Gender Swaying – 6 Techniques That Can Influence Baby’s Sex

| Reviewed By Amanda Lundberg, BSN, RN
  • Suggested methods for conceiving a girl: Intercourse 3-4 days prior to ovulation; eating a low-calorie, low-sodium, and acidic diet rich in calcium and magnesium; briefs over boxers.
  • Suggested methods for conceiving a boy: Intercourse closer to ovulation; eating a high-calorie, low-dairy, alkaline diet rich in potassium; boxers over briefs.

Trying to manipulate the sex of a potential child using calculated techniques, like carefully planning when to have sex, is commonly referred to as gender swaying.

Several renowned methods include the Babydust, Shuttles, and Whelan strategies.

According to Medical News Today, studies in recent years show “that there does not appear to be any evidence to suggest that the pattern of intercourse has any effect on the sex of the fetus.”

Microbiologist Kathryn Taylor’s well-known “Babydust” method boasts an 87% success rate, but despite the popularity of gender swaying strategies, no gender swaying method is 100% foolproof.

When attempting the following 6 methods, tracking your ovulation fertile windows while trying certain positions, lifestyle, and dietary changes may help to increase your chances of influencing your desired gender.

1. The Babydust Method

The Babydust Method is all about timing intercourse around ovulation and specifically basing this on the life span of male and female sperm and the likelihood of conceiving a girl or boy depending on when you have sex. 

According to studies, male sperm mature first and die off. Then, the female sperm mature and die off. 

Supposedly, having sex too soon before ovulation gives the male sperm time to die off, leaving mostly female sperm to mature and fertilize the egg. 

Therefore, if you want a boy, you should wait to have sex until the day of ovulation and again 24 hours later.

This gives the male sperm the best chance to reach the egg during their shorter life span. 

If you are trying to conceive a girl, you should have intercourse 2-3 days prior to ovulation. 

2. The Shettles Method

The Shettles Method is very similar to the Babydust method and is based on the work of Dr. Landrum Shettles, a biologist and gynecologist.

Shettles discovered that female sperm survive better in acidic environments and male sperm swim better and quicker in highly alkaline environments. 

Shettles also believed that having sex near the time of ovulation would result in a boy.

This was due, he theorized, to the smaller size of sperm containing a Y chromosome.

These smaller male sperm would have a shorter life span and swim faster, reaching the egg before the female sperm.

His advice for creating a more acidic, girl-friendly environment: 

  • Having intercourse right after a woman’s menstrual cycle or before ovulation, which is believed to make the womb more alkaline.
  • Trying positions that allow for shallow penetration as he believed there are parts of the vagina that are more acidic.

If trying to conceive a boy, he advises: 

  • Having intercourse on the day of ovulation and up to three days after. 
  • Trying positions that allow for deeper penetration. 

Therefore, if you want a girl, Dr. Shettles recommends having sex 2-3 days before ovulation.

Intercourse that happens near the time of ovulation will, more often than not, result in a boy. 

3. Whelan Method

Elizabeth Whelan, a public health researcher, has another method that involves timing intercourse around ovulation.

She claimed that similar methods were based on research that involved artificial insemination while hers is based on natural conception. 

Her studies and research suggest that couples should have intercourse 2-3 days before ovulation when trying to conceive a girl and between 4-6 days before ovulation if trying to conceive a boy. 

Other reproductive studies appear to back up Whelan’s method.

According to a study published in the Reproductive Biomedicine Online journal, intercourse taking place 3-4 days before ovulation resulted in a girl in 58% of cases.

This study looked broadly at the effects of not just timing of intercourse for successful swaying but also adopting a specific maternal diet to influence gender.

4. Gender Swaying Diet

According to Shettles and others, altering your diet’s pH balance or acidity might favor the conception of either a boy or a girl.

Best Diet for Conceiving a Girl

The mineral diet aims to help couples conceive a girl, requiring that moms-to-be eat foods that are low in sodium (adding salt to meals is also discouraged) and high in calcium and magnesium.

These include:

  • Cheese, yogurt, and milk
  • Fish and seafood
  • Meat
  • Brown rice, oat flakes, and granola
  • Beans
  • Almonds

Other methods suggest reducing your calories to around 1,500-1,800 each day as well as cutting down potassium intake.

This means skipping bananas, tomatoes, and potatoes.

Some couples I know have also claimed that cutting out high-fat foods and replacing them with high-carb foods like pasta with cheese and butter increased their chances of having a girl.

Best Diet for Conceiving a Boy

Eating more calories as well as restricting dairy and calcium-rich foods may lead to you conceiving a boy.

Increasing your potassium and sodium intake is also thought to help. Try foods like:

  • Fruits
  • Lean meats
  • Fish
  • Non-starchy vegetables
  • Soy foods
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Bananas
  • Avocado
  • Spinach and kale
  • Sprouts and wheatgrass

5. Boxer/Briefs Method

Lab studies have shown that X-carrying (female) sperm cells can withstand higher temperatures than their Y-carrying (male) counterparts. 

