shettles method

Have you ever heard about the Shettles Method of gender selection? It is one of the most popular methods for choosing the sex of the baby – and one of most effective!

It has an effectiveness of 75% - which is a lot, considering the only requirement is planning ahead!


So what’s that Shettles Method?

The Shettles Method is a method of gender selection that was designed by the North-American gynaecologist Landrum Shettles in the 60s. To design it, he previously studied the type X sperm (which will produce a girl) and the type Y sperm (which will produce a boy). He claimed that sperm type X is stronger, slower and more enduring, and that sperm type Y is weaker but faster.

With this information, he designed different tricks and tips to take into account so the couple would favour that one type or the other arrived to the mature egg. There isn’t actual scientific evidence that supports it, but the statistics are encouraging nonetheless. 

The advantages of this method is that it doesn’t require any kind of medical treatment, and that it is cost-free. It requires lots of planning, though! So how does it work? It considers different factors, the most important of which is timing – that is, the moment you have sex with the purpose of conception. It also considers vaginal pH, sexual position and orgasms.  But let’s take a closer look on how to use the Shettles Method to conceive a girl and to conceive a boy!


Shettles Method: Girl search

So far we know that the sperm type X, which will produce a boy, is slower and stronger than the other kind. This gives us some useful information on how to conceive a girl! Let’s see what to do, step by step:

  • Since female sperm last longer, it’s better to have sex until a couple of days before ovulation, so you make sure that the sperm that will survive is type X. This means you will have to abstain.

  • Since they are stronger, they will also endure an acidic environment better than male sperm. So it’s better to favour an acidic environment in your vagina’s PH. How do we do this? 2-3 days before ovulation, the environment will be more hostile to male sperm. Besides, the vagina’s PH is more aggressive when closer to the opening, so choose sexual positions that don’t allow a deep penetration to favour having a girl, like the missionary position.

  • Since male sperm is faster than female sperm, it’s better not to have sex the days after ovulation. If there’s alive male sperm around, they could win the race!

  • Avoiding orgasm: Unfortunately, that’s what the Shettles Method says. Orgasm will help the sperm up the vagina, giving a head-start to the male sperm.


Shettles Method: Boy search

Now, let’s take a look at the Shettles Method recommendations for conceiving a boy. Sperm type Y, that is, male sperm is faster but weaker than female sperm.

  • When should we have sex if we want to have a baby boy? Well, since female sperm lives longer, the closest we are to conception, the more likely we are to conceive a girl. If the sperm that fertilises the egg is released 2-3 days before ovulation, the male sperm is likely to be dead when you finally ovulate. This is why, if you want to conceive a boy, it’s better to have sex right when ovulation happens.

  • To make sure the sperm doesn’t have to deal with a too acidic environment in your vagina, choose positions that require a deeper penetration and have sex the day of ovulation.

  • The more orgasms, the better! Same reason stated before: The orgasm will draw the sperm up the vagina and closer to the mature egg!


Shettles method: What to consider

The Shettles Method has proven to be quite effective, but it has some drawbacks as well. Considering the part of timing your sexual relationships according to the Shettles Method calendar we’ve seen (that is, having sex 2-3 days prior to ovulation for a girl and the day of ovulation for a boy), makes having a girl more difficult, since there are more chances of conceiving if you have sex the very same day ovulation occurs. Getting pregnant in general with the Shettles Method can be a bit more difficult, since you will have sex less than what’s recommended in order to conceive a boy or a girl.

Besides this, we need to consider the matter of the excess planning and the recommended lack of orgasm when trying to conceive a girl. Planning so much could stress you, and it’s not a secret that fertility and stress don’t have a nice relationship. Same with not having an orgasm: enjoying sex helps fertility – and even if it didn’t, depriving yourself from that pleasure isn’t a nice thing, is it?


So if you think the Shettles Method isn’t for you, there are other non-scientific tricks you can try. Check them out in our articles on how to conceive a girl and how to conceive a boy!