Scientists have discovered that the blood pressure of the mother may be used to predict the sex of their baby. Women with higher blood pressure before getting pregnant appear to be more likely to have boys rather than girls.

The study of natural gender selection, and if it really is possible to predict – if not choose – the sex of a baby is something that has always fascinated the scientific community, as well as the public at large.

There have been plenty of studies to assess whether it is possible to determine the sex of a baby by using lifestyle factors such as the body chemistry and diet of a woman, to the time of conception, and even the positions used during intercourse.

The latest study from the American Journal of Hypertension attempts to investigate gender selection and discover if the sex of a child can be determined through specific factors.

The study involved a large sample of women wanting to get pregnant to assess the relationship between the health of a woman before she gets pregnant – blood pressure in this case – and whether the baby was a boy or girl.

High Blood Pressure Signals Boys

The team of researchers, led by Dr. Ravi Retnakaran of Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, recruited several young women expressing an interest in conceiving in the future from 2009.

The study involved a total of 1,411 women from Liuyang, China, who had their blood pressure, cholesterol, triglyceride, and glucose levels checked at the start of the study. All of the women fell pregnant within an average of 26 weeks. The pregnancies from the study resulted in 739 boys and 672 girls being born.

The scientists controlled for the other factors such as age, smoking, body mass index, waist size, cholesterol, glucose, triglyceride, and education and discovered that blood pressure was higher before pregnancy for the women who gave birth to boys compared to those that gave birth to girls.

The findings would suggest that maternal blood pressure could be an indication of whether a woman will give birth to a boy or a girl.

The study suggests that the blood pressure of a woman before getting pregnant is a factor in whether the woman is likely to give birth to a boy or a girl that hadn’t been considered before. The insight could have implications for both planning a pregnancy and our understanding of what is working behind the scenes to determine the sex ratio of humans.

It’s important to take these results with a pinch of salt though. The study doesn’t prove a definitive causal link between blood pressure and the sex of the baby. It merely highlights the strong correlation. The findings are there to open the door for more research on sex ratios rather than provide actual pregnancy advice for parents.

Many health professionals are still in agreement that there isn’t much that a couple can do to alter the sex of their baby. They are free to try specific methods if they want, provided it doesn’t harm their health, but couples should understand that if a method does work, it is likely due to chance.