NATURAL SEX SELECTION
Old wives’ tale or medical truth? Will these methods influence the sex of your baby?
HAVING ANOTHER CHILD
FALSE Many women believe that giving it one more go will result in the boy or girl they have dreamed of. Reproductive medicine specialist Dr Saleema Nosarka says that this is an old wives’ tale. The odds are still 50/50, every time.
SEXUAL POSITIONS AND ORGASMS
FALSETThe Shettles method, among others, claims that women wanting a baby girl should avoid orgasms because it makes the vagina alkaline and the X-bearing sperm prefers an acidic environment. Women wanting girls should also avoid deep penetration. But Michelle Rijsdijk, a senior embryologist at the Dalmeyer Fertility Unit in Port Elizabeth, says this is untrue. “The acidity of the vagina and the sexual position used do not play a role in sex selection.”
EATING A CERTAIN DIET
TRUE A mother’s food choices may influence the gender of her offspring. “Retrospective diet surveys found that women who conceived three or more girls and no boys had a diet with high levels of calcium and magnesium, whereas mothers with predominantly male offspring had a high sodium intake in their diet,” says fertility specialist Dr Sascha Edelstein.
SEX AT A CERTAIN TIME OF THE DAY
FALSE Whether intercourse happens in the morning or late in the evening will make no difference to the baby’s gender.
TRUE Part of this method suggests that timing intercourse around ovulation can in fact increase your chances of determining the sex. For a girl, it should take place a few days before ovulation; for a boy, on the day or one day after. Dr Edelstein explains: “Y-bearing sperm are lighter and faster, but also more fragile and shorter-lived than X-bearing sperm. Having sexual intercourse closer to ovulation, the likelihood of male offspring is enhanced. If sex is timed to occur two days before ovulation, then the Y-bearing sperm will be depleted and fertilisation will occur with an X-bearing sperm (producing a female child).”