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Conceiving Quicker Doesn’t Mean Your Baby Will Be a Boy

Katlyn Joy |31, October 2014


Some old wives' tales are passed along because they've proved the test of time. Some are plain old common sense. Others are just stories with no factual basis.

Apparently, one of these latter cases includes the idea that if a woman gets pregnant soon after stopping contraception, she is more likely to have a son. Researchers from the National Institutes of Health decided it was time to either prove or disprove this bit of folklore.

It seems previous studies came to inconclusive results and NIH believed the previous studies to be flawed as well.

For this study, researchers from NIH recruited 500 couples who were set to give up protecting against pregnancy and ready to try to conceive. The couples were followed for a year, or until they gave birth. The researchers compiled different types of information, besides how long it took to become pregnant. They looked at the couples' ages, their BMIs and whether or not they smoked, for instance. After controlling for these variables, the researchers looked at the data. From the study group, 234 singleton pregnancies resulted.

When the data was analyzed, researchers determined that there was no significant connection between the time it took to become pregnant and the gender of the child conceived. Therefore, the myth has been debunked. The results were published in the journal Fertility and Sterility, in the September 2014 issue.

Is There Any Way to Influence the Sex of the Baby When Getting Pregnant?

According to the medical profession in general, there is no proven way to influence the gender of the baby you conceive. However, there are some low tech ideas to try that certainly won't hurt to try if you prefer one gender over the other.

One study even suggested, although definitely did not prove, that what a woman eats before conceiving may be a factor. A 2008 British study looked at 740 women who were recently diagnosed as pregnant and who did not know the baby's gender. The women in the study were not obese, all white, and had no medical issues.

The participants kept logs of their eating habits for the study. From the questionnaires, the researchers found the following trends: women who ate breakfast cereal daily gave birth to boys 59 percent of the time compared to 43 percent for those who rarely or never ate breakfast cereal.

Also, those in the group who consumed the most calories, gave birth to sons 56 percent of the time. Women in the group consuming the least calories, had boys 45 percent of the time. Additionally, women who ate more healthy diets, particularly those high in potassium were more likely to have boys. The difference in the potassium level between the two groups wasn't vast; it was equivalent to a large banana's difference.

This is one study, and there could be other factors at play that researchers are unaware of. Researchers also cautioned women not to limit caloric intake in order to have a girl, either. Nutritious eating is vital for all healthy babies.

Other Low Tech Suggestions for Gender Selection

Timing is everything.

Many people who claim to be experts at helping couples choose babies sex, suggest timing intercourse to increase the chances of conceiving a specific gender baby. If you time sex closest to ovulation, it gives the boy sperm a better chance of hooking up with the egg. So-called girl sperm is tougher and can hang in there longer. However, if you play about with the timing too much you might just miss your fertility window completely.


It's a popular belief, not tested formally, that missionary position will yield more girls, while doggy-style produces more boys.

Changing the acidity of the vagina.

Those who propose this method suggest douching with water and vinegar to create an acidic environment to help the boy sperm, while douching with water and baking soda to make a more alkaline environment to aid the girl sperm.


Another suggestion is to eat less salt and eat more protein if you want to conceive a girl.

However, the bottom line still seems that your chance of having either sex is about 50/50, no matter what you do!

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Amy Jan 14, 2018 12:20:43 PM ET

If I want a girl, what would I do?

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