The Shettles Method of Baby Gender Selection

Sperm racing to fertilize an egg

Although most people would be happy with either a boy or a girl, it isn't unusual to have a secret preference. If you'd like to try to tip the odds toward one over the other, you might want to try the Shettles method.

What Is the Shettles Method?

First discovered in the 1960s by Dr. Landrum B. Shettles, this method is reported to work by allowing only the sperm carrying the chromosome you want (X chromosome for females, Y chromosome for males) through to the egg for fertilization. The entire method is outlined in Dr. Shettles' book, How to Choose the Sex of Your Baby.

How Does the Method Work?

Dr. Shettles believes that X chromosome sperm and Y chromosome sperm exhibit different characteristics. By using these characteristics and timing when you have intercourse, you can can choose which sperm make it to the egg.

Generally, the Shettles method proposes that X chromosome sperm are more likely to withstand the acidic environment of the cervix, and be slower moving. The Y chromosome sperm are faster moving, but they are also smaller and die faster than X chromosome sperm. Considering these facts, it is possible to choose sexual positions and timing in order to allow the differently gendered sperm time to get to the egg.

How to Conceive a Boy

There are several different techniques outlined in Dr. Shettles' work that are used to conceive a male child, here are just a few:

  • You should have intercourse at a close time to ovulation, as this will make it more likely that the fast moving Y chromosome sperm will get to the egg first.
  • Men should avoid warm and tight clothing, because it will kill off the weaker Y chromosome sperm first.
  • Women should have an orgasm, which increases the alkaline properties of the vagina, and is more hospitable to male sperm.
  • A non-missionary position should be used in order to get the short lived Y chromosome sperm to the correct location.

How to Conceive a Girl

There are a few ways to ensure you conceive a girl using the Shettles method as well. They are:

  • You should have intercourse two or three days before ovulation. Theoretically, the male sperm will have died off during this time, leaving only female sperm to survive and fertilize the egg.
  • Women should not have an orgasm, because this will decrease acidity in the vagina, which makes it less advantageous to female (X chromosome) sperm
  • The missionary position should be used in order to give the X chromosome sperm more of a chance to get to the cervix.

A Word of Caution

The Shettles method is not guaranteed to work, nor is any non-invasive means of sexual selection. Some people report success while others have not gotten their chosen sex. If you are having trouble getting pregnant or have any other fertility concerns, using a sex selection method is not advised, as it can reduce your chances of getting pregnant overall. If you need to select a sex because of an inherited condition or illness, it's best to consult a physician about the most reliable methods of conceiving a boy or girl.

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The Shettles Method of Baby Gender Selection