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How to choose your child’s sex

Many tales have been told about certain foods or rituals that can determine a baby’s gender.

Recently, scientists from Oxford and Exeter universities in the UK confirmed the old wives’ tale that eating bananas increases a woman’s chances of conceiving a boy. 

This was after studying eating habits of about 740 women during their first pregnancies, and their findings confirmed some age-old traditional links between diet and a child’s gender, while disapproving others. 

Drinking milk

For instance, they disproved the tale that drinking milk increases a woman’s chances of conceiving a girl.

In fact, more calcium — which is contained in milk — meant that a woman was more likely to conceive a boy.

 

The researchers also found out that women with a higher calorie intake prior to conception increased their chances of having a son, while those on restricted diets were more likely to conceive girls. 

However, Prof Joseph Karanja, a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist, said a woman’s diet had little influence on her child’s gender because these were not scientifically proven methods. 

He said there were scientific ways to increase a woman’s chances of having a boy or a girl. 

Although the methods do not completely guarantee the expected results, they will increase the chances from 50-50 to about 70-30. 

“The best scientific method is in vitro-fertilisation (IVF) or test-tube babies. The determination of a child’s sex is usually by the sperm which contains the “Y” and “X” chromosomes. The ovum only has the “X” chromosomes. 

With IVF, you are able to pick what you want. The downside of this method is that it is expensive,” he added. 

According to the professor, IVF works to increase chances of conceiving a boy by ensuring that the “Y” chromosome from the sperm fertilises the “X” chromosome from the ovum.

In case of a girl, it ensures that the “X” chromosomes from the sperm and ovum are fertilised. If you can’t afford IVF, you need not worry, because there is a natural method that you and your partner can use to determine the sex of your child.

The method is based on the fact that the “Y” chromosome in the sperm is very rapid once it is deposited in the cervix. It is usually the first to reach the egg and fertilise it.

“It is all about timing. The woman must strictly record her menstrual cycle for a period of time before getting an average. The next step is to calculate her ovulation period, which is 14 days before the next menses. This is the best way to conceive a boy child,” he said.

“We usually advise most people we treat for infertility to be careful on the timing and especially the day of ovulation because it determines the right time to conceive.

“If you follow this to the letter, you are most likely to have a boy. It is the most natural method,” he added.

However, it only works for those women whose periods are regular.