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Choosing the sex of your baby

(46 Posts)
Mima Mon 19-Mar-01 21:06:55

Just came across a website called planbaby.com it claims it can help you find out the most likely times when you can conceive a boy or a girl or if you are already pregnant what you are going to have if you know the dates you had sex. Probably a lot of rubbish but thought I would share it with you!

Lil Tue 20-Mar-01 11:51:50

Mima, I just had a look at this site. Its totally unscientific and you do have to pay for a prediction, although its only £6. Since they have a 50:50 chance of getting it right, and no comeback if they don't, its easy money!

But taking off the cynical hat, it reckons basically that if you ovulate when your physical energy biorythms is high, you get a boy, but if its low, you get a girl!! Hmm..so to have a girl you have to have sex when you're totally knackered!!

Bugsy Tue 20-Mar-01 14:21:41

And now for some science. The X & Y chromosomes are known as the sex chromosomes for the obvious reason that they determine, with almost perfect predestination, the sex of the body. Everybody gets an X chromosome from his or her mother. But if you inherited a Y chromosome from your father, you are a man; if you inherited an X chromosome from your father you are a woman." On the Y chromosome there is a gene called SRY and that acts as a switch in an embryo's development. This gene activates a whole cascade of events that leads to the masculinisation of an embryo's development. The genitals grow to look like a penis and testes, the shape and constitution of the body are altered from female (the default in our species) and various hormones go to work on the brain.
So, don't go and spend £6 on some website that will tell you how to make a boy or a girl because they can't. You get what you get and there is no way you can determine which of your husbands chromosomes your kids are going to end up with!

Lil Tue 20-Mar-01 15:05:16

The question is Bugsy, when the sperm are swishing their little tails and making their way to the uterus, do they each already have a sex? at which stage does the sperm 'decide' it is carrying an X or a Y chromosone? If its not until the sperm is in the female body, then is Hope's theory possible that the environment acid/alkaline makes a difference, or even diet?

Bugsy Tue 20-Mar-01 15:46:31

Each sperm contains all the genetic material required to combine the genetic material in an egg to make a human being. I'm sure scientists would be delighted if they could change genetic status by bathing sperm in acid or alkali but to date that has not been possible. Eating acid or alkali would't work either - sorry to be such a killjoy!

Lil Tue 20-Mar-01 15:56:11

Still not clear at what point does the sperm 'decides' what it is. Are you saying all sperm are the same as the 'decision' hasn't been made at that stage, or is it decided in the uterus, after fusion with the egg or before??sorry to push you on this, but hoping you know!

Lil Tue 20-Mar-01 15:58:14

Actually, rereading your note, it looks like the sperm is produced with a sex. So maybe we should change the environment of the testicles!!

Bugsy Tue 20-Mar-01 16:55:48

Ummmm....... You are asking me too many questions now Lil! As far as I know (or should I say learned scientists with big brains) you cannot in anyway determine the sex of your baby by swishing around with vinegar, bonking on certain days, making your partner wear tight pants, eating manure or any other weird and wonderful ways. It is a question of inheritance pure and simple.

Mima Tue 20-Mar-01 17:17:46

When I was around 5 months pregnant I went to New York with 3 of my pregnant friends we ranged from 2 mths to 5 mths pregnant. In a bar one evening this chinese fortune teller took all our birthdates and that of our partners and predicted that each of us would have a boy followed by another boy. All four of us did have boys and two of these friends have gone on to have second babies and both of these were boys too. Weird!

Janem Tue 20-Mar-01 17:25:15

Hi Lil,
Each sperm contains either an X or a Y chromosome. This is true from when it's formed. All eggs have X chromosomes. If a Y sperm gets into the egg you get a boy. If it's an X sperm that makes it you get a girl. The sperms are formed this way - they don't decide at any point. All of the methods people talk about to influence the sex of the baby are trying to change the chances that an X or a Y makes it. There is some theory that the Ys swim faster but die quicker, so if you have sex at the time of ovulation you might be more likely to get a boy. But I've read stuff saying this is rubbish as they make it into the fallopian tubes within minutes. Similarly, there is a theory that warmer conditions kill the Ys first, so if the testicles are kept cold, you increase the chances of a boy.

Cicely Wed 21-Mar-01 12:11:50

For the benefit of all the daughterless out there: I have two stepsons and four sons. I always wanted a daughter and am still frequently confronted by people gawping at our tribe of boys and saying: "Going to try for a girl?" The answer to that is a resounding NO! I am so glad I was not ever mistress of my own biological destiny. If I had been I would have chosen girls and would never have discovered how wonderful boys are. Don't try and load the dice - just be thankful for the children that come your way...

Lil Wed 21-Mar-01 12:14:36

ah, Janem thank-you it makes sense now. If the temperature theory is correct, then wouldn't more girls be born in summer/autumn as they would have been conceived in the winter months?
My hubby's gonna love me when I tell him to put ice-cubes down his pants!!

