Many people wonder how to choose baby gender. And while the results vary widely depending on the method, it’s pretty mind-boggling that we even have the degree of control over a baby’s gender that we do. Even just 100 years ago, mothers considered themselves lucky to survive the birthing process to have a baby at all. Fast forward to now, and you can almost plan how many boys and how many girls you are going to have in your future family-and know that Mommy will be around to tend to them and enjoy their company.
So how does choosing a baby’s gender really work? There are a few facets to it, some more controversial than others.
First off, we’ll look briefly at the natural, low-tech methods.
Men produce two types of sperm: the X (male) type and the Y (female) type. The X (male) type is bigger and stronger compared to the smaller yet faster Y (female) type. So the female type can get to the egg faster, and that means that the closer to the woman’s ovulation cycle a couple has sex, the more likely the resulting baby is to be female. Pretty basic, right?
Of course, there is much more to it than that, and some of it veers right into the land of folktale and legend. For example, one tenet says that depth of penetration matters given that it really is a race to the egg (last one there is a rotten egg!). And others even recommend hot baths, coffee and other ways of changing body temperature or pH to have a boy or a girl.
These suggestions for influencing baby gender probably all have some validity, but they at best shift the odds in your favor instead giving you a near sure-thing outcome for your baby’s sex. (For more information on natural gender-selection methods, look up the work of U.S. doctor Landrum Shettles.)
So how can you be confident that you’ll get the newborn boy or girl you’ve been longing for? This is where science has stepped up, even though it can cost a pretty penny.
One way is to remove eggs from the woman and then fertilize them with the man’s sperm in a laboratory using standard in vitro methods. The resulting embryo’s chromosomes are then analyzed to see if it’s a boy or a girl before implanting the embryo into the mother to-be. You can probably see how this is somewhat controversial, since the once-natural process is now heavily influenced by man and even discarded if the result isn’t what was expected.
Other methods involve dying, centrifuging or otherwise sorting out male from female sperm based on their weight differences. The resulting sex-specific sperm can then be utilized to fertilize the egg. The MicroSort, Spin and Ericsson Methods fall into this category.
I hope this brief overview has been helpful. With all of the methods available, from folklore to forking over big money for scientific accuracy, I trust you will find just the right solution for you. And when pining would-be parents later ask you how you did it, you can joyfully teach them how to choose baby gender too.