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This is probably one of the most commonly asked questions when someone becomes pregnant and has been requested from one of our listeners.
It’s easy to understand why people would want to choose the sex. Perhaps you have a family of three boys already and are hoping for a girl or vice versa.
In this episode, we discuss the stories floating around that promise to deliver a certain sex. Everybody has heard them – whether you have to face north at the time of conception or schedule your perfect date and time of conception with numerical planning – we’ve heard them all.
We’ll explore the Shettles Method and if there is any merit to this procedure.
Unfortunately, there is only really one way to guarantee the sex of your baby and that’s through IVF. We’ll talk about how this method works to ensure a particular sex and the strict limitations to using this procedure in Australia.
We’ll also discuss the disappointment and guilt new parents can feel when they have a baby that isn’t the sex they were hoping for. This feeling can continue on into parenting, so it’s important we look at how to handle these emotions to support each other.
[0:49]: Readout of reviews from two listeners. The latter asks if it’s possible to choose the sex of your baby.
[2:22]: This episode is about the most general understanding of what sex is. It is nothing to do with gender or gender identity.
[2:36]: Simple answer: It can’t be done. However, it’s easy to understand why people would want to.
[3:33]: Stories floating around that you can follow certain methods to guarantee the sex of your baby. For example; sex positions, ancient Chinese numerical way of predicting.
[4:33]: As humans, we look for patterns when they’re not there.
[4:48]: There may be a little merit in the sperm carrying an X-chromosome and the sperm carrying a Y-chromosome may behave differently – The Shettles Method. If you wanted a boy, you timed intercourse as close as possible to ovulation then the Y-carrying sperms would reach the egg fastest. If you wanted a girl, you would time intercourse for 2-3 days before ovulation so by the time sperm reached the egg only sperm carrying X-chromosome would be left.
[6:20]: The method doesn’t really work. It’s pretty hard for ordinary people to know exactly when ovulation is happening anyway.
[7:46]: In the early days of IVF they had to try one egg at a time. They would do a blood test for LH and ultrasounds to pick when the egg was just about to ovulate.
[8:45]: Choosing the sex through IVF technology does work, which isn’t legal in Australia. However, you can do it to exclude genetic conditions in your family that only affect one sex.
[9:55]: In an article, a woman spent $20,000 just for the IVF procedure on top of the travel to the country and accommodation – and you may not even get pregnant.
[10:39]: Ethically, you could potentially limit the use of it to balance out the sexes in your family but it wouldn’t be open to someone for your first baby.
[11:40]: Single-sex families are an observation bias.
[11:52]: In the Shettles Method they talk about changing the PH levels of the vagina.
[12:45]: Changing the acidity/alkalinity of the vagina with douches is more harmful than good.
[13:06]: The data suggests that combining both methods are better than chance alone, but probably not worth the trouble.
[14:05]: People can experience sex disappointment that goes on into their parenting. Professional help can look into the reasons where the disappointment has originated.
[15:37]: Please review our podcast on Itunes!
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We work and live on Wadawarrung land. We acknowledge the Elders, past present and emerging. We also acknowledge the rich birthing history of aboriginal women and the connection to country that this has been and always will be.
We have 13+ years of running a busy obstetric practice, helping more than 3000 babies to enter this big beautiful world. We live and breathe babies and we are here to help you become MAMA.