If your heart melts each time you see a teeny tiny pink frilly tutu, you may be wondering how you can guarantee yourself a daughter.
In truth, there is no way to naturally determine the sex of your baby.
There are two scientific methods that claim some degree of success for gender selection, but these methods are contradictory in nature and may not work for you. Of course, the most important thing is a healthy baby.
If you want to try to conceive a girl, here are 9 tips:
How To Conceive A Girl Tip #1: The Shettles Method
This method has been around since the 1960s, and claims a 75 percent success rate for couples hoping to conceive a girl. Dr Shettles believed that the most important factor in gender determination, was timing. The baby's gender is determined by the chromosome carrying sperm. Boy sperm swim faster, but survive for shorter periods of time than their female producing counterparts. Girl sperm are stronger and more resilient, yet swim slower than boy sperm.
According to the Shettles method, you should have sex two to four days before ovulation if you are hoping to conceive a girl. By the time ovulation occurs, only the girl sperm should be left to fertilise the egg. Dr Shettles advises that if you wish to conceive a girl, you should avoid intercourse when you have clear, egg-yolk like vaginal mucus, as this is a sure sign of ovulation. It should be noted, however, that avoiding intercourse during this time can reduce your likelihood of conceiving at all.
How To Conceive A Girl Tip #2: The Whelan Method
The other commonly used method was created by Dr Whelan, and claims a 57 percent success rate for couples who wish to conceive a girl. Dr Whelan's theory has slightly different timings, and to have a girl, she advises you to have sex two to three days before ovulation. For a boy, she suggests four to six days pre-ovulation to be the peak time. The Whelan and Shettles method are contradictory, and both have cheerleaders claiming success, but it is difficult to judge whether these successes were truly a result of the method, or simply that the outcome remained the same regardless of the method used.
There is a limited amount of research in existence to support the two methods above. For the advice below, however, the proof is even harder to come by. The following factors are often cited by couples claiming to have successfully determined their baby's sex, but there is no scientific proof to back up these statements. The following factors may in fact just be myths circulating of how to conceive a girl:
How To Conceive A Girl Tip #3: Make It Your Mission
To conceive a boy, deep penetration is key, but for a girl, the opposite is true. Having sex in the missionary position is said to increase your chance of conceiving a girl, because it limits the depth of penetration. This in turn, restricts how close to the cervix, the sperm are ejaculated. Boy sperm swim very fast for short periods, so by preventing deep penetration, you may be able to prevent the boy sperm from reaching and fertilising the egg.
How To Conceive A Girl Tip #4: No Orgasm
It is also claimed that avoiding orgasm may be the key to conceiving a girl. The female orgasm releases an alkaline secretion which may help boy sperm to survive longer, by creating a less hostile environment. Without these secretions, boy sperm may find it harder to survive, and have less chance of reaching the egg.
How To Conceive A Girl Tip #5: More Sex
Rather than restricting your sex life to specific times, when trying for a girl you should aim to have more sex. In the days leading up to your key conception time, you should have as much sex as possible. This will reduce your partner's sperm count, and mean there are less fast-swimming boy sperm available to join the race for fertilisation.
How To Conceive A Girl Tip #6: Veg Out
According to one study, eating more fruit and vegetables can improve your chances of conceiving a girl. Some people believe a vegetarian diet can help you to conceive a girl, especially if you eat foods such as spinach, nuts and broccoli. Foods naturally high in calcium and magnesium, such as leafy greens, fruits and rice, are also said to be good for conceiving girls.
How To Conceive A Girl Tip #7: Acid House
Another food related tip, is to eat acidic foods in the days leading up to ovulation. Male sperm are less able to survive in acidic environments, and eating acidic foods can actually alter the pH of your vagina. However, bear in mind that it's actually unhealthy for your body to be in an acidic state. If you still want to try, stock up on soda, vinegar and chocolate.
Some people believe you should also avoid eating alkaline foods such as apples, almonds, cucumbers and avocado (all very important foods nutritionally) in the run up to ovulation. Having a healthy baby and enough folate in your body to avoid neural tube defects should be more important.
How To Conceive A Girl Tip #8: Low Salt
A low salt diet, as well as being healthier, is also said to improve your chances of conceiving a girl. Try cutting out salted meats, olives, blue cheeses and processed food while you are trying to conceive. You should also restrict the amount of salt used during cooking, a skill that will be useful during pregnancy too.
How To Conceive A Girl Tip #9: Bath Time
Some people believe that boy sperm are heat-averse, and so having a bath prior to sex may help to weaken the male sperm awaiting release. A soak in a hot tub would work just as well too.
For most couples, the most important factor for conception is achieving a healthy baby. If you long for a girl, you can try the above methods, but remember there is little to no scientific evidence for most. While there may be plenty of anecdotal evidence about, this doesn't necessarily mean they will work for you. Some of them, particularly the timing methods, may actually reduce your chances of conception.
Gender Swaying Books
If you’d like to read further information, take a look at Dr Shettles best selling book, How to Choose the Sex of Your Baby: Fully Revised and Updated.