Shettles Method

Definition - What does Shettles Method mean?

The Shettles Method is a tactic of natural gender selection, based on the timing of intercourse and the inherent ability of sperm. Shettles Method has never been scientifically proven but remains a popular strategy when attempting for a child of a specific gender.

FertilitySmarts explains Shettles Method

The sex of a fetus is determined by sex chromosomes, one of which comes from the mother, the other from the father. All eggs are X-bearing (female). Sperm is comprised of both X-bearing sperm and Y-bearing sperm. If an X-bearing sperm fertilizes the egg, the result is a girl (XX chromosomes). If a Y-bearing sperm fertilizes the egg, the result is a boy (XY chromosomes).

The Shettles Method is based on the belief that X sperm and Y sperm behave in different ways. According to the method, X sperm is typically slower but live longer in a woman’s body, while Y sperm are faster, but have shorter life spans. Therefore, the way to enhance one sex’s likelihood over the other is to time intercourse accordingly.

According to the Shettles Method, a couple that wished to conceive a girl would ideally time intercourse to occur 2-3 days prior to ovulation. This would allow the Y-bearing sperm time to die off, leaving predominantly X-bearing sperm at the time ovulation occurs. For those wishing to conceive a boy, the opposite tactic is advised, and couples are instructed to time intercourse to occur as close as possible to the time of ovulation.

While there are many personal accounts of success on these principles, the Shettles Method has never held up under scientific testing. Alternatively, researchers advise that the Shettles Method may have an adverse effect on conception, as avoiding intercourse around the time of ovulation may reduce a couple’s chances of conceiving.

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