Other Gender Selection Methods
There are a number of gender selection techniques that claim to help a couple have a child of a desired sex. A number of these techniques are based on anecdotal rather than scientific evidence. The only proven methods with extremely high success rates approaching 99.9% accuracy for conceiving a child of either sex are PGD/PGS.
At-home methods may include timing sex, use of fluids and over the counter cold medications, diets, and vitamin and mineral supplements to influence a baby’s gender. Gender selection kits, too, offer the promise, but not the scientific basis for helping you conceive a boy or girl.
The methods below have been around for years. However, both have been refuted as scientifically-proven methods for gender selection.
The Shettles Method
The key to the Shettles Method, developed by Dr. Landrum in the 1960s, is calculating the time of the woman’s ovulation — and then attempting conception during or before ovulation — to conceive a desired boy or girl baby. Shettles found that Y-bearing (male) sperm swim faster but don’t live as long as the bigger, hardier X-bearing (female) sperm. This method also assumes that the vaginal environment is acidic most of the time, but becomes slightly more alkaline close to ovulation, favoring boy conceptions (Y-bearing sperm).
According to the Shettles Method:
- To conceive a boy baby, a couple should have sex as close as possible to the moment of ovulation so that the faster, Y-sperm arrive first;
- For a girl baby, couples should have intercourse 2-3 days before ovulation.
To use the Shettles method, women must track their cycles with an ovulation predictor kit that tracks urinary levels of LH (luteinizing hormone) or by monitoring their morning temperature (basal body temperature testing).
A pioneer in the gender determination field, Dr. Ronald Ericsson developed and patented the Ericsson Albumin Method of gender selection in the 1970s. The idea behind Ericsson’s method is that Y-bearing sperm (that would result in a boy) swims faster than X-bearing sperm (that would produce a girl). This technique aims to separate faster-swimming boy-producing sperm from slower-swimming girl-producing sperm.
With Ericsson’s method, sperm swim through a stick protein liquid (albumin) assuming that, in a given period of time, more Y-bearing sperm than X-bearing sperm will swim through the albumin. By repeating this process, the resulting sperm concentrate will contain a higher percentage of Y-bearing or X-bearing sperm than the original sample. The concentrated sperm can then be used to perform an intrauterine insemination (IUI). Though not clinically proven, Ericsson has claimed a 78% to 85% success rate for boys, 73% to 75% for girls.
The Whelan Method, a scientifically unproven method of gender selection that directly contradicts the Shettles method, times intercourse on specific days of the menstrual cycle in order to achieve conception of the desired gender. Creator Elizabeth Whelan claims her technique is 68 percent effective for boys and 56 percent effective for girls, but most experts dispute this.
According to Whelan, if a woman wants a boy, she should have intercourse four to six days before her basal body temperature goes up. If she wants a girl, she should have sex two to three days before she ovulates. The woman must take her basal body temperature every day to figure out when she is ovulating, or use an ovulation prediction kit.
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