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

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Mikveh timing and gender

11 May, 2009


We have three wonderful sons bH and very badly want to have a daughter. I have been reading a lot about the Shettles method, which recommends timing intercourse before ovulation for increasing the chances of a girl, but I only get to the mikvah on ovulation day or the day after. Is there anything – medication, birth control pills (our rav allows it for us), or anything, that can help me get to the mikvah earlier in the cycle? Please help. (Obviously we will consult our rav, but I want to hear all the possibilities, however remote, to put before him when we go.)


Unfortunately, there is little evidence for the efficacy of the Shettles method, so if you attempt it you should be prepared for the possibility of having another boy. If you nevertheless choose to pursue it, here are some possibilities to raise with your rav (along with the questions about its efficacy):

It is possible to delay ovulation medically under the guidance of a physician, as with estrogen at the beginning of the cycle. In some cases, medical treatments or complementary medicine techniques may shorten bleeding.

There are also various halachic measures that can sometimes enable a woman to immerse earlier than she has been.

Our article on Ovulating Before Immersion, and our posted questions on the topic, detail these medical and halachic approaches, laying out the possibilities that would be relevant to discