Gender Selection Techniques: How to Chose a Girl or Boy

Boy and Girl Babies Eating Cake
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What is sex selection?

Sex selection is the ability to choose a girl or a boy before you get pregnant by using some method to assist you in changing the odds towards the sex you select. Some people refer to this as gender selection, but that isn't quite right. Depending on the method of selection you choose, the ability to have that girl or boy of your dreams is nearly 100%.

Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD)

This is the most effective technique in sex selection. With nearly 100% accuracy and the ability to select not only sex but a healthy embryo makes it very popular. Though this is a costly and intensive method of sex selection that uses in vitro fertilization and does biopsies on the embryos before they are returned to the uterus.

Shettles Method

The Shettles Method is based on the fact that male and female sperm travel and survive in the reproductive tract for varying amounts of time. So you time intercourse about 12 hours prior to ovulation for a boy and several days before ovulation for a girl. This is a very simplified explanation of the Shettles Method.

Ericsson Albumin Method

With Ericsson, the sperm sample is placed in a test tube with albumin in various concentrations and the sperm will swim through the albumin.

The thought process is that the fastest sperm will swim to the bottom. The sperm is selected for use in an intrauterine insemination (IUI) determined by whether or not you are trying to have a girl or a boy. While the sample doesn't provide you with more of one particular sex, like a MicroSort® sample, it does supposedly help select the sex of the baby by supposedly separating the X carrying sperm from the Y.

For a girl, Ericsson uses Clomid® since, despite the lack of science, he suggests it can increase the number of girls born.


The MicroSort process sorts sperm by male and female by a process that measures differences in the DNA. Then using an intrauterine insemination (IUI) or in vitro fertilization (IVF) the enriched sample of sperm is used to help you conceive. About 92% of those attempting for a girl do conceive a girl, while the success rates for sex selection and boys using MicroSort is lower at 81%. The pregnancy rate for using an IUI cycle is 15.6% and the overall IVF/ICSI clinical pregnancy rate is 32%. This method does not appear to be currently available in the US.

Other Methods of Sex Selection

There are other methods of sex selection, including pre-pregnancy diets to alter the pH balance of your body, timing methods that differ from the Shettles Method, O+12, supplements, and positioning. These low tech methods are not as accurate as MicroSort® and PGD and are sometimes dangerous.

Finding Out if it Worked

There are four basic ways to find out if it worked:

  • Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis
  • Prenatal Genetic Testing (Amniocentesis or Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS))

Each of these tests has their own risks and benefits. Some tests are even more accurate than others. They also vary as to at what point in or before pregnancy they can be done to help you figure out if your sex selection technique worked.