Nishmat's Women’s Health and HalachaIn memory of Chaya Mirel bat R' Avraham

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Trying for a girl

29 May, 2006

Question:

I have two sons and I want a baby girl very badly. I have done research and discovered that there are different methods like timing, douching, dietary supplements, etc. that can sway the odds in favor of a boy or girl. Is this halachically permissible? If it is, and if certain nights were "out" in terms of intercourse, would it be permissible to use spermicide on those nights?
Thank you!


Answer:

There is nothing halachically wrong with desiring a child of a particular gender. But there are questions about what measures can be taken to achieve this.  Although we cannot attest to the efficacy of many of the techniques that you mentioned, there is nothing inherently wrong halachically with timing of intercourse, douching, or kosher dietary supplements. Medically, douching can be irritating for many women.  So use this with care, especially if you are prone to yeast infections.

To avoid conceiving on a night less likely to lead to a girl according to these studies, it would be permitted to abstain.  Using spermicide for this purpose would seem not to be permitted, since contraceptive use involves many halachic issues – unless there are additional factors of which we are unaware.

Please note that there are a number of advertised medical interventions to produce a child of a particular gender. As they require obtaining a semen sample, these expensive methods do pose a number of halachic issues and should not be embarked upon without a specific halachic question.


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