Understanding the Shettles Method
Author: Angela Heidt
For whatever reason, you have your heart set on having either a boy or a girl and are curious to find out whether there is an easy (i.e. affordable) way to increase your chances of getting pregnant with the gender you prefer. The Shettles Method is one of these ways.
In a nutshell, the Shettles Method operates on the premise that sperm carrying male DNA and sperm carrying female DNA travel at different speeds and that female sperm remain viable for longer. By tracking your ovulation cycles and timing intercourse appropriately you can increase the chances of getting pregnant with your preferred gender of baby.
For a Boy
Male sperm (carrying the Y-chromosome) are small and fast, but they don’t live for very long – particularly in the higher acidity environment of the vagina prior to ovulation. However, right during ovulation the pH of the mucus in the cervix drops, so boy sperm can survive their journey.
So, to increase the chances of having a boy, you need to have intercourse as close to ovulation as possible (within 24 hours before or after). Avoid intercourse in the four to five days prior to ovulation, and then try to make love just prior and during ovulation. During this time pH levels are dropped, so boy sperm will live longer and have a better chance.
It is also a good idea to try positions that allow for deeper penetration, as this shortens the journey for the boy sperm, such as entry from behind (ie: doggy style). It also helps if women orgasm at the same time the male ejaculates. Men should also avoid jockey shorts and hot showers prior to intercourse, as the heat is known to kill off boy sperm.
For a Girl
Female sperm (carrying the X-chromosome) are slower than their male counterparts, but tend to live longer, especially when pH levels are higher in the vagina. Following the logic above, all you need to do is the opposite to increase the chances of conceiving a girl.
You should attempt to time intercourse for your transitional days, which are two to three days prior to ovulation. Once you have egg-white cervical mucus it is not the right time, since this is the low pH environment that boy sperm need. Women should avoid orgasms (darn) and should aim for less penetrating positions, such as missionary style. That’s it!
Tracking & Tools
In order for the Shettles Method to work, you have to have a really good idea of your ovulation cycle. For this you’ll need a basal thermometer and a notepad (there are good ones on the internet). Each morning, take your temperature upon waking and check your cervical mucus. Hopefully after a few months you will have a good idea of when you are going to ovulate and can give it a go. While it’s not foolproof, it does increase your odds of conceiving the gender of baby you have you heart on.