How Long Should We Abstain From Sex Before Ovulation If We’re Trying For A Boy Or Girl Baby?

By: Sandy Dean: I often hear from people who have read that it’s best to abstain or hold off from having sex before you try to conceive.  The idea is that when you don’t have sex for a couple of days, you allow the sperm count to build up so that the man will have more sperm to compete for the egg when pregnancy is possible.  But, things can get a little more complicated when you’re trying to conceive one gender over another.  The days that you need to have sex changes so it’s a bit more of a challenge.

I heard from someone who said: “my husband and I are trying to have a girl baby.  I have heard that we should hold off on having sex for a while before we attempt to conceive.  How many days are we talking about?  And how do you accomplish this when you’re going for a girl baby?  Is it a different process if you want a boy?”  I will discuss this more below.

The Different Trains Of Thought Regarding Abstaining From Sex When Trying To Become Pregnant:

There’s a lot of controversy about this idea.  Some believe that by abstaining, you are ensuring that sperm counts are as high as they can possibly be.  Others disagree and think that having sex very regularly (or every day) while you are trying to conceive not only gives you more chances for success, but it also ensures that the sperm being produced are of a higher quality.

I see the logic behind both trains of thought but my take on this topic is sort of a compromise between both. I think that it can make sense to abstain for a couple of days before your optimal conception day (which I’ll discuss more below) and then to have sex often during your fertility window.  After all, you only have a very small window where you are most fertile.  And when you are trying to choose your gender, it is an even smaller window.  Now, I will discuss the process for both genders.

If You Want A Girl:

This is a little bit more of a challenge because you have to gauge ovulation before it has actually happened.  When you want a girl baby, you should begin having sex a couple of days before you actually ovulate and you should stop once ovulation actually takes place.  Many ovulation predictors only give you a positive once ovulation has happened.  Unless you want to start making charts months ahead, the easiest way to approach this is to  use a saliva predictor that gives you a bit of a heads up to tell you that ovulation is getting close.  When you want a girl, you want to begin to abstain about four days before you suspect ovulation. (You will have to look at the pictures on the chart that come with the predictor in order to determine this.) And then you’ll want to start having sex about two days before.

Here’s a major difference between a girl conception and a boy one.  With a girl, you do want to stop having sex once ovulation occurs.  This is important because boy sperm die off in a very short amount of time.  That’s why you conceive early.  But if you keep having sex after ovulation, then you make a boy baby more likely because they don’t have time to die off.

If You Want A Boy:  

The process is pretty much the same in the beginning.  And it’s easier to figure out ovulation has happened because you get a pretty firm positive reading.  But if you are going to abstain, you will need to predict ovulation a couple of days ahead (like with the girl conception scenario that I described above.)  You’d want to begin sustaining a couple of days before the egg’s release. For a boy conception, you could continue to have sex for a couple of days afterward.

The Bottom Line:

So to answer the question posed, if you believe abstaining makes sense, then you can abstain a couple of days before your optimal conception date.  But for a girl baby, you want to stop having intercourse right before or just after you see ovulation.  With a boy conception, you can continue on, even though any sex a couple of days after ovulation probably won’t result in a pregnant anyway since the fertile period would be ending.

Timing isn’t the only thing you need to worry about though.  You still need to address your vaginal PH and the sexual positions that you use.  If you’re still a little confused about exactly what to do if you want a boy or girl baby, I’ve put together a few websites that take a lot of the guess work out of the process.

If you want a boy baby, check out

If you want a girl baby, check out

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