Modern medicine has brought us so much. We can cure diseases, transplant organs, and fill wrinkles. But do we know how to conceive a boy if we want one?
If you have your heart set on having a little guy running around your home, you may wonder if it’s possible to guarantee this. And you wouldn’t be alone. According to this 2011 study, American parents still seem to prefer boys.
Unfortunately, there’s no how to make a baby boy instruction manual out there.
While there is no shortage of theories on how to determine the sex of your baby by what you eat, when you have sex, and what positions you try, the reality may be a little less certain.
Let’s dive into what we know.
How to conceive a baby boy
The sex of your baby is determined by their specific combo of X and Y chromosomes. (Remember, your baby’s sex is separate from their eventual gender expression.)
We inherit our chromosomes from the sperm and the egg that come together to create us. This is how it works:
Our genetic material is made up of 46 chromosomes—23 that come from the sperm and 23 from the egg.
Of all those chromosomes, only two have any bearing on your baby’s sex. These are called the XY chromosomes, and they work a little something like this:
Females have two X chromosomes.
Males have an X chromosome and a Y chromosome.
Because your baby will inherit one chromosome from the sperm and one from the egg, they may end up with a combination of either XX (female) or XY (male).
This means that your chance of having a boy is somewhere around 50/50—though, in reality, this data is a little skewed in the boy’s direction. According to the UN’s current data, the world is about 49.58% female.
An interesting recent study into 927 family trees found that the sex ratio in families tends to follow the father’s side rather than the mother’s.
So, if your baby’s father comes from a family of all boys, you might be more likely to have a boy yourself.
So maybe you can predict the likelihood of having a boy, but do you actually have any control over the matter?
How many days before ovulation should you conceive a boy?
If you want to know how to get pregnant with a boy, a physician named Landrum B. Shettles claimed to have the answer. He came up with a plan to give couples more control over choosing the sex of their babies.
The so-called Shettles Method of Sex Selection was based on creating the perfect environment for the development of the particular sex of your choice.
As the theory goes, sperm that create a boy are more alkaline, while sperm that create a girl are more acidic. The idea was to create the optimal conditions for your preference.
One of his findings was that pH of your cervical mucus is more alkaline close to ovulation.
So, according to Shettles, having sex as close to ovulation as possible appears to be the best method to have a boy. Shettles claimed this method resulted in an 85% success rate.
The problem is the medical evidence is pretty scant—and Shettles’ method, along with those of many other theorists, has been somewhat debunked. It’s just not as conclusive as he claims.
So can you conceive a boy 5 days before ovulation? Yes, you can. And it’s happened throughout human history.
But you can also conceive a girl this way. Guarantees are hard to come by.
What to eat to increase chances of having a boy?
Unfortunately, there’s no magic recipe here—but there is definitely no shortage of theories.
From eating breakfast cereals to opting for a more alkaline diet, there are many claims linking what you put in your stomach and the sex of your baby.
But the research around this is far from conclusive.
Perhaps as we continue to explore the topic, we will gain more insight into how to plan our menu accordingly.
And finally, the TTC process can be stressful, and often filled with so much uncertainty. If you need support, join us on Peanut. You don’t have to navigate this process alone.
Good luck. 💙💗
💡 More from The 411:
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Boy or Girl? Can You Make a Prediction?
19 Fertility Acronyms & Abbreviations You Need to Know
Overcoming Loneliness While Trying to Conceive
TTC Meaning: The Language of Trying to Conceive
How to Conceive a Girl: Any Guarantees?