Choosing your baby's sex?
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Can you Really Influence the Sex of Your Baby?

Boy or Girl? Some people believe you can deliberately affect the chances of having one of the other

Posted: 9 November 2009
by Sarah Lawson

From old wives' tales to scientific studies, many people through the ages have enjoyed speculating on whether or not you can reliably increase your chances of having a boy or a girl.

In 2008 a study was published which suggested that high calorie diets produced boys. The study followed 740 women through pregnancy and looked at their eating habits, finding that those women who ate more calories and had breakfast regularly were more like to have boys.
However, before you start reaching for the cream buns at 8am, it's worth bearing in mind that no one definitive scientific theory has been 100 per cent proven in this field!

It's all in the chromosome
The sex of your baby is determined by the chromosome present in the sperm which fertilses the egg. If the sperm contains a Y chromosome the baby will be a boy, if it contains an X chromosome, the baby will be a girl.
During each ejaculation the male releases sperm containing some X and some Y chromosomes, so it's understandable why being absolutely scientific about this race to the egg is pretty tough!
An egg will only live for 24 hours after it has been released during your cycle, unless it is fertilised, so although regular sex is recommended throughout the month when you are trying to conceive, sex around the two days before ovulation and within a few hours of ovulation is important. For more, read When Am I Fertile?.

Be Ys – the male chromosome
Sperm containing the Y chromosome swim faster than the X ones, but they do not live as long. Also, frequent sex does tend to reduce the number of Y chromosome sperm present during each ejaculation.
Although it's not scientifically proven, some people believe that by being a little more selective about when you have sex, and having sex closer to the point of ovulation might be a good idea if you want to try for a boy, because they won't survive as long as the female sperm, but they might get to the egg first.

The X factor – the female chromosome
Sperm containing the X chromosome are larger and survive for longer after ejaculation, so they will remain active for around two days (or even three). This can make it easier to hit the right moment as ovulation is not always easy to strictly predict. However, as they are not so fast as the Y chromosome sperm, they might not win the race, if you have sex closer to ovulation.
As frequent sex can reduce the number of Y sperm present at each ejaculation, some women believe that more regular sex will help them get pregnant with a girl.

Ultimately, it really isn't as easy as pressing a button marked 'girl' or 'boy'.
Still, if you want to give trying for a boy or a girl a go with the ideas above, good luck, and let us know how your pregnancy turns out!

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Discuss this story

A high calorie diet and regularly eating breakfast may produce a boy?!?  Not in my experience.  I always skipped breakfast (too tired and in a rush for work) and my calorie intake was around 1,500 a day.  I still had a boy!

There are always crazy theories...all interesting but should be taken with a pinch of salt.  My MIL swears by checking the hairline of your baby.  Apparently if it's straight, your next baby will be a girl and if it's wavy, your next baby will be a boy.  She says it worked for her and her friends.  On this basis, my second-born is predicted to be a girl, lol 

Posted: 10/11/2009 at 08:35

yeah the breakfast thing i've heard a few times now - and well i love my breakfast _i'd eat cereal at any time of the day! - and i've had one boy and am expecting another!! not that i pay any attention to these theories cos for every person they fit there are several more that they don't.

in some opinions if you want to 'determine' the sex of your baby then it's to do with when you have sex - male and female sperm swim at differnt speeds ()like ti says in this article although i thought it was the other way round?/) apparently you should have sex earlier relative to your ovulation days if you want a girl and give it a day or so before you act if you want a boy. then again everyone has a different cycle so it's all a bit hit and miss!

Posted: 10/11/2009 at 12:21

Hi ZO I tohught it was the other way round too, if you want a girl have se all the time a boy, only do it when you're ovulating as male sperm don't live aslong as female sperm? weird even the ''experts'' can't agree lol! you get what you're given simple as!!!

Posted: 11/11/2009 at 20:18

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