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.
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 chromosom
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!