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How to Get Pregnant with a Boy

Choose the Sex of Your Baby


Updated May 15, 2014

Baby boy lying on stomach
Alistair Berg/Photodisc/Getty Images
How to Have a Boy
Photo © April's Grapevine Photography

Having a baby boy is something that is important to some parents. Enough so that they try to influence their pregnancy and become pregnant with a boy, through a variety of means. This is called sex selection and can be done for boys or girls. Though getting pregnant with a boy is often different than getting pregnant with a girl.

Trying to choose the sex of your baby, boy or girl, is a very old practice. Old customs were centered around the woman, because it was not understood that the determination really lay with the man. Though as wisdom grew, the practices changed to include men in the process of deciding, but the methods were still really out there, like tying up one testicle, believing that boys had one side, girls the other; sleeping with certain objects under the bed to influence the sex of the baby, or even medicines and poultices of an odd combination including animal feces. The desire to choose the sex was that strong.

Today's desire is just as strong. In fact,some places report that up to 90% of people would choose the sex of their baby if it were easier. The biggest change in the minds of sex selection is that girls are a high priority in some locations now, previously there was a high need for a boy. In fact, in some countries they still have very high preferences for boys. There are even places that have banned ultrasound determination of the sex of a baby to prevent sex selection via termination.

How Sex Selection Works

Each parent contributes half of a baby's genetic make up. The female or mother is genetically an XX, so she is only able to contribute an X to the future baby. The father of the baby is XY and can contribute either an X or a Y. This means that sperm is the deciding factor in how your baby's sex is determined.

Over 200 million sperm are ejaculated into the vagina during intercourse, a mixture of X and Y. Most likely only one will be the one to penetrate the ovum.

Shettles Method

Dr. Landrum Shettles is known for his popular book (compare prices) on how to use low tech ways to conceive a baby of a particular sex, but particularly baby girls. Though the method can be used for a girl or a boy. The theory behind this method for having a baby boy is that Y bearing sperm are faster but die more quickly. This means that by the time the egg is released you should have no sperm near the egg and quickly have intercourse to have the biggest concentration of Y bearing sperm. The basics are as follows:


  • First you must know your menstrual cycle and chart it using your basal body temperature (BBT) charts.
  • Once you have done this for a few months you can more accurately pinpoint ovulation.
  • Men should avoid ejaculation for 4-5 days before ovulation.
  • Your goal would be to time sexual intercourse about 12 hours prior to ovulation, based on your basal body temperatures, or other methods.
  • Use positions to place the sperm as close to the cervix as possible, including rear entry positions.
  • Females should have an orgasm to help move the sperm towards the egg.

Previously Shettles recommended certain douches to deal with the acidity issue, but has since backed off that because of the risk of infection.

The Boy Diet

There are some who say that what you eat will determine whether your baby is a girl or a boy. Here are some foods to stock in your pantry if you're trying to have a baby boy:


  • Meat, particularly red meat
  • Salty snacks, like chips
  • Caffeine

Other Helpful Boy Hints


  • Wear boxers to cool the temperature of the scrotum. (This is typically seen as a generic fertility tip.)
  • Man has an orgasm first.
  • Only have marital relations on the odd days of the month to have a baby girl.
  • Man initiates sexual relations.
  • Man on top or dominate positions. (Sitting or laying.)
  • Have sex standing up.
  • Use the Chinese Gender Chart to help you decide when to conceive.
  • Have sex at night.
  • Avoid sex during the full phase of the moon as well as the new moon, aim for a quarter moon.

Other Forms of Sex Selection:

(It is important to note that many of these are based on old wives tales or loose science. Be sure to talk to your practitioner about sex selection techniques with the best chances of success should this be very important to you.)

If you'd rather read it, here's: How to Have a Girl

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  5. Sex Selection for Babies
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