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Over the years, different in vitro fertilization (IVF) methods have been developed. One of them is just about choosing the embryo that would be a good pick for carrying a healthy baby.

During the IVF planning processes both sperm, eggs and embryos are all categorized and graded, fertility-wise. Embryologists choose the embryo of the best quality, based on morphology (appearance). This grading is a pretty much complicated thing that starts at the time of the egg being taken and continues throughout early embryonic development.

Overall, couples have a 50/50 odds of conceiving a boy or a girl using plain old-fashioned intercourse. Yet many people might want to alter the chance in their favor, either for cultural reasons, because of specific preferences, or to balance their families out, gender-wise. Some do it to make sure that their kids will not inherit some sex-linked genetic diseases.

But regardless of what the actual reason behind this intent is, some of the reproductive health experts worry that a certain percentage of parents simply place unrealistic hopes on a sex-determination technique and thus are poised to be disappointed whether or not they succeed. While any of these methods could either fail to produce a baby of the desired sex, or the right-gendered kid could grow up with traits that contradict with parental expectations, the issue seems to be complex enough. As another point of view in the discussion, some ethicists worry about the wellbeing of the child.

In addition, no such technique is proven to be 100% accurate, just as according to an ethics committee report in the May 2001 issue of Fertility and Sterility. Some popular methods out there even reportedly fall under the category of cons.

Of course, this list will not feature any old-school “tried and true” formulas for choosing the baby’s sex. Some doctors just sincerely laugh at such methods but say that as long as the advice doesn’t hurt mom or baby, then there may be no harm in trying though.

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Natural Methods for Choosing the Sex of Your Child

The Shettles method seems to be the most widely spread one among the long list of the so-called natural strategies for choosing the gender of your child. Devised a few decades ago by Landrum B. Shettles, MD, PhD, the technique includes timing intercourse to a woman’s cycle and using certain sexual positions.

In one of his books on the matter, titled “How to Choose the Sex of Your Baby”, Shettles states that the male (Y) sperm specimen are smaller, faster, and live less than the female (X) sperm. Because of this, couples who want to have a boy should have sex closer to the time when a woman’s egg is released (ovulation). Thanka to that, the speedy male sperm could get to the egg faster than the female one.

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