Hi again! If this is your first visit, I really hope you’ll take a few minutes and read the previous posts - this blog has been a work in progress and I’ve learned so much as I’ve gone along. Some of the things I thought were true at the beginning have been at least somewhat confirmed, and others seem less important now than I first thought they were.
Personal update - weight, 133, and pH of 4.5! I’ve gotten readings from 4.5-5 several times now, way too often to be just a fluke. It’s amazing to me that my pH has dropped so quickly considering I’ve taken no cranberry or Crystal Light at all and have not even followed the TTC girl diet very strictly. Very encouraging. My milk has stabilized with my diet the way it is now, even though I’ve lost more weight.
Since we talked about blood glucose in depth, I think we should give testosterone the same treatment. Remember, testosterone is the linchpin of the Maternal Dominance Hypothesis (MDH) - the idea that females who are more dominant have higher testosterone levels, and tend to have more sons. And any appearance that physical condition is determining gender ratios, is just coincidental to the fact that dominant females are able to outcompete submissive females to food resources.
How can some hormone, that women have a miniscule amount of, really affect the gender of our children? Scientists don’t really know yet, but the idea that testosterone can effect gender ratio is probably a certain thing. Scientists have studied female rodents, and they found that if the female rodent was in between two male rodents while in the womb, surrounded by testosterone on both sides, that female rodent was far more likely to have sons herself than a female rodent who matured between two sisters.
Of course, what’s true for rodents isn’t necessarily true for humans, but let’s just accept for the sake of argument that testosterone levels do affect gender ratio in some ways. Since I suspect that we’re tapping into the effects of the Trivers-Willard hypothesis in a traditional sway, and since the MDH is an explanation of one way that Trivers-Willard might work, it stands to reason that the MDH is somehow being affected by a traditional sway. So let’s inspect the MDH in that light.
TIMING - One of the first and most important aspects of a traditional sway has been the issue of timing BD. Interestingly, testosterone levels rise just before a woman ovulates. So if testosterone really is sending some kind of signal to our bodies about what gender child would be preferable, timing may very well matter. Perhaps if we BD several days before O, our testosterone levels have not yet risen, increasing the odds of a girl pregnancy and supporting Shettles. And perhaps our testosterone levels drop off after we O, increasing the odds of a girl pregnancy and supporting O+12. Whereas if we BD around ovulation, our testosterone levels are higher than normal and we are more likely to conceive a boy.
The connection between MDH and timing goes even further than that, however. Most of us have experienced an increase in sexuality around the time we ovulate. Testosterone levels are directly related to that increase in desire. Ovulation = more testosterone = higher sex drive = more likely to have an orgasm. Orgasm boosts testosterone levels, in fact, the more often you orgasm, the higher your testosterone level tends to be. Ovulation = more testosterone = higher sex drive = more likely to have an orgasm = more testosterone = higher sex drive = and so on.
Orgasm is usually frowned upon in a ttc girl attempt because it increases cervical mucus, which helps the y sperm to swim to the egg more easily; cervical mucus also tends to be alkaline. Bearing this in mind, the chain of events might happen somewhat like this: Ovulation = more testosterone = higher sex drive = more likely to have an orgasm = increased cervical mucus = alkaline vaginal pH = more y sperm survive = more boy babies conceived. Interesting, no?
DIET - The next important aspect of a traditional sway is diet. Testosterone levels can be directly affected by diet. When weightlifters are building muscle, they want to increase their testosterone levels, so they eat eggs, nuts, fish, and meat - as much protein as they can take in. They also eat plenty of good fats and carbohydrates to keep their bodies from cannibalizing their muscle tissue, and they take in 3-4000 calories in the course of a day. This isn’t too different from the TTC boy diet, and in fact that is one thing many girl moms really have to focus on, eating much more meat than they do normally.
On the traditional TTC girl diet, we focus more on grains and dairy foods, and many women find they lose weight while on the diet. Although chicken, fish, and eggs are allowed, since we are trying to take in so much dairy and reduce our sodium levels, many of us have found that we eat much less of these things than we had previously. Weight loss, less protein, and less meat lower testosterone levels.
Anecdotally, I have heard that vegans and vegetarians have far more daughters, supporting the notion that less animal protein might lead to more daughters. I have tried to find hard stats on this and I couldn’t, but when I was searching for information about this topic, I read hit after hit about vegetarians talking about their daughters, and none talking about their sons.
Interestingly, being very heavy also lowers testosterone levels. This would support the observations that some have made that being very thin and very heavy both tend to sway for girls.
EXERCISE - Exercise isn’t a part of a traditional sway, but let’s examine it anyway. Weight training and gaining muscle mass raise testosterone levels, while weight loss, especially drastic weight loss, lowers testosterone levels. In a traditional sway, when a woman begins to take in a lot more meat than she typically does, her body is likely to take the opportunity to use that meat to build up muscle mass. So not only does the increased protein in her diet itself increase testosterone levels, the muscle that the body then builds using that protein also increases testosterone. A win-win for having a boy.
On the other hand, many women follow an exercise regimen of long, sustained cardio exercise, and often eschew weightlifting because they don’t want to bulk up. We have already discussed how intense anaerobic exercise can acidify the body, but it also lowers testosterone levels at the same time. Mix intense overexercise with a low calorie, low protein diet and you will burn up the majority of your muscle mass. Your body becomes both very acidic and very low in testosterone, girl zone!
LIFESTYLE ISSUES - Again, not part of a traditional sway, but still interesting. Smoking causes first a sharp and sudden rise in blood sugar, and then the corresponding crash as too much insulin is released. Smoking also lowers testosterone. Drinking does the same, and in fact that‘s why people often get the munchies when they‘ve been drinking, because their blood sugar drops and makes them crave sweets. It is no wonder that smoking and drinking tend to sway for girls.
Being well rested raises testosterone levels, and a lack of sleep lowers them. Sleep is also a big factor in blood sugar issues - people who don‘t sleep enough at night tend to have low blood sugar, and end up snacking a lot. Not sleeping well = low blood sugar and low testosterone.
BREASTFEEDING - To me, breastfeeding is the most interesting of all, because it really affects every aspect of swaying. Not only does breastfeeding reduce testosterone levels by itself, but as those of us who have breastfed know, our sex drives all but disappear when we’re nursing. So we’re less interested in sex, less likely to orgasm, and we have less, and drier cervical mucus.
Breastfeeding also affects our blood sugar, to the extent that many diabetic moms find their blood sugar levels remain so low just from nursing that they are able to dramatically cut back on their insulin until after they wean their baby. A nursing mother is also more likely to be losing weight than a woman who isn’t nursing, just because her body is burning so many calories just to make milk. She may be using up so many calories to make milk that her body is actually robbing her muscles for protein, further reducing her testosterone levels and acidifying her body.
I’ve never had a lot of luck exercising while I’m nursing, and I would certainly never lift weights around a small baby - I would love to hear of other people’s experiences.
I have found that during the time I’m nursing, I tend to get less sleep because I wake up several times a night to attend to my baby. Since less sleep = less testosterone, just the fact of having a small baby might tend to sway for a girl.
AGE - A factor we have no control over, but all people, men and women alike, have less testosterone as they age. Also, women tend to lose muscle mass as they get older, so they have even less testosterone available. That may very well be why older women tend to have more daughters.
Anyway, that’s a lot of information to take in all in one sitting, thanks to all who’ve stuck it out till the end! As always, wishing everyone the best of luck in their TTC journey!