Q. Dear MD,
I’m trying for my third babe and after having two boys already. I’d really, REALLY like a girl this time around. Is there anything I can do to try for a girl?
– Female Deprived. San Diego, CA
A. There are a few ways to try to determine the gender of your baby, and only one way is a sure thing. You can go the Kim Kardashian/Chrissy Teigen route, particularly if you’re undergoing IVF, where you can select the boy or girl embryos to implant. This is known as preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) and it’s a fool-proof way of selecting the sex, particularly for couples already undergoing genetic testing.
There’s also sperm sorting, which involves separating X (girl) sperm and Y (boy sperm) in the lab and inserting the sperm of your preferred gender via intrauterine insemination (IUI). According to recent studies, x-sorted sperm produced female fetuses at a rate of 87% and 74% for y-sorted sperm.
For a more low-key approach, a few other methods exist, like the Shettles Method, which theorizes that X sperm are slower but live longer than Y sperm, which are faster but die quicker. Therefore, if you want a girl you should have sex before you ovulate so that the X sperm can get there later but wait around for the egg. If you want a boy, however, you should have sex as close as possible to ovulation, since the Y-sperm will get to the egg quicker. Meanwhile the Whelan Method dictates that biochemical changes in a woman’s body and her cycle will dictate what she’ll conceive, but that to have a girl, you should have sex before or on the day-of ovulation. But, don’t be totally surprised if you don’t get what you want.
“The jury is still out on all of this,” says Dr. Shieva Ghofrany, an OB-GYN based in Stamford, CT. “We really don’t know if these methods work. That said, there’s no harm in trying because none of these things are dangerous. Other than the fact that they could delay pregnancy based on delaying how frequently you have sex.”
Whatever route you choose, happy baby making!