While couples should focus on having a healthy baby, a lot of people are inclined towards one or the other sex. Now there is nothing wrong with wanting a baby girl or a boy but some cultural and social norms prevailing in certain societies make couples want a male child. This along with female foeticide is why sex determination is a crime in India.

Regardless, no matter what kind of society you live in, you may have heard one of those old wive's tales on planning sex and eating and drinking particular things to ensure a baby of a particular sex.

In this article, we will bust a few such myths and discuss the facts around what determines a baby's gender.

  1. Timing sex around fertile days for baby boy
  2. Sex position to get a baby boy
  3. Changing your vaginal pH to get pregnant with a baby boy
  4. Woman should have an orgasm to get a baby boy
  5. Eating some foods to conceive a baby boy
  6. Frequency of sex to conceive a baby boy
  7. Supplements can help you conceive a baby boy
  8. Coffee to conceive a baby boy
  9. Taking cough syrup to conceive a boy
  10. Have sex on new moon day to conceive a boy
  11. Few other myths on how to conceive a boy
  12. Bottom line on conceiving a baby boy
Doctors for How to conceive a baby boy naturally- myths and facts

Myth

According to folk wisdom, one of the most common suggestions to conceive a baby boy is to plan intercourse 12 hours before ovulation. And if you want a baby girl, then you should have sex once your periods end until two to fours days before ovulation. And avoid having sex apart from this planned time.

(Read more: Can I get pregnant just before on or just after my period)

Fact

It is impossible to time sex to be exactly 12 hours before ovulation. Research has found that no method of at-home ovulation tracking is that accurate. Avoiding sex in the two days before you expect to ovulate means you are missing your most fertile days.

Myth

If you want a baby boy, use sex positions like doggy style that get the semen as close to the cervix as possible and give the Y-sperm cells an advantage to swim faster. If you want to have a girl, have sex in the missionary position, so the semen is deposited slightly away from the cervix, where the vaginal environment is slightly more acidic.

Fact

Sexual positions don't influence how fast a particular sperm cell gest to the egg.

Myth

If you want a baby boy, it is often suggested to douche your vagina with baking soda to increase the alkalinity of the area and give Y-sperm cells an advantage. A more acidic environment is supposed to favour a female child and a more alkaline environment increases your chances of having a baby boy.

The myth probably comes from the in vitro studies that say that X-sperm can withstand more acidic conditions than Y-sperm.

Fact

Douching can upset the natural pH balance of your vagina, which may cause irritation and infection, and may also disturb the fertility-boosting cervical mucus that helps all sperm cells survive.

Myth

If you want to have a boy, the woman should have an orgasm. This could help the Y-sperm cells to swim even faster. If you want to have a girl, the woman shouldn’t have an orgasm.

Fact

There’s no evidence that says that having or not having an orgasm will affect the sex of the child you conceive.

Myth

Yet another common belief is that eating foods rich in potassium and sodium increase your chances of having a baby boy, while if you eat foods rich in calcium and magnesium, you are likely to conceive a baby girl. 

Fact

The gender of a baby is not determined by food but by the chromosomes in the sperm that fuses with the ova. When a sperm with an X chromosome fuses with the egg cell or ova, it results in a baby girl and when a sperm with a Y chromosome fuses with the egg cell it results in a baby boy.

Myth

As the old wife's tales go, men should have more frequent sex if they want a baby boy. Men with lower sperm counts are more likely to have girls and men with high sperm count are more likely to have a boy. Frequent sex statistically increases the chances of a Y-sperm fertilising the ova.

(Read more: Low sperm count treatment)

Fact

Having or not having sex doesn't influence sperm production or type of sperm that fuses with the ova. 

Myth

There are many couples who secretly opt for baby gender selection supplements available online or in pharmacies. It is estimated that up to 60% of women in India who have a female child first take sex selection drugs for their second birth. These medicines claim to help you conceive a boy or a girl, per your desire.

Fact

Scientific evidence reveals the presence of hormones like testosterone and phytoestrogen along with some herbal ingredients in these supplements. These medicines have also been revealed to contain oestrogen and steroids that may cause malformation and defects in the child.

Myth

Men are often told to drink coffee or take caffeine before they have sex when planning a baby. It is proposed that this method would help increase the chances of Y-chromosome sperm fertilising the egg. Hence resulting in a boy foetus.

Fact

There is no scientific data that supports this fact. Obstetrician and gynaecologist suggest that there is an equal chance of a boy or a girl being born in every conception. No scientific study supports any method that helps to select to conceive one gender.

Myth

Many of you might have heard of this tip that tells women to take cough syrup when planning a baby. The theory behind this is that cough syrup helps loosen and thin the cervical mucus that further aids sperms to reach your egg. The more sperms cross through cervical mucus, the higher are the chances of having a male child.

Fact

You should take no medicine unless your doctor prescribes you.

Myth

There is much talk on the point that having intercourse on a new moon day helps you to conceive a boy. And having sex on full moon day helps conceive a girl. 

Fact

There is no scientific study that claims new moon intercourse helps in conceiving a boy. Moreover, these specific days fall once a month during your ovulation time, so you cannot afford to waste your fertility period waiting for this day in a desire to conceive a baby.

Here are a few other myths on ways to conceive a baby boy:

  • It is more likely to conceive a girl if you have intercourse in the afternoon and on an even day of the month, while you are more likely to conceive a boy if you have sex at night and on odd days
  • You would conceive a boy if your husband keeps his testicles cool by not wearing briefs and wearing boxer shorts and loose-fitting trousers
  • A woman should not skip her breakfast if she wants to conceive a baby boy
  • A woman should increase their diet if she wants to conceive a boy

Whether these old wives’ stories work or not, there are definitely modern technologies that may influence the gender of your baby to an extent. These methods rely on the theory that the X and Y-chromosomes from the father’s sperm determine the sex. With the use of these cutting-edge techniques, X and Y- chromosomes can be separated in vitro and artificially inseminated. But for moral reasons, selecting the sex is not considered ethical.

And most importantly, our society needs to understand that No matter a girl or a boy, A child is God’s gift.

Dr. Nipa Brahmbhatt

Dr. Nipa Brahmbhatt

General Physician
13 Years of Experience

Dr. Rohith Jaiswal

Dr. Rohith Jaiswal

General Physician
8 Years of Experience

Lalitha Nageshwari

Lalitha Nageshwari

General Physician
1 Years of Experience

Dr. Sneha Patil

Dr. Sneha Patil

General Physician
5 Years of Experience

References

  1. Sarkar M, Biswas NM. Influence of moonlight on the birth of male and female babies. Nepal Med Coll J. 2005 Jun;7(1):62-4. PMID: 16295726
  2. Larissa Hirsch. Pregnancy Myths and Tales. The Nemours Foundation [Internet]
  3. Perry DF, DiPietro J, Costigan K. Are women carrying "basketballs" really having boys? Testing pregnancy folklore. Birth. 1999 Sep;26(3):172-7. PMID: 10655817
  4. ResearchGate. Sex selection drugs cause tens of thousands of stillbirths in India. [Internet]
  5. Office on women's health [internet]: US Department of Health and Human Services; Douching
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