If the dad-to-be wears briefs, this will keep the testicles close to the body and raise the temperature, allowing the X-carrying female sperm to thrive.

Meanwhile, boxers allow for more airflow and cooler temperatures, creating a more hospitable environment for male sperm!

6. Positioning Techniques

Remember Dr. Shettles from earlier? He had another theory about how sex positions can play a role in determining the baby’s gender. 

Shettles believed that shallow penetration coupled with ejaculation close to the entrance of the vagina (where it is more acidic) favors female conception. 

On the other hand, deeper penetration with ejaculation closer to the cervix is believed to increase your chances of having a boy. 

Additionally, according to studies, it can help if the woman orgasms because it slightly boosts the alkaline properties in the vagina, helping the sperm do their work!

Gender Swaying Success Rate

The most successful gender swaying method is timing intercourse and following the advice of the Shettles, Whelan, and BabyDust methods. These methods are said to have a success rate of 75-87%. 

The chances of conceiving a boy or girl are almost exactly equal for each pregnancy. However, scientific studies do show that X-carrying sperm live longer and are stronger. 

Therefore, the chances of conceiving a girl might be greater, but it is only a minor difference. 

Precautions When Attempting To Sway Baby Gender

Since none of these methods are guaranteed to give you the desired gender, you should not take them to extremes.

The health of you and your baby should always come first!

AVOID eating only carbs and sugar or reducing your calories significantly in hopes that you will conceive a girl. 

Doctors generally recommend a well-balanced, nutritious diet for a healthy pregnancy, providing essential nutrients to support the growth and development of the fetus and help maintain your health too.

Likewise, do not take the boxers vs. briefs method too far as overheating can risk lowering sperm count.

Remember to be realistic and smart about what you are doing to your body and try not to set your expectations too high. 

The Ethics of Sex Selection

Sex selection is still considered taboo and a big issue in some cultures, especially artificial sex selection via IVF or other medical procedures.

Regarding more natural methods, it comes down to personal ethics and beliefs. 

Some feel that gender swaying is interfering with God’s plan. Others may not see it as an issue.

Gender swaying really is a personal decision, and everyone has different viewpoints on the topic.

Medical Methods and Theoretical Factors

The sex of the baby is primarily determined by the chromosomes carried by the sperm and the egg during fertilization.

However, other factors might play a role as well.


IVF with PGD (pre-implantation genetic diagnosis) is a method used to help couples wanting to check for genetic issues before pregnancy. 

This method is often used for medical reasons rather than just choosing the baby’s gender, and it comes with ethical and legal considerations. 

Couples should consult with specialists to understand the process, risks, and implications before pursuing IVF with PGD for gender selection.

Here’s a quick breakdown of how this works:

  • Egg Retrieval: Eggs are collected from the woman’s ovaries after taking medications that help produce multiple eggs.
  • Fertilization: These eggs are fertilized with sperm in a lab to create embryos.
  • Embryo Growth: The embryos are grown for a few days until they are a small cluster of cells.
  • Genetic Testing: A few cells are taken from each embryo to check for gender and genetic conditions using PGD.
  • Choosing Embryos: Based on the test results, couples can select embryos of the desired gender or those without genetic issues.
  • Embryo Transfer: The chosen embryos are placed into the woman’s uterus, aiming for a successful pregnancy.

Mother’s Age

The mother’s age might influence various aspects of fertility and pregnancy outcomes.

For instance, older mothers might have a slightly different hormonal environment or changes in the reproductive system that could impact fertility. 

However, these factors are more related to the chances of conception or potential complications during pregnancy rather than determining the gender of the baby.


Some theories suggest that hormonal fluctuations throughout a woman’s menstrual cycle might influence the conception of a boy or a girl. 

Estrogen and progesterone play essential roles in regulating the menstrual cycle and preparing the uterus for implantation and pregnancy.

However, while they are crucial in the reproductive process, their direct impact on determining the gender of a baby remains uncertain.

Hormones like estrogen and progesterone regulate the menstrual cycle, ovulation, and pregnancy, but they don’t determine whether an egg will be fertilized by an X-carrying or Y-carrying sperm.


Another theory revolves around altering the body’s ions (electrically charged particles) to create an environment more conducive to conceiving a baby of a specific gender. 

The concept of ions affecting egg polarity refers to the idea that the balance of ions inside and outside the egg cell might influence its polarity, potentially impacting fertilization and embryo development. 

Egg polarity involves the distribution of molecules and structures within the egg cell, which is crucial during early development after fertilization. 

It’s believed that the distribution of ions like calcium, potassium, sodium, and others across the egg’s membrane might play a role in creating this polarity.

However, this is a complex topic that is still under scientific investigation.

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