Boy or girl

Boy or girl? It’s a big question on the minds of many couples, whether they’re planning to conceive their first child or already pregnant and awaiting the delivery of a new baby.

How to Choose a Baby’s Gender

It may surprise you to learn that you actually have some choice when it comes to whether your baby is a boy or girl. You can use natural methods, like timing your intercourse, to influence the gender of your baby – because sperm carrying the genes coding male and female babies survive for different lengths of time in the uterus, you can boost your chances of conceiving a girl by timing your intercourse a few days before ovulation.

If you get this just right, only the sperm carrying the genetic material for girls will still be alive when you ovulate, so in theory you should conceive a girl. Of course, this method is a little ‘hit and miss,’ and there is no equivalent method to move the odds in your favor if you want a boy.

However, if you really want to choose the gender of your future child, there’s a process called pre-implantation genetic diagnosis – PGD for short. PGD was developed as a way to screen embryos for IVF procedures, to make sure the embryos being implanted weren’t at risk of genetic diseases. A side effect of this screening process is that doctors can tell 100% what gender an embryo will be. This lets them only implant embryos of the gender the parents want.

Do You Want a Boy or a Girl?

Of course, neither gender is ‘better’ than the other and you’ll love your baby no matter what sex it is – but depending on the stage you’re at in life and the make-up of your existing family, you may prefer to have either a boy or a girl.

So what are the differences between raising each gender? Neither gender is ‘easy’ to raise, but each presents different problems. Boys tend to be more prone to physical accidents, for example, whereas girls are often more sensitive and need more emotional support as they grow up (which is not to say boys don’t – in either case you should aim to talk openly about emotions with your kids).

In the end, whether you want a girl or a boy may come down to what your family is made up of already. If you have several children of the same gender, having one of the opposite gender can add balance and keep your household in harmony.