Paula1 Wed 21-Mar-01 14:11:25

Lil, I have read somewhere that is the case, there are more girls born in the spring/summer.

Paula1 Wed 21-Mar-01 14:12:06

sorry, going mad - summer/autumn not spring!!

Jonie Thu 22-Mar-01 10:03:24

Wow Cicely - 6 boys! Actually I'm glad someone made that point. Even with one girl, when I was pregnant people kept saying - ooh are you hoping for a boy next time - and I really wasn't bothered I just wanted a healthy baby - but when baby number two came along and was female, folks assumed we'd be a bit disappointed, particularly my husband who couldn't have been more thrilled. My best friend has three boys and thought she wanted daughters but revels in her little men. She still enjoys my girls' frocks and ribbons but there's more to parenting than buying frocks and like you she feels privileged to have discovered how great (albeit exhausting) raising boys can be. I think by all means have a bit of fun trying out some of these methods - and let's face it putting ice cubes down the boxers has got to be an entertainment sport - but please don't be too disappointed if you get the 'wrong' sex, it will no doubt turn out to be the 'right' one in the end!

Jac Thu 22-Mar-01 10:23:08

People always say that don't they? Assuming as you have a girl you want boy next time or vice versa. I have to admit though when pregnant with 2nd (already had a girl) I thought maybe I'd like a boy, but would not tell anyone that as if it wasn't you'd get people saying "she wanted a boy you know"

I actually knew the sex of both mine due to amnios and admit that I was a little dissapointed for a while when I knew I was having another girl but soon got over it. I know it's not that common that people want to know the sex of the baby, but because I knew I could find out as I'd had the amnios so couldn't resist. What to others think about this??

Hmonty Thu 22-Mar-01 12:49:11

With both of my pregnancies I found out the sex of the baby from a scan at 21 weeks. Although this isn't conclusive it is easy to say that the baby is a boy rather than a girl as there is something extra to see on the scan (rather than not being sure if it isn't there or just isn't visible...ummm hope that makes sense!). Anyway we have two boys and this was correctly predicted for us. I'm so glad we did ask. With the first pregnancy I'd got it into my head (for no scientific or logical reason) that the baby was a girl. When they told me it was a boy I was, momenterily, disappointed. Obviously I quickly came round to the idea (particularly as I hadn't actually wanted a girl..or a boy, specifically). I'm so glad this happened in advance of the birth as I would have hated to have felt those few minutes of disapointment as I held my beautiful new born boy.

I have heard the argument that finding out the sex before hand takes away the excitement of the birth. What a load of rubbish. We're not talking seeing your christmas presents early here. Holding my new born babies were the most wonderful experiences I've had and knowing the sex in advance didn't take anything away from this...And it meant we had a name prepared and were able to call them by their names from the moment they were born (and before!).

Jac Thu 22-Mar-01 13:03:19

Yes I agree, Hmonty. I've often wondered how I would have felt not knowing the sex then getting not what you hoped for at birth, but at the same time have always thought that the emotions through birth would take away any feelings of what sex you wanted anyway.

Also, I wouldn't want to know the sex of relations/friends babies until they were born, cos I liked to be surprised then, weird aren't I?

The name thing is good though, the minute I knew, the baby name books came out - didn't make the job of finding a name much easier though!

Lou Thu 22-Mar-01 13:40:19

My mother swears that by feeding my father lots of red meat and red wine in the months preceding conception she had the boy she so wanted to complete their family(after two girls).

Have also heard that salami is very good too ...!

Batters Thu 22-Mar-01 14:02:00

Just thought I would give you a word of warning for the calendar / baby sex thing, a friend of mine spent over 200 quid on something similar, I had my doubts right from the start, as they gave her a fertile period of 6 weeks!!!!!!! She wanted a boy and, of course, got a girl. On a different note, I had so many scans with my pregnancy that eventually I did ask to find out the sex of my baby, as soon as I knew we found it easier to talk about her as a person, and we found a name that we liked in less than 5 minutes!

Heidi Thu 22-Mar-01 15:34:39

I'd like to add something here if I may! I have two children - one girl and one boy. Both times my husband and I tried the various methods of stacking the odds more in our favour fo a particular sex, and both times it worked.

Four of my close girlfriends became interested in the idea, too, and each one of them have ended up with the sex of child they were trying for. Two of those girls had been trying had to conceive for over a year and almost three years respectively, so they were doubly delighted. One of my other friends already had three girls and was desperate for a boy, and it worked for her too. So far, betweent he six of us, we have eight children of the sex we were 'trying' for.

Of course, none of us would have been upset really whatever the sex of our babies, we were trying in a fairly lighthearted way. And six women is a very small sample. Still...

I will add another post in a second and tell you what we did. Then you can see how crazy we all are!

Heidi Thu 22-Mar-01 15:56:36

OK - here is our list of things to try for swinging the odds in your favour for boy or girl:

First you need to know the length of your cycle, ie no. of days from start of your period to start of your next period. This is in order to maximise yor chances of conceiving at all - ie any baby! My cycle length averages 30 days. (You can average over 3 or more months). You ovulate 14 days before the end of your cycle. For me, this is day 16.

