Pregnancy
Menstrual Cycle Week 2 Day 3

As ovulation approaches, more cervical mucus is produced. Here it has crystallized to form a “fern leaf” pattern. Around the time of ovulation the mucus becomes clear, slippery, and stretchy, which makes it easier for sperm to swim through.

You may not mind whether you have a boy or a girl, but according to some theories you can influence gender.

Conceiving is all about having sex at the right time this week, but if you’re hoping to have a child of a specific gender, the timing could be even more important. Some experts claim there is a link between when you have sex and the baby’s gender.

Recent research suggests that women who have a high calorie intake (especially if they eat that most phallic of fruit, the banana) are marginally more likely to bear a boy. Those who skip breakfast or have a low calorie intake are more likely to have a girl. One reason for this is thought to be that the extra calories consumed affect vaginal secretions and help to give the Y sperm, which makes baby boys, a vital boost.

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Research has found that women with high glucose levels, achieved by eating normally and not skipping breakfast, were more likely to conceive a boy.

The Shettles method, devised by Dr Landrum Shettles, is based on the fact that Y sperm (for boys) are smaller, faster, and less resilient than X sperm (for girls), and are less able to withstand an acidic environment in the vagina.

  • Timing sex as close to ovulation as possible and adopting positions such as rear-entry that promote deep penetration.

  • The woman should orgasm, ideally at the same time as the man, to make the vagina less acidic and favour Y sperm.

  • Drinking a cup or two of strong coffee just before sex to give Y-sperm an added kick.

The Whelan method, devised by Dr Elizabeth Whelan, suggests that having sex earlier in the cycle, some four to six days before ovulation, is more likely to result in a boy. Sex nearer the time of ovulation is more likely to result in a girl. Curiously, the Whelan way is more or less the opposite of the advice given by Shettles.

But what works? The mainstream medical view, supported by reports in journals such as theNew England Journal of Medicine, is that the timing of sex has little or no bearing on gender. The possible exception is that having sex two days before ovulation may be slightly more likely to favour a girl.

If you already have two same-sex children, you’re 75 per cent more likely to conceive a child of that sex again.

Although the sex of the baby conceived is random, conceiving children of the same sex could be down to the fact that some men produce better quality X sperm, which makes baby girls, or Y sperm, which makes baby boys.

Statistically, couples who have two children of different sexes are less likely to try for a third child.

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