Posted: Apr 13, 2012 4:36 PM
 
For nearly forty years, couples who are trying to increase their chances of conceiving a specific sex have relied upon the Shettles Method, which is laid out in How to Choose the Sex of Your Baby by Dr. Landrum Shettles and David Rorvik. Here's an overview for how it works.

What's it all about?

The Shettles Method suggests that a couple has some degree of control over which sperm reaches and fertilizes the egg. According to this plan, the couple must schedule intercourse on specific days of the month to increase the chances of conceiving their desired sex. When a woman ovulates an egg, it carries with it an X chromosome. Her partner’s sperm carries an X or Y chromosome. If a sperm carrying a Y chromosome fertilizes the egg, the embryo will result in a male (XY). But if the sperm that penetrates and fertilizes the egg carries with it an X chromosome, the embryo will result in a female (XX).

Hoping for a boy?

To conceive a boy, the Shettles method prescribes intercourse on ovulation day so that the egg is waiting for the faster-swimming male sperm to arrive. The Shettles Method advises that the couple finds a position that allows for deeper penetration to help deposit the sperm as close as possible to the cervical canal to increase its chances of reaching egg. This method also recommends that female orgasm should accompany the male orgasm since it changes the alkaline level of the vagina.

Dreaming of having a girl?

If a couple is hoping for a girl, they should try the opposite by having intercourse two to three days before ovulation, which allows time for the male sperm to die and let the slower female sperm reach the egg. The woman should avoid orgasm and her partner should aim for shallow penetration to create a longer journey for his sperm to reach the egg. They should then abstain for the remainder of her fertile period to allow the best possible chance for the female sperm.

But does it work?

Shettles claims that, if followed properly, his method is at least seventy-five percent successful and he adds that some researchers report upwards to ninety percent success rates.

With much of the successes merely anecdotal, it's tough to say for certain if the Shettles Method truly works, but if you're trying for a specific sex, perhaps it's worth a try.

More about trying to conceive

So, you need a sperm donor
Secondary infertility struggles
Trying to conceive: Foods for fertility

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