Are you dreaming of a sweet baby girl?
Whatever your reasons are for wanting a girl child in particular, it's a fact that there are no guarantees that you will conceive a baby of a pre-selected gender.
Also, it's worth noting that it's dad who influences the gender of the baby, not the mom.
Sperm, provided by the male, has an X (girl) or Y (boy) sex-linked chromosome. The X chromosome from the father’s sperm combines with the mother’s X chromosome (in her egg) to result in a girl child (XX).
Note: The only way to choose your baby’s gender, would be to go for in vitro fertilisation (IVF), where the egg is fertilised with the man’s sperm in a laboratory. Doctors are able to check the gender of the embryos before re-implanting them in the mother.
However, this is illegal in South Africa.
In March 2012, the Minister of Health passed regulations relating to the National Health Act of 2003 to make social sexing officially illegal in South Africa.
So how to up your chances of having a daughter?
It seems that there are some scientific ways to up your chances of having a girl, so if your heart is set on pink babygrows we have some ideas for you.
The Shettles Method
Dr. Landrum Shettles, famous for the "Shettles Method", says that the male sperm cells (carrying the Y chromosomes) are smaller, lighter, faster and more fragile than the female sperm cells (carrying the X chromosomes), which are thought to be bigger, heavier and slower, but more resilient.
So if you have sex a few days after ovulation, your chances of conceiving a girl is higher, because the male sperm cells would have expired while the female sperm cell may be resilient enough to make it all the way through.
Also read: How to conceive a baby boy
The Whelan Method
Dr. Elizabeth Whelan devised the Whelan Method based on the research of Dr. Rodrigo Guerrero which showed that the odds of having a girl were slightly higher if intercourse occurred just before or after ovulation.
The Whelan method directly contradicts the Shettles Method, and it is worth noting that it seems that following this sex-selection method could actually decrease your chance of getting pregnant because you're not having sex when you’re most fertile.
Other ways to improve your chances of falling pregnant with a girl
Timing: You have sex 4 to 2 days before your peak day.
Sperm count: A lower male sperm count could occur naturally or due to certain factors such as heat, particular drugs and toxic substances.
Stress: Men with stressful jobs or personal lives are more likely to have girls, in theory, as their fragile male sperm will not be able to survive the stress.
IVF: Researchers speculate that more female sperm cells are capable of surviving the stresses of the in vitro fertilisation procedure, which can be quite rigorous.