in which embryos are created outside the womb and then tested for genetic disorders and gender.

How it's done:
During an IVF cycle, eggs are fertilized with sperm in a petri dish. A single cell or cells are later removed from each of the resulting 3- to 5-day-old embryos and tested geneticaly for abnormalities or gender.

Effectiveness: Almost 100 percent effective.

Microsort procedures:

A dye technique that attempts to segregate girl-producing sperms from the boy-producing variety. Sperms of the desired gender is inserted directly into the female’s uterus, usually via Artificial Insemination (AI).

How it's done:
MicroSort is based on the premise that girl-producing sperm, which carry X chromosomes, are bigger than the boy-producing sperm, which carry Y chromosomes. The procedure involves coloring a sperm sample with fluorescent dye and then zapping it with a laser that illuminates the dye. The bigger X chromosomes absorb more dye and glow brighter than the Y ones. Sperms are then sorted by supposed gender and the preferred sex is transferred to the uterus, usually via AI.

MicroSort can also be used to try and prevent the transmission of X-linked disorders — diseases that moms carry and can transfer to boy babies but not girls, such as hemophilia and Duchenne's muscular dystrophy. It lowers the risk of transmitting these disorders but isn't 100 percent effective.

The procedure is still being tested in clinical trials and hasn't been approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

The method is about 90 percent successful when it comes to choosing girls and about 74 percent successful for boys.

A technique that aims to separate faster-swimming boy-producing sperm from slower-swimming girl-producing sperm. Sperm of the desired gender are inserted directly into your uterus via artificial insemination (AI).

How it's done:
This technique, which has been around since the '70s, attempts to separate boy and girl sperm by pouring a sperm sample on a gluey layer of fluid in a test tube. All the sperm naturally swim down, but the boys tend to swim faster and reach the bottom earlier. Once the fast and slow swimmers are separated, the woman is inseminated with the sperm that will enable her to conceive the gender she desires.

There's no guarantee of success. The technique's pioneer, Ronald Ericsson, has published extensively and claims a success rate of approximately 75 to 80 percent. But some fertility doctors dispute this figure and say that it's no higher than 50 percent.


At home techniques

Shettles method:
Timed intercourse on specific days of your cycle.

How it's done:
The theory is that sperm bearing Y chromosomes (for boys) move faster but don't live as long as sperm that carry X chromosomes (for girls). So if a couple wants a boy, the Shettles method argues, they should have sex as close as possible to ovulation. If they want a girl, they should have sex two to four days before you ovulate.

Timing of intercourse depends on: Basal Body Temperature (BBT), Cervical Mucus (CM), LH Ovulation Test Kit which detects the surge of Luteinizing Hormone (LH).

According to Dr. Shettles' studies:
X-sperms are bigger, stronger, but slower
Y-sperms are smaller, weaker, but faster
Avoid intercourse at peak mucus level.
If you have sex three days or more before ovulation the chances to conceive a girl become better, because the weaker Y-sperms tend to die sooner and the X-sperms will be available in greater quantity whenever the egg is released.

Intercourse to coincide with ovulation (12 hours before ovulation) (use basal body temperature, cervical mucus)
The closer to ovulation you have sex, the better the chances to have a boy, because the Y-sperms are faster and tend to get to the egg first.

Shettles proponents claim the technique is 75 percent effective, but other experts dispute this. Keep in mind that you always have about a 50 percent chance of conceiving the sex you want.


Acidic factor:
White vinegar at 2-2.5 days before ovulation will kill the weaker y-sperms first, leaving a greater quantity of x-sperms available to fertilize the egg.

Alkaline factor:
Baking soda douche prior to intercourse may help a woman to conceive a male baby.

According to diet, the Dr. Joshi method:
Diet can change pH levels in a woman’s body. Therefore, it can change the polarity of the egg. The resulting charge will attract one gender more than the other.

To have a girl, women need to eat calcium- and magnesium-rich food. Such as: eggs, dairy products, salt-free food and salt-free bread, apples, pineapple, pears, cucumbers, radish, lettuce, cabbages, carrots and turnips.

To have a boy, women need to eat sodium- and potassium- rich food. Like: salted meat products, fish, rice, potatoes, beans, peaches, apricots, bananas, cherries, grapes, oranges, tomatoes.

Sex-selection kits:
These at-home kits are based on the Shettles theory. Separate girl and boy kits include a thermometer, ovulation predictor test sticks, vitamins, herbal extracts, and douches that are supposedly gender specific.

Kit makers claim a 96 percent success rate. But the American Society for Reproductive Medicine tells consumers not to bet on it. Some medical experts go a step further and say the kit maker's claims are without scientific merit.

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Prepared by: Basel Jallad

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