Q&A: Influencing Your Baby's Sex

Can you influence whether you'll conceive a boy or a girl?

Question

Can I do anything to influence my baby's sex?

Answer

I have both scientific and nonscientific answers to this question. There is a procedure that can increase the likelihood of one sex or another. Sperm swim at different rates. The sperm that make a female baby swim slower than the sperm that create a male. The procedure involves spinning and separating the semen to maximize the chances of having one sex or the other, depending on the couple's wishes. But this is a very controversial procedure, and it's only available on a limited basis in certain areas of the country.

The old-fashioned way (some think it an old wives' tale and others swear by it) involves timing sex with your ovulation. Since female-producing sperm are slower swimmers, if you have sex the day before ovulation the theory is that you'd increase your chances of conceiving a girl. And as male-producing sperm are faster, if you have sex on the day of ovulation you'd increase your chances of conceiving a boy. Again, this is NOT scientific -- but good luck trying!

The information on this Web site is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting your pediatrician or family doctor. Please consult a doctor with any questions or concerns you might have regarding your or your child's condition.

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