Dr. Scott Zuccala Responds:
In response to your question about gender selection, it is difficult to select a boy or girl.
A baby's gender is determined by the sperm that fertilizes the egg.
There are two types of sperm: sperm that carry an X chromosome and sperm that carry a Y chromosome. Two X chromosomes are needed to produce a girl.
The mother's egg always carries an X, so the father's sperm is the determining factor. From a purely academic point of view, the male sperm is lighter; thus one can use the technique of separating the sperm based upon weight to increase the chances of a boy or girl. This is known as sex selection.
But, there is no way from a non-medical point of view to increase the chances of one versus the other.
Some people have said there is a way to time the cycle, but I have seen no literature to support this.
One of the most popular theories regarding gender selection is known as the Shettles Method, which was developed in the 1960s. It hypothesizes that a couple can time intercourse to increase the odds of an X-carrying sperm fertilizing the egg.
There has been no conclusive evidence that the Shettles Method is effective. In fact, a 1995 study in the New England Journal of Medicine stated that, "the timing of sexual intercourse in relation to ovulation has no bearing on the sex of the baby."
In terms of carrying low, this does not indicate boy or girl.
Ultrasounds or genetic testing are the most accurate methods of predicting gender. However, neither are 100% accurate, and there are pros and cons to each.
— Dr. Scott Zuccala
Dr. Zuccala is a gynecologic surgeon at Mercy Hospital of Buffalo. He practices obstetrics and gynecology, including minimally invasive surgery, and vaginal and pelvic reconstruction for prolapse and urologic incontinence surgery. He was one of the first surgeons in the Buffalo area to perform minimally invasive gynecological surgery for non-cancerous conditions using the da Vinci® Robotic Surgical System.
If you have a question about your health, click here to ask our experts.