Some couples dream of pigtails and princesses. Others want to toss around a baseball with a little boy.
The cold hard truth is that there's no way to guarantee the gender of your child. However, there are some tips and tricks that might just increase your odds of developing a male or female embryo. It's called "gender swaying," and it's a mix of science, biology, psychology and good old-fashioned luck.
If you've already picked out the color of your nursery, here are just a few suggestions for gender swaying.
1. Perfect Your Timing
One of the most popular strategies for gender swaying is having intercourse at certain times around ovulation. The Y sperm that creates boys is smaller than the X sperm that creates girls, so the theory is that Y sperm might be small and speedy while X sperm is larger but slower.
If this is true, the best time to get pregnant with a girl is a few days before ovulation, and the best time to get pregnant with a boy is during ovulation or immediately after it.
Either way, you'll need to time things carefully to use this method, so pull out your calendar and get to tracking your cycle.
2. Change Your Diet
Some people say that the pH levels of a woman's vagina can impact the odds of her carrying specific genders. An acidic pH level is supposed to nurture X sperm (girls) while an alkaline pH level is supposedly better for the strength and survival of Y sperm (boys).
This method of gender swaying can be a bit iffy. It hasn't been proven that pH levels have anything to do with embryonic development, and even if it's true, there's debate about ovulation cycles and when pH levels are actually at their most acidic levels.
The good news is that it's harmless to try. If you want to eat more cranberries to boost your pH levels, you won't hurt anything. The same goes for eating more bananas to lower it. Your cupboards might look a little different, but that's all.
3. Monitor Your Hormone Levels
Moms, this tip is for you. Low levels of testosterone in your body might increase your odds of having a daughter, and high levels of estrogen and testosterone can help with boys. High levels of gonadotropins might help with girls as well. Hormones are a fairly reliable way of determining gender in the womb, so the logic is that if you can tweak them beforehand, you can control the gender that forms in the womb in the first place.
The tricky thing about this method of gender swaying is that it involves messing around with your own hormones, and if you aren't careful, you can impact everything from your day-to-day health to your overall fertility. It's best to get your doctor involved before you take any action. They might even able to recommend certain foods or supplements instead of more drastic hormone treatments.
Gender swaying isn't an exact science. It's important to know that in advance. However, if you're willing to try new things and test your luck against the odds, it might be just what you need to get the son or daughter that you've always wanted!