With my first pregnancy, my husband and I weren’t thinking about the sex of the child at all – we were just trying to get pregnant. And, as you know, we had a boy.

With our second pregnancy, we figured we’d try the Shettles Method, a technique I’d heard about to “sway” the process and have a baby girl. And, well, we are!

In this video and post, I’ll share how we did it

First, a disclaimer

Let me start off by saying I don’t wanna be a poster girl for “family balancing” or “how to determine the sex of your child.” My pregnancies have been a gift from God, and I didn’t want to fool with the process too much.

That said, a few years ago I met a nutritionist who had a boy and a girl, and I told her how lucky she was. She replied, “Well, it’s wasn’t exactly luck,” and then she explained a certain method she used to have her boy first and then a girl.

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The Shettles Method theory

It’s called “The Shettles Method,” based on the work of Dr. Landrum Shettles. Dr. Shettles was a biologist, and in, in the 1960s, he discovered that Y-bearing, male-producing sperm are smaller and faster than the X-bearing variety, which are larger and live longer.


He also discovered that female sperm survive better in acidic environments, whereas the male-producing sperm swim better and more quickly in highly alkaline environments.

Now, this is interesting, because a woman’s secretions are the most alkaline as ovulation approaches. As you move away from ovulation in either direction, the woman’s secretions become more acidic.

With this info in hand, Dr. Shettles theorized that the timing of intercourse might be the most crucial element in sex selection. Intercourse that occurs at or near the time of ovulation will, more often than not, produce a male offspring.

Whereas, intercourse that occurs 2½ to 3 days before ovulation is more likely to result in a girl.

How we used  the Shettles Method

When Mike and I first got married, I started getting into “fertility awareness,” specifically by reading a book called Garden of Fertility by Katie Singer. Fertility awareness is a set of practices you can use to determine the fertile and infertile phases of your menstrual cycle.


So I knew when I was ovulating. And, with this pregnancy, we decided to put the Shettles Method to the test. Mike and I had sex 3 days before my ovulation began. We figured we’d start the furthest amount of time out, and if that didn’t work, the following month we’d move it closer to ovulation.

To our surprise, we got pregnant the first time around!

And to our delight, our MaterniT21 confirmed that we are having a girl.

Perhaps a Shettles Method girl?

Interesting side note

With Griffin, I wasn’t as sure about my ovulation time or ovulation symptoms, so I got an ovulation kit that tells you when you’re at the peak of ovulation. And, when I was at that peak, Mike and I had sex. And… Griffin is the result. So, at least for me, there may really be something to the shettles method and maybe Griffin was a Shettles Method boy.

Take this with a grain of salt

Dr. Shettles said that, by following his methods, couples could conceive the sex they wanted at least 75% of the time. And hey, we’re happy that we’re having a girl!

But I can’t really say if the Shettles Method really allowed us gender selection. And to be fair, there’s more to his method than timing. He also recommends a certain diet and sexual positions to maximize your chances. We didn’t do any of that.

In 1995, the New England Journal of Medicine concluded that “for practical purposes, the timing of sexual intercourse in relation to ovulation has no influence on the sex of the baby.”

Furthermore, there’s a theory called the “Whelan Method” that advocates just the opposite of the Shettles Method – have sex four to six days prior to ovulation in order to have a boy.

So gender selection is still something of a mystery. And I like it that way.

How about you?

Have you ever heard of the Shettles Method before? Did you do anything to try to “sway” your chances of having a boy or a girl? Share with us in the comments below, and thanks for tuning in.