Is there a way you can scientifically plan to conceive a boy or girl? Yes. It's all about biology, timing intercourse and doing so in relation to ovulation.
Gwinyai Masukume from the University of the Witwaterstrand and Victor Grech at the University of Malta published a study that only recently got our attention with the World Cup still on our minds: More sex during South Africa’s World Cup meant more boys nine months on.
I wondered, is that something I can scientifically measure? Can I hope and pray for a boy or girl and then follow specific methods that can make it happen? And can I be so completely and utterly taken with a soccer tournament that a few months on, I can actually birth a little Cristiano Ronaldo!?
Well, it wasn’t just a freak shift that resulted in the disproportionately higher number of male babies born in early 2011. And although it may not have been calculated, it certainly wasn’t random. There’s research and science behind the conception of a boy that says all the little Ronaldos and Messis had much to do with the excitement and adrenaline when daddy’s team won, the romantic strolls through the fan parks that followed, and a subsequent trip to the hospital, some 9 months later, where your doctor turned to you and quite literally said, “Feel it. It is here”
Sperm motility and sex – factors that affect conception
In their study, Masukume and Grech wrote that there were two factors which led to this increase: sperm motility and when, and how frequently, people had sex.
“When people have sex more often, on average more boys are born," they write. "This relates to the fertile period of a woman’s menstrual cycle. If conception takes place at the beginning or the end of the fertile period, the child is more likely to be a boy. If it takes place in the middle of the fertile period, the child is more likely to be a girl.”
On the contrary, “in terms of sperm motility,” they continued, “the consequence of negative natural events is that sperm motility is low. This translates into fewer boys being born.”
They explain that, with particular events such as the World Cup, people tend to feel strong emotions. In this case it was happy emotions that had male sperm swimming faster, making their way to their prize quicker, and fertilising the egg.
The make-up of the male and female sperm cells
Fertility expert Toni Weschler elaborates in her book, Taking Charge of Your Infertility, on the make-up of the male and female sperm. Referencing Dr. Landrum Shettles, famous for the "Shettles Method", she explains the male sperm cells (carrying the Y chromosomes) are smaller, lighter, faster and more fragile than the female sperm cells (carrying the X chromosomes), which are thought to be bigger, heavier and slower, but more resilient.
So timing intercourse as closely to ovulation as possible has a better chance of conceiving a boy because a healthy male sperm cell will probably reach the egg first. But if you have sex, say, four days after ovulation, your chances of conceiving a girl is higher, because the male sperm cells would have expired while the female sperm cell may be resilient enough to make it all the way through.
Conceiving a boy vs. a girl
Here are the factors and scenarios that may therefore increase your chances of a boy or girl, according to Toni Weschler’s research and supported by scientific studies.
WARNING: This doesn’t mean these methods are sure-fire. Also, it goes without saying, that both genders are beautiful blessings that we're grateful for!