Boy or girl? Can you choose the sex of your baby?
The issue of how to choose a baby's sex is always a hot topic among mothers. An obstetrician, gynecologist and fertility specialist weighs in.
The issue of how to choose a baby's sex is always a hot topic among mothers, with old wives' tales, pregnancy kits and even Chinese astrological gender charts cited as efficient methods to make sure one conceives a boy or girl.
It's worth bearing in mind that it is actually illegal to use medical methods to choose the gender of your baby, not to mention unethical.
Obstetrician & gynecologist and fertility specialist Dr Ng Kok Chong says that the medical fraternity does not encourage this practice, but do understand especially for families with all girls or all boys.
Here is his advice for couples who wish to conceive babies of a certain sex:
First off, gender is affected by our chromosomes. A boy has the XY chromosomes while girls have XX chromosomes. The chromosomes are carried by the sperm and have special characteristics. Male sperm are faster and lighter than the girls but tend to die faster.
The female sperm may be slow and heavier but they last longer. This is important to bear in mind as these methods are actually ways to optimise the sperm and increase chances of conceiving a desired gender.
When you have sex affects the outcome. Dr Ng advises those wanting to have a baby boy to have sexual intercourse after ovulation occurs, while if you want a girl, chances are better if you have sex before ovulation.
This is because male sperm tend to die faster. If you have sex before ovulation occurs, the male sperm may arrive but find no egg and die waiting. By the time the egg emerges, the female sperm arrives just in time to fertilise it.
This may seem like an old wives' tale, but it is backed by science!
“The male sperm likes an alkaline environment while the female sperm likes an acidic environment.
“If you want a boy then the man needs to take more acidic food like meat while the woman needs to take more alkaline food like vegetables and fruits.
“If you want a girl, then the woman needs to eat more meat and the husband needs to take more vegetables. Then the environment of the vagina is more acidic and the chances of getting a girl are higher,” explains Dr Ng.
The position you have sex in also plays a role. Positions that offer deep penetration make it easier for the sperm to get to the egg quickly so the chances of getting a boy are higher.
If penetration is shallow, the sperm need to swim further. By the time they reach the egg, the male sperm would have died so the chances of getting a girl are higher.
Dr Ng concludes that these methods don't have a 100% success rate, they simply improve your chances.
Source: The Star MY