Using a timing method for my cycle - 30 days
Sex on day 13 = warm
Sex on day 14 = hot
Sex on day 15 = scorching
Sex on day 16 (ovulation day) = hot
Sex on day 17 = warm

You can use a diary to record your days, or, if you like something a bit more scientific, you can use a fertility monitor. In th UK (where I live) they sell a monitor called 'Persona' for about £60. It is sold as contraception, but I used it the reverse way around. Basically it is like having a never ending ovulation predictor kit, that tells you every day whether you are fertile by flashing up a red light (fertile) or a green light (not fertile). On ovulation day, it shows you a digital picture of a little egg! It does all this my measuring hormones in your urine - you pee on sticks during the month and insert them into the monitor for a reading. It works out much cheaper than using OPKs, and much more accurate too.

Once you have your cycle sussed, you can try any of the following (my DH and I tried them all!)

Increase chances for a boy
* Help your DH to have an orgasm without intercourse two days before you plan 'the deed' to clear out the lazier older sperms!
* Have sex the day before ovulation, the day of ovulation, and/or the day after. Y sperms are faster swimming and it is likely only they will have reached the egg in time!
* Get your DH to wear loose clothes and underwear the day before and the day of 'the deed' as Y sperms thrive better in a cool environment
* Douche with a little liquid made from 1 pint colled boiled water and 1 teaspoon bicarb of soda as Y sperms thrive better in a slightly alkaline environment
* Have an orgasm before or at the same time as your DH - this also has the effect of making your vagina more alkaline, and is far more pleasant than douching!
* Get yor DH to drink a cup of strong coffee about 1 hour before 'the deed' - caffeine is reported to increase sprem motility, giving the already faster Y sperms an even better chance of meeting their dream date egg first!
* Try a position which allows deeper penetration, such as rear entry, to deposit the Y sperms as close to the cervix as possible, giving them less distance to swim (remember they are fast but die quicker than Xs)

Increase your chances for a girl
* Help your DH to have an orgasm without intercourse two days before you plan 'the deed' to clear out the lazier older sperms
* Have sex three days and two days before ovulation. X sperms are slower swimming but longer living and it is likely only they will have survived by the time you ovulate
* Get your DH to have a warm bathor shower about an hour before 'the deed' as Y sperms thrive better in a cool environment and will be affected by the heat (poor dears) leaving the X sperms to do their thing!
* Douche with a little liquid made from 1 pint colled boiled water and 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar as X sperms thrive better in a slightly acidic environment
* Sorry, this pains me but do not have an orgasm before or at the same time as your DH - this changes the balance in your usually acidic vagina to be alkaline, which X sperms don't like!
* Try a position with shallow penetration, such as the traditional 'man on top' position, to avoid depositing the sperm too close to the cervix (which might give the faster Y sperms a better chance)

For any 'trying' it is recommended that you stay lying down for at least 20 mins afterwards, to avoid the sperms from 'leaking' out. Sorry to be gross! It might help to tilt your pelvis up slightly, by putting a cushion under your bottom or walking your legs up the wall as you lie on your back, particularly if you want a boy (see above). Also, if you just want any baby, an orgasm is a good thing, as the contractions make your cervix dip down into the vagina, drawing the sperms up into your uterus mush more effectively.

There! That may be useful, or it may be no use at all! All I can say is that it's fun trying!

Heidi

Zaria Mon 26-Mar-01 13:34:36

I was absolutely desperate to have a girl, and have two boys. I can't bear the thought of another boy, so won't have any more children. This may all be bound up with the fact that my mother died two years before I had my first child, and I thought if I couldn't be in a mother-daughter relationship with her, at least I could be in one with my own daughter. The pain hasn't gone away (the boys are now 7 and 4) although I love them dearly. I know that its more important to have healthy children etc etc and that many women would give anything to have a baby at all. But their pain doesn't lessen my own.

Jamie Tue 27-Mar-01 21:16:42

Hi,
I have a one boy,and while i was pregnant I managed to convince myself I was having a girl I only ever thought I wanted a girl. If my scan had sexed the baby at the time I would have been very disappointed but instead I found out the sex the moment he was born and I would not change that wonderful feeling for the world. So in my case finding out the sex of the baby when he was born was the right thing. However i would still like a daughter and if I can swing things in that direction I will try, but equally another baby boy would make my day.

Chelle Wed 28-Mar-01 01:53:08

For some reason I had always wanted a baby girl and when I was pregnant I was positive (as were my husband and mother) that the baby would be a girl. My husband even picked out the name! At the 18-20 week scan we found out that the baby was most likely a boy. I was thrilled, not for one moment did I ever feel any disappointment! For any future babies I don't have any preference, I would like a girl, but my little boy is the most wonderful child in the world (no bias there, of course!) and I would equally be thrilled with another boy!

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