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Trying for a boy or a girl - can you medically improve your chances? – Part 1

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You have four boys and you’re thinking ‘maybe it would be nice to try for a girl.” There are eight granddaughters in the family. Is there a possibility to give your parents a grandson? Your family has a health issue and your baby’s gender could influence the outcome. These are not unusual questions for partners to consider when they’re thinking of becoming pregnant. While most people consider having a boy or girl a 50/50 split; there are others that believe there are actions you can take to sway those odds in one direction or the other.

Understanding the role of X and Y chromosomes is more simply than you think and is the basis for improving your chances. A female’s egg only contains a X chromosome, while a male’s sperm can contain either a X or Y chromosome. If a X sperm meets the X egg, the result is a baby girl. If a Y sperm meets the X egg, the result is a baby boy. Y chromosome sperms are a little smaller, very quick, are more fragile, live for a shorter length of time, and are sustained more in an alkaline environment. X chromosome sperms are quite the opposite; they are bigger, stronger, move a little slower, but live longer, and enjoy an acidic environment. So the two factors in which you become focused on are timing and medium.

Timing revolves around a woman’s ovulation occurrence (most fertile phase of her cycle). Ovulation occurs the 14th day of a 28 day cycle; however since women have varying cycle, those days can look very different. The most accurate method of determining ovulation is by charting your basal body temperature (BBT, temperature when your body is at rest) or using an ovulation kit. If you choose to take your BBT have a chart or graft (recording date and time), pencil, and thermometer at your bedside. Taking your temperature in the morning, before you having anything to drink, before getting out of bed, or before going to the bathroom provides you with the best results. Enter your findings on your chart/graft each day. During the first part of your cycle, you will notice little variation in your body temperature. However, right before ovulation you will notice a drop in temperature, followed by a significant rise of .4-.5 degrees or higher (ovulation).

Ovulation kits are easily purchased over the counter, have a high accuracy rate, but the process is more expensive. Kits instruct you on how best to choose a starting date and enough supplies to take you through your ovulation period. They act by detecting the degree of luteinizing hormone (LH) in your urine. The luteinizing hormone is always present in your urine but increases approximately 24-48 hours prior to ovulation; providing you with an precise time as to when to have intercourse.

While both methods are accurate if performed correctly, it’s not unusual to need a few months’ worth of data to get a complete idea as to your normal cycle and when best to plan intercourse for your desired result.

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