If you’re hoping to get pregnant with a baby girl, you may have to work a little harder to achieve your goal. More boys than girls are born each year in the United States, although the difference is slight: around 1.04: 1 in favor to boys. A number of different methods for choosing your child’s sex have been put forth over the years, but the only way to definitely have a girl is to undergo in vitro fertilization the pre-implantation genetic diagnosis testing. Proponents claim dietary changes can influence your chances, but there’s no scientific proof of this.
The dietary theory for having a girl centers on the idea that an acidic environment favors girls. Cervical mucus, which is normally thick and acidic, changes around the time of ovulation, becoming thinner and more alkaline. Because an acid environment tends to kill off sperm, alkaline cervical mucus helps sperm traverse the vagina and cervix to enter the uterus. Because girl sperm live longer than boys, they’re deemed hardier and more likely to survive an acidic environment.
There’s no scientific proof that the acidic theory holds up in practice. Because 50 percent of people trying to get pregnant have the child of the sex they want all on their own, success rates have to be greater than 50 percent to have any significance at all.
Following an acidic diet to change the pH balance of your body doesn’t mean eating all acidic foods. Many acidic foods, such as most citrus fruits, actually have an alkaline effect when you eat them. According to the In-gender website, an acidic diet for conceiving a girl should include plenty of calcium in the form of dairy products as well as strawberries and raspberries, all in unlimited quantities. Cheeses, pasta, fish, green beans and cucumbers make up the next tier and you can eat them almost without limit, while you should consume some foods including cranberries, lamb, chicken, rice and corn cereal only once a day. This diet allows no alcohol.
If you really want a girl for sound medical reasons, such as carrying a lethal gene that affects only males, pre-implantation genetic diagnosis will achieve your goal. You must undergo IVF and fertilization of your eggs in the laboratory. Once an embryo forms, a cell is removed and tested for chromosomal abnormalities as well as sex. This method is expensive and most centers won’t do it just because you want a girl. A less invasive, but also less reliable, method involves sperm separation in the laboratory followed by intrauterine insemination. Called Microsort, this method increases your chance of having a girl to 85 percent.