Want a Baby Boy? Women Should Relax and Stay Calm when Trying: Study

By @Len_IBTimes on

A woman who is under pressure is more likely to get pregnant with a girl, according to a new study.

Researchers from Oxford University and the U.S. teamed up for a study that aimed to find a link between the stress level of a woman trying to get pregnant and the gender of the baby she conceives.

The study revealed that women who were under pressure at home, work, or in their love life in the weeks or months leading to her pregnancy had higher than average odds of giving birth to a daughter rather than a son.

The study cited the months after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, when the number of boys born in New York fell compared to usual statistics. It also brought up the economic chaos that resulted from the collapse of the Berlin Wall, after which fewer boys were born than expected in the former East Germany in 1991.

It appears the gender conception phenomenon is related to the stress and worries of everyday life and the rising levels of stress hormones in women trying to get pregnant.

The study involved 338 women from around the UK who were trying to get pregnant. They kept diaries about their lives and sexual relations, and filled in questionnaires about how stressed they felt each day. Researchers also observed levels of stress hormones, including cortisol, in the participants.

Cortisol levels go up when people suffer long-term stress such as pressure at work and bad relationships.

Of the babies born, 58 were boys and 72 were girls. Normally, in Britain 105 boys are born for every 100 girls, reports the Daily Mail.

The findings were reported to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine's annual conference in Orlando, Fla.

The most stressed women were up to 75 per cent less likely to have boys than the least stressed, the conference was told.

Oxford University researcher Dr. Cecilia Pyper said she is not ruling out financial worries as contributing factor to the stress level of a woman, which apparently increases her cortisol level, too.

A study has yet to be made regarding a definitely link between a woman's odds at getting a boy and her cortisol level, however. Scientists suggest high levels of cortisol somehow make it more difficult for male embryos to implant in the womb.

Dr. Allan Pacey, a Sheffield University fertility expert, described the results as "intriguing" but said stress need not necessarily be behind the lack of boys born. There may be other factors in each woman's scenario.

A much earlier study revealed that dominant women are more likely to have sons, as in the case of Princess Diana. This is perhaps because their higher levels of testosterone prime their eggs to make fertilisation with male sperm more likely, reported the Daily Mail.




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