When asked, “what gender do you hope you’re having,” most parents will say that they just want a healthy baby. While that is true, most parents do have a secret wish for either a boy or a girl. There are a lot of “tried and true” methods out there that claim to guarantee that you’ll conceive a boy, but how realistic are those claims? Scientific research has identified a few factors that can contribute to conceiving a boy. These methods are not foolproof, but they do increase the likelihood of having a boy. It’s important to keep in mind that there is no surefire way to make sure that you have a boy.
1. Try to conceive when you are most fertile
Have sex when you are the most fertile. A baby conceived at the beginning or end of your fertile cycle is more likely to be a boy. Time this for no more than 24 hours before ovulation and no more than 12 hours after. This is because sperm with male DNA move faster, but they die off quickly. When you are the most fertile, the male sperm has the advantage because they do not have to survive very long to reach the egg and implant first.
2. Deeply penetrative sex
Sexual positions that allow for deep penetration can increase the likelihood of a boy. The closer that sperm are ejaculated to the cervix, the less distance that the sperm has to travel. So choose sexual positions that allow for deep penetration: standing up, doggy style, or straddling his lap. Ensuring that the woman reaches climax will also help as that changes the pH level in the vagina to help sperm survive longer.
3. Start when the man is young
Younger men are more likely to produce healthier sperm. A man is more likely to produce healthy male sperm the younger he is. Because male sperm is the less hardy of the two, they need all the help they can get to survive until they implant. The woman’s age does not seem to impact the outcome one way or another. While we’re on the subject, a man that has not ejaculated for 4-5 days will have a much higher sperm count and increase the likelihood of conception. Having a dose of caffeine beforehand might give the male sperm a better chance of survival, too, so consider a cup of coffee or an energy drink ahead of time.
4. Have a good time
Boys are conceived more often after positive life events. It’s not a coincidence that boys are conceived more after positive life events. There were significantly more boys than girls born in South Africa after the World Cup there in 2010, and it wasn’t a statistical anomaly, say some researchers. People were having more sex, but it wasn’t just the frequency that contributed to the boom in boys born. People were having sex that was fuelled by adrenaline and excitement. Scientists believe that when the sperm is produced when strong positive emotions like adrenaline fuel the man that the male sperm are more likely to successfully implant.
5. Eat more potassium
Eat more foods like bananas. Some research has suggested that diets higher in potassium and sodium can increase the likelihood of conceiving a boy. This would include foods like bananas, spinach, pinto beans, sweet potatoes, and red meat. Sprinkling coarse salt over your food adds the sodium. As always, be careful making changes to your diet without consulting your doctor, especially if you have any underlying health conditions.
6. In vitro fertilization
Scientific research has a few more invasive options for parents. There are a few medical procedures that can increase the likelihood of a certain gender. In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a process whereby a woman’s eggs are removed and fertilized with her partner’s sperm in a lab. Scientists can then do something called preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) that can predict the gender of the baby with almost 100% accuracy. The preferred embryos are the ones that are then used. Insurance usually won’t cover IVF if there haven’t been demonstrated fertility issues, though, so this can be a pricey method of getting a boy.
7. Sperm sorting treatment
Microsort is a sperm sorting treatment that can distinguish between male sperm and female sperm. The procedure sorts the male sperm from the female sperm and then inseminates the woman with the preferred gender. The procedure is not foolproof. For couples seeking a girl, the accuracy is around 90%, but it is only around 76% for boys. This treatment has been in development since 1993 and is not yet FDA approved though the company that developed it is seeking FDA approval for this purpose. It is also very expensive, so this may not be a viable option for most parents.
8. Gender selection kits
There are kits available online that claim to improve chances to conceive a boy. These kits are available through a variety of websites that offer subscription services. They usually rely on nutritional supplements, vitamins, and diet plans and claim to have high levels of success. Some claim to be based in cutting edge science, others on holistic medicine. If you decide to try one of them, remember that your mileage may vary on this method, and current scientific research doesn’t support most of these claims.
There’s no surefire way to conceive a boy over a girl, but there are just a few things that might tip the scales in your favor. In general, keeping a positive attitude, monitoring your ovulation cycle, and staying healthy are the best things to keep in mind. Also, maybe ask your partner to trade in his tighty whiteys for boxers. It couldn’t hurt. Also, remember that science on this subject is ongoing, and new information is published all the time!