Tips on How to Get Pregnant with a Boy

Increasing Your Odds of Having a Boy

Baby boy lying on stomach
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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. The techniques used for getting pregnant with a boy is often different from getting pregnant with a girl.

Desire for a Baby Boy

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. 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 percent 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.

What Determines a Baby's Sex

Each parent contributes half of a baby's genetic makeup. 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 on how to use low-tech ways to conceive a baby of a particular sex. Although particularly for producing baby girls, 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:

  • 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.

It should be noted that the success rate of choosing the gender by this method is probably not has high as the book claimed. Some experts say that the basic premise that X and Y sperm swim at different rates or are differently shaped is incorrect.

The Boy Diet

There are some who say that what you eat will determine whether your baby is a girl or a boy.

One study published in 2008 found that women who ate more calories at the time of conception (about one extra meal's worth or 400 calories) and a wider array of nutrients were slightly more likely to have boys, an increase of only one extra boy birth per 20 births. It's a good idea to include potassium, calcium, and vitamins C, E, and B12 in your diet.

Forms of Sex Selection Used With Assisted Reproduction

These techniques are used with in vitro fertilization or intravaginal insemination. They may be available for some couples but are often expensive or restricted.

  • MicroSort: This method uses flow cytometry to sort sperm into those more likely to carry the X or Y chromosome.
  • Ericsson Albumin Method: This method is more low-tech and more widely available at fertility centers. It uses albumin, a gel-like protein found in egg whites, to help sort sperm into those more likely to produce males or females.
  • Preimplantation Genetic Haplotyping (PGH) and Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD): This method is used in combination with in vitro fertilization. It is most commonly used for screening in couples who carry a genetic disease and it determines the gender of the fertilized egg as part of the process. This is significant if the genetic disease is sex-linked. Only healthy fertilized eggs are then implanted.

Techniques Without Scientific Evidence

These have been suggested as ways of increasing your odds of having a boy. However, they have not been validated by research. It is important to note that many of these are based on old wives' tales.

  • Wear boxers to cool the temperature of the scrotum. This is typically seen as a generic fertility tip.
  • The man has an orgasm first.
  • 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.

A Word From Verywell

Be sure to talk to your practitioner about sex selection techniques with the best chances of success should this be very important to you. Be aware that nature has its way and any technique you can use at home will only slightly raise the odds of having a boy.


Grant VJ. Entrenched Misinformation About X and Y Sperm. BMJ : British Medical Journal. 2006;332(7546):916.

Mathews F, Johnson PJ, Neil A. You Are What Your Mother Eats: Evidence for Maternal Preconception Diet Influencing Foetal Sex in Humans. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 2008;275(1643):1661-1668. doi:10.1098/rspb.2008.0105.

Shettles L, Rorvik D. How to Choose the Sex of Your Baby. Harmony. October 2006.