Published on April 15th, 2021
Just between us, it’s totally okay if you’re keeping your fingers crossed for a little girl mini-me. You’re not alone. A 2018 study showed that 66% of females strongly preferred to adopt girls over boys. Maybe it’s because girls typically do better in school than boys, or maybe because they’re much less likely to be involved in household accidents.
Maybe you’re hoping for a little girl to share all the secrets of how to become an extraordinary woman (like you!). Prior to conception, you might be wondering can you pick the gender of your baby or at least can you weight chances in favor of having the baby girl of your dreams.
While there are plenty of techniques out there, not every gender-swaying method has the sound scientific foundation to ensure the results you’re looking for.
Determining Gender: How Your Little Girl Gets Made
The purpose of gender swaying methods is to tip the scales prior to conception in favor of one gender or the other, on a microscopic level. Let’s start with how your baby becomes a girl in the first place.
It begins with a little piece of Mom and a little piece of Dad. Every little girl or boy starts out as two gametes, aka reproductive cells.
- Sperm cells are paternal reproductive cells that carry Dad’s genetic information.
- Egg cells (also called eggs) are maternal reproductive cells that hold Mom’s genetic information.
- An embryo forms when a sperm cell fuses with an egg cell, creating a unique set of genetic material all its own from Mom and Dad’s contributions. The embryo is a cluster of cells that, becomes a baby in 9 months.
Each gamete carries half of a baby-to-be’s genetic information. Within each gamete, that genetic information is stored in components called chromosomes. Chromosomes determine the various individual traits your child will have, from what color your baby’s hair will be to the shape of her little nose.
Chromosomes also determine your child’s gender (now things are starting to get very interesting). There are two chromosomes that determine a baby’s gender: X chromosomes and Y chromosomes. Each gamete carries one type of gender chromosome (X or Y), and when the two come together, they create a child’s gender.
- When the combination is XY, or one X and one Y chromosome, you’ll have a baby boy.
- When the combination is XX, or two X chromosomes, you’ll have a baby girl.
Because Mom’s an XX herself, she can only contribute X chromosomes to the baby-making mix. But a father’s reproductive cells can carry either an X chromosome or a Y chromosome.
So to make a little girl, one X-carrying sperm has to beat out the Y-carrying sperm to the egg, where it will fuse and make the cellular start of your baby girl.
Figuring out how to increase chances of having a girl baby starts with understanding how to give your partner’s X-carrying sperm an edge over the Y-carrying competition. That’s much easier said than done.
Gender Swaying Methods for Having a Baby Girl: Fact Checked
If you’ve asked your family and friends about how to have a girl, they may have given a lot of conflicting advice. From eating certain foods to timing your baby-making date nights, it’s not always easy to tell what works and what doesn’t.
Gender Swaying Diets
Everyone’s heard the old cliche you are what you eat. But what if your food plays a role in how to have a baby boy or girl impacts.
A 2010 study sought to discover if the minerals in a hopeful mom’s diet could impact whether she conceived a boy or a girl. The researchers followed over a hundred couples who wanted girls and had them comply with a baby girl diet.
Essentially, the study tested whether a diet low in sodium and high in calcium and magnesium would result in more girls.
The rules of the diet were as follows:
- No meals could be prepared with salt
- Women were required to ingest at least 500 grams of dairy products a day
- Researchers restricted the women’s potassium intake (specifically, potatoes)
- In addition to these rules, researchers tested women’s blood and added vitamin and mineral supplements in the following ranges:
- 400-600 milligrams of magnesium
- 500-700 milligrams of calcium
- 5-7.5 μg vitamin D
Participants were required to maintain the diet for 9 weeks prior to their conception attempt, and blood tests were run to check the effects every five days.
The researchers also had the couples track the woman’s menstrual cycles with ovulation tests, medical exams, temperature readings, and cervical position. That way, the couple could time their sexual intercourse with ovulation—when an egg is ready for fertilization by the male sperm—as accurately as possible.
The results were quite extraordinary.
80% of women who successfully followed the study’s diet and ovulation criteria had girls!
Fact Checker Says: There might be something to the baby girl diet…but more research is definitely needed.
To understand why this study might need additional iterations to confirm its findings, let’s take a look at the study’s numbers:
- Out of 172 couples in the study, only 109 got pregnant and had babies.
- Out of those 109, only 50 mothers had high enough mineral levels in their blood to qualify for the study.
- Out of those 50 women, only 21 successfully satisfied the diet and ovulation criteria of the study (and no wonder! Salt makes food taste delicious!).
- Out of those 21 women, 16 had baby girls.
Considering what are the chances of having a boy or girl are about 50/50, 16 girls out of 21 babies is still a significant finding. Fifty-fifty chances would be closer to 11 boys and 10 girls. However, the study size is considered on the small side. The larger the size of the study, the more confident we can be in its results. With a study this size, it’s hard to conclude with certainty that a low sodium and high calcium diet are the keys to your dream little girl.
But there’s still a strong thread of hope for this gender swaying diet. After all, this study did not cut corners when it came to methodology. The testing and vetting process of the couples was exceptionally thorough. So, if your heart is set on a girl baby girl, there’s no negative side to saying see ya to your salt shaker and stocking up on calcium and magnesium-rich foods (aside from the glorious taste of salt).
In the 60s, Dr. Landrum Shettles claimed to have cracked the code on X-carrying sperm (the girl-makers) and Y-carrying sperm (the boy-makers). According to Shettles, each type of male sperm cell survived better in different pH environments—that is, X-carrying sperm and Y-carrying sperm thrived in different levels of acidity.
Shettles claimed that X-carrying sperm could thrive in more acidic environments and that different factors could increase the acidity of a woman’s vagina.
For a beautiful baby girl, here’s what the doctor ordered:
- Try a sexual positions that allows for shallow penetration. Shettles believed that Y-carrying sperm wouldn’t be as successful in their attempts at fertilization if they had farther to go in a woman’s slightly acidic vagina. Meanwhile, the X-carrying sperm would thrive and be more likely to survive the long journey to the egg.
Sexual positions that allowed for shallow penetration ensured the sperm would be deposited farther away from the egg, giving X-carrying sperm a leg up on their Y-carrying competition.
- Have intercourse right after your period and stop at least 3 days before ovulation. According to Shettles, menstruation increases the natural acidity of the vagina. Because sperm can live up to 5 days in a woman’s body, Shettles argued this would give X-carrying sperm their best chance.
- Waiting to orgasm. Yes, you read that right. Shettles theorized that a woman’s orgasm made her vagina more alkaline, the opposite of acidic. He advised the women to hold out after their partners had made their, ahem, deposit.
Fact Checker Says: Scientifically, this method has been thoroughly disproven.
In the decades since the Shettles Method made its debut on the reproductive scene, many studies have thoroughly debunked the idea that X and Y-carrying sperm are different when it comes to surviving in pH environments.
Sorry Shettles, consider your method busted.
In Vitro Fertilization with PGD
You may have heard of IVF, or in vitro fertilization, the medical process that allows eggs to be fertilized outside of the womb before being transferred back into a woman’s body.
But you may not have heard of PGD, or preimplantation genetic diagnosis. PGD is a DNA test for IVF embryos. Originally, PGD was developed to test IVF embryos for inherited diseases like Huntington’s or Crohn’s Disease as well as the general health of the embryos (which can impact their chance of implantation in the womb).
But DNA tests can screen for more than just diseases—you can also find out which embryos are little girls and which embryos are little boys.
The PGD process works as an add-on to IVF through the following steps:
- The eggs are fertilized – After the eggs are harvested from the woman’s, they’re introduced to male sperm cells in a special medical container. From there, what typically happens in a woman’s womb happens in a laboratory—the sperm cells fuse with egg cells. A few days later, those fused egg cells become embryos.
- A sample is collected from the embryos – In a process called microsurgery, a specialist will take a tiny sample from each embryo. Don’t worry, this procedure doesn’t hurt and only requires one of your embryo’s cells (at this stage, your embryo has about a hundred).
- Medical professionals test the samples – The embryos’ samples are tested for genetic diseases, general health, and of course, gender.
- The medical provider shares the results – Your doctor will go over the results of the testing with you and discuss which embryos are the healthiest and which are girls.
- The parents make their choice – The parents choose which embryos they want to implant.
- The embryos go back home to Mom’s – The chosen embryos are transferred back into the mother’s body.
Fact Checker Says: IVF with PGD is the most accurate method of choosing your baby’s gender that scientists have ever developed. In fact, it has a 98% accuracy and has been in use for more than 30 years.
It’s important to note that PGD is a lot more expensive than going low-sodium and eating more yogurt. One round of IVF with PGD can cost between $15,000-25,000. The process can also take multiple months and sometimes several rounds of IVF with PGD before an embryo successfully implants in the mom’s womb.
But if you have your heart set on a little girl, this is the most accurate way to do it.
Is It A Girl? Find Out with SneakPeek!
Whether you choose to go the IVF with PGD route or start adding more calcium-rich items to the grocery list, we know you can’t wait to meet your child (maybe, your little girl!). With the SneakPeek Early Gender DNA Test, the waiting game gets a lot easier.
SneakPeek’s gender prediction test is 99.9% accurate and can help you discover your child’s gender as early as 8 weeks into your pregnancy!
Find your answers sooner with SneakPeek!
Scientific Reports. Sexual conflict and the Trivers-Willard hypothesis: Females prefer daughters and males prefer sons. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-018-33650-1?utm_medium=affiliate&utm_source=commission_junction&utm_campaign=3_nsn6445_deeplink_PID100041231&utm_content=deeplink#Sec20
Consumer Product Safety Commission. Product Instability or Tip-Over Injuries and Fatalities Associated with Televisions, Furnitures, and Appliances. https://www.cpsc.gov/s3fs-public/pdfs/InstabilityorTipoverReport2014Stamped.pdf
CBS. Girls Get Better Grades Than Boys Even in STEM Subjects, Study Finds. https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/girls-get-better-grades-boys-even-stem-subjects-study-finds-n912891
Reproductive Biomedicine Online. Female gender pre-selection by maternal diet in combination with timing of sexual intercourse – a prospective study. https://www.rbmojournal.com/article/S1472-6483(10)00549-3/fulltext
ResearchGate. You Are What Your Mother Eats: Evidence for Maternal Preconception Diet Influencing Foetal Sex in Humans. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/5421539_You_Are_What_Your_Mother_Eats_Evidence_for_Maternal_Preconception_Diet_Influencing_Foetal_Sex_in_Humans
Healthline Parenthood. Can You Choose the Sex of Your Baby? Understanding the Shettles Method. https://www.healthline.com/health/pregnancy/shettles-method#does-it-work
University of Connecticut. PGD Q&A. https://www.uconnfertility.com/specialized-programs/pre-implant-genetic-diagnosis-program/pgd-qa/
Scientific American. Is a pregnant woman’s chance of giving birth to a boy 50 percent?. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/is-a-pregnant-womans-chan/#:~:text=In%20most%20industrialized%20countries%20about,births%2C%20or%20about%2051.2%20percent.