My husband and I are planning our second child. Our first child was a boy. Is there anything we can do to improve our chances of having a girl?
Without the use of assisted reproductive technology, there is no method that is proven to alter the gender ratio.
Gender is determined by sperm. Sperm which carry an X chromosome will produce girls. Sperm which carry the smaller Y chromosome produce boys. There have been many theories put forth on ways to increase the likelihood of one type of sperm reaching the egg. These are based on such parameters as the weight of the sperm (Y bearing sperm being slightly lighter) or some perceived difference in the speed at which X or Y being sperm can swim to the egg.
Methods have been advocated in which intercourse is recommended closer to or farther from the time of ovulation. Additional techniques recommend male ejaculation higher in the vaginal canal versus lower or changing the acid base balance of the vagina. The fact is that none of these techniques have been proven to alter the gender ratio more than chance alone.
One recent interesting study found that by altering the diet, women may be able to alter their chances of conceiving a male or female by either eating breakfast cereal every day prior to conception (to help have a male) or skipping breakfast and perhaps decreasing the total amount of calories consumed (to increase the chances for a female).
The chances for success however, do not approach that of IVF with PGD. Frequent cereal eaters ultimately saw 60 percent of their babies were boys compared to 40 percent boys from the non-cereal eaters.