03/12/2009 15:03 GMT | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

Dilemma Of The Day: Can I Increase My Chances Of Having A Girl?

Q: My husband and I are ready to start a family. We are of course both hoping for nothing more than a healthy child, but deep down I think I would like to have a little girl, if I had the choice! Is there any way I can increase my chances of conceiving a girl?

A: Nature has a wonderful way of splitting the two gender proportions fairly evenly. However, believe it or not, there are some scientifically acknowledged ways of increasing your chances of gender selection, which you can of course try if you want to give nature a helping hand!

Men produce two sperm types. One type carries Y chromosomes, which result in a male child; while the other sperm carry X chromosomes, which produce a female child.

Science has established that male sperms actually swim faster than female sperms. On the other hand, female sperms swim slower but live longer.

Therefore, to increase your chances of having a girl, you should have sex two to three days prior to ovulation. This means that, by the time the egg is released, the male sperm will have died off, leaving the female sperm to reach the egg and fertilise it.

If you were to have sex immediately after ovulation, your chances of conceiving a boy should be higher as these sperm will reach the newly released egg much quicker.

However, neither of these methods is guaranteed to produce the gender of your choice. They can merely help the finger of fate and should be taken as just a bit of fun. There are many other factors that can affect gender selection, which include the nature of the man's sperm, the acid or alkaline environment of a woman's vagina, and genetics.

If you do decide to try and influence the gender of your baby, do continue to keep in mind that that it may not work and you will need to accept whatever gender nature provides. This is vitally important as disappointment could lead to problems, such as issues with bonding or post natal depression. It would of course also be extremely unfair on the child.

So with that firmly in mind, have fun, relax - and fingers crossed!