Can You Really ‘Sway’ The Gender Of Your Baby

5 min read

There are a tonne of old wives tales flying around about how mums and dads can potentially ‘sway’ the gender of their child to ensure they get one preferred gender over another. So, is there any truth to them?

Well, it’s important to realise in a situation like this that there is an enormous market for potential gender fixes, which means there are guaranteed to be a number of mistruths on knowledge centres such as the internet. Oftentimes, families are desperate to choose the gender of their child to either balance their family, or get the gender they’ve been missing out on.

In Australia, gender selection is still illegal, and the costs of having it done overseas are prohibitively expensive. So, there are certainly a lot of rumours, but not a lot of truths.

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Let’s have a look at some of these ideas about how to ‘sway’ the gender of your baby, and see what the experts have to say about them.

1. Ions

via Prezi
via Prezi

If you don’t know what they are, ions are charged particles found in the air. Some are charged negatively, and some positively. Science suggests that negative ions are produced in natural environments, while positive ions are more often found in environments that have artificial lighting and a small amount of airflow. What does this have to do with babies?

Well, a scientist named Dr Patrick Schoun, and some others, have suggested that negative ions help sway gender towards girls, and positive ions towards boys.

Certain bracelets and air purifiers that apparently attract negative ions have been available to help people in conceiving girls.

However, Steve Robson, an associate professor from the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG), isn’t sold. He told Essential Baby: “Ions are part of the body but trying to attribute effects to one ion over another is very strange, because the concentrations change from minute to minute”.

2. Changing PH Levels

via Home Aquaria
via Home Aquaria

Certain methods, the 0+12 method in particular, draw attention to how a woman’s PH levels can affect cervical mucus in the body.

According to these methods, a more alkaline environment is more favourable for Y sperm (boys) and an acidic environment more appropriate for X sperm (girls).

The 0+12 method advocates for having sex 8-20 hours after ovulation in order to conceive a girl, and using a douche to change the PH level in your body. As these douches aren’t recommended by doctors, modern variations on the method have included taking antihistamines to dry up mucus so X sperm can thrive, using lubricant to encourage Y sperm to thrive, and even changing your diet in order to alter the PH of your mucus. Professor Robson however, says it’s not really that simple. In reality, the PH of your cervical mucus changes regularly through your cycle, and not always because of other factors. Plus neither X or Y sperm will survive in a particularly acidic environment, so making things too acidic might make it much harder to fall pregnant.

3. Boosting Hormones

via Mercola Articles
via Mercola Articles

Two scientists by the name of Trivers and Willard focused their gender swaying method around hormones. They believed that the levels of certain hormones in the female body at the time of conception were what had an impact on gender selection.

According to them, higher levels of gonadotropins and progesterone combined with lower levels of testosterone help in encouraging girls, while higher levels of oestrogen and testosterone help with conceiving boys.

To change the hormone levels in their bodies, some women eat different foods, like soy to encourage oestrogen or red meat to boost testosterone. According to Professor Robson, this theory isn’t as far fetched as some of the others. Preliminary studies have already suggested that the body might favour one sex ahead of another in some conditions, but further study was needed in order to make broad claims with any chance of testable certainty.

4. Timing Sex Around Ovulation

via MyLittleBaby.Com
via MyLittleBaby.Com

Timing sex around ovulation is one of the most popular methods for gender swaying. The practice goes back to the 1960s and is known as the Shettles Method, after the doctor that invented it.

Shettles believed that Y sperm (which make boys) were faster swimmers but had lower levels of stamina, while X sperm (which make girls) were slower swimmers but able to survive longer in the body. As such, he believed that having a girl was a matter of having sex a few days before ovulation, while having a boy came down to having sex on the day of ovulation or shortly after.

However, Professor Robson says this might not be true. Y sperms are certainly smaller, but there’s no indicator that they swim slower as the movement of sperm is highly variable. Also, using the Shettles Method may result in couples who try for a girl missing ovulation all together.

At The End Of The Day

When it comes down to it, there are no hard truths around theories of gender swaying, only ideas that seem to confirm as often as they deny that it’s all up to nature in the end. The chances of having a child or either gender are pretty much 50/50, and while it can be painful and even depressing not to get the gender you were hoping for, there’s really very little you can do naturally. Of course, there’s always the option of travelling overseas in order to procure gender selection, but for most families this is financially very out of reach, and fraught with its own ethical dilemmas. So for now, hope that nature goes your way. After all, there’s always a 50% chance you’ll get it right!

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Oceana Setaysha

Senior Writer A passionate writer since her early school days, Oceana has graduated from writing nonsense stories to crafting engaging content for...Read Morean online audience. She enjoys the flexibility to write about topics from lifestyle, to travel, to family. Although not currently fulfilling the job of parent, her eight nieces and nephews keep her, and her reluctant partner, practiced and on their toes. Oceana holds a Bachelor of Arts with a major in Writing and Indonesian, and has used her interest in languages to create a career online. She's also the resident blonde at, where she shares her, slightly dented, wisdom on photography, relationships, travel, and the quirks of a creative lifestyle. Read Less

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