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How to Conceive a Girl

Mar 02, 2022 | 3 minutes Read

You might be longing for a girl. Do you already have one boy or more and now want to see if you can tip the gender balance in your household? Or have you always wanted a little girl? There are lots of theories and claims made about influencing the chances of having either a boy or a girl, but the scientific facts are absolutely clear: the chances of having a boy or a girl are almost exactly equal for each and every pregnancy. Even though some couples only seem to make boys and some only girls, this patterning owes more to luck than management.

Tips for conceiving

There are a few ways to increase your chances of getting pregnant, such as:
  • Have sex around 2 to 4 days before you ovulate.
  • Keep an ovulation chart so you know when you are ovulating.
  • Have sex every day from the day you finish your period.
  • Avoid having sex that involves deep penetration.
  • Purchase an alkaline testing kit from the pharmacy to find out your vaginal pH.
  • Eat foods that support a more acidic vaginal pH such as green leafy vegetables, wholegrains, meat, corn, and blueberries.

What's fact and what's fallacy?

  • To conceive a girl an X chromosome sperm from your partner needs to get to your egg first. If a Y sperm gets in before an X, then you will have a boy.
  • It’s important to remember that it is always the man’s genes that determine the sex of the baby. Women always carry a pair of X chromosomes, whereas men carry an X and Y.
  • It is a fallacy that men who are less masculine father girls.
  • It is a fallacy that one of the testicles only produces X (girl) sperm and the other only produces Y (boy) sperm.
  • Lunar cycles, diet, sexual positions, homeopathy and assorted complimentary medicine practices do not influence the likelihood of having a boy or a girl.

If you really want to minimize your chances of having a boy and maximize the odds of having a girl, then gender selection through a fertility clinic is your best bet. This process is tremendously expensive and fraught with potential problems, including the potential for an undesired outcome. Unless there is a strong likelihood of your baby carrying a sex-linked chromosomal abnormality, it is unlikely that using a gender selection clinic is an option for you.


Characteristics of “girl” sperm What this means to you
These sperm tend to be slow-moving and longer lasting. Not much. It really doesn’t mean anything in terms of your control.Maria Anders
They are real energy houses that survive for longer in hostile vaginal conditions. It may influence when you have sex in relation to your ovulation.
They can survive in the vagina for up to 4 days without dying off. Don’t need to be so specific about timing sex to coincide with ovulation.


Characteristics of “boy” sperm What this means to you
They are not as long-lasting and need assistance to get to the egg as quickly as possible. You should time sex to coincide with ovulation if you want a boy.
They have lots of energy at the start but don’t have the staying power like “girl” sperm. Stop trying to conceive around 3 days before you ovulate if you want a girl. This will reduce your overall odds of conceiving as well.

Timing of intercourse

If you are eager to have a girl, then you need to think about, plan for, and execute your strategy to include exactly how and when you are going to have sex. Forget just waiting to see what happens.

To maximize your chances of conceiving either a boy or a girl you need to have produced an egg that the sperm can then fertilize. Having lots of sex throughout your cycle will provide you with the best chances of having any baby. If you limit the opportunity for conception to occur it will reduce your chances of having a baby in general.

In the 1960s, Dr. Landrum Shettles developed a range of strategies which could boost the probability of parents having either a girl or a boy. Called the Shettles Method, he said that in order to conceive a girl you should:
  • Have sex 2 to 4 days before you ovulate. Timing sex is the key here, so it will help if you keep an ovulation chart where you can predict which days of your cycle you are likely to ovulate. You’ll have lots of sex before you release an egg.
  • Have sex every day beginning the day you finish your period. This helps to deposit lots of the longer-lasting X sperm. They will be ready to fertilize the egg once it is released from the ovaries.
  • Preparation is the key to conceiving a girl. Don’t wait until the last moment to have sex. Boosting your chances of having a girl is like saving for a home loan. Make lots of deposits nice and early so you are in the best position to get rewarded.
  • Avoid having sex when you are ovulating or just afterwards. Having sex when ovulation is still some days away supports the slower-moving X sperm.
  • Mucus that is produced before ovulation tends to be more acidic, which helps to conceive with a girl. Women who are sensitive to their body’s changes are in the best possible position to know when they are fertile.
  • If manageable, women need to avoid having an orgasm during sex. Shettles claims female orgasm helps to produce a more alkaline vaginal environment that favors boy sperm. The muscular uterine contractions of orgasm also give the boy sperm a boost towards the fallopian tubes.

How will I know I’ve ovulated?

  • Many women develop a distinctive pain on one side of their lower pelvis that occurs mid-way through their monthly cycle.
  • You’ll see changes in the cervical mucus. Fertile mucus is clear, watery, and stretchy—it appears similar to egg white. This is because the cells change to encourage the smooth passage of sperm upwards through the cervix towards the fallopian tubes. Fertile mucus is also less acidic than non-fertile mucus. This environment favors the sperm rather than killing them off.
  • Try using an ovulation testing kit. These detect hormonal changes that occur during ovulation, particularly an increase in luteinizing hormone. There is still some disagreement over their effectiveness. Kits cost anywhere between $25 and $40. Ovulation testing kits that work by measuring hormonal levels in the saliva, rather than the urine, are supposed to be more exact.
  • may feel different. Women who have ovulated and are at their most fertile often experience an increase in their libido; they also appear more attractive and are more relaxed.
  • You could have an increase in your basal body temperature. This is the lowest temperature that is reached by your body during rest and sleep. Just before ovulation occurs there is a rise in the temperature by a couple of degrees.

General tips

  • Avoid having sex that involves deep penetration. The missionary position may be preferable because the semen is not deposited as closely to the cervix as in an all-fours position. A shallow position is preferable when trying to have a girl.
  • Enlist your partner’s cooperation if you’re trying to have a girl because there may be changes from your usual sexual routine. Communication and shared decision-making will go a long way towards avoiding misunderstandings at delicate moments.
  • It seems that girl sperm favors a more acidic environment. This is largely out of your control, though there may be some foods to help you achieve a more acidic pH. Alkaline testing kits are available from drug stores if you’d like to find out what your individual vaginal pH is.
  • There is a theory that girl sperm are more prolific when a man is ejaculating daily. But just to confuse us, there is another theory which claims that it takes a couple of days for the total sperm numbers to build up to maximum numbers after ejaculation.
  • One option is to use condoms during sex occurring during a woman’s most fertile days. Condoms will limit the opportunity for any conception but correlates with Shettles’ theory that a greater likelihood of boy conception will happen at ovulation.
  • To boost your chances of having a baby girl, try eating more green leafy vegetables. Be aware that some researchers claim mothers who wish to conceive with a girl should avoid most fruits and vegetables, though in a dietary sense this is generally not advisable for anyone. Folic acid is an important nutrient in the first trimester and green leafy vegetables are one of the major sources of folate. You should also eat wholegrains, meat, sweets (lucky you!), corn, blueberries, and foods high in magnesium such as fish, fruit, and grains. Avoid eating nuts, specifically almonds.
  • There is some science to support the theory that women who have a higher energy intake in their diets are more likely to have boys. More calories per day favors boys, it seems. The reverse may be true to help boost the chances of having a girl. But at the end of the day there are no guarantees.

The information of this article has been reviewed by nursing experts of the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric, & Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN). The content should not substitute medical advice from your personal healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider for recommendations/diagnosis or treatment. For more advice from AWHONN nurses, visit Healthy Mom&Baby at health4mom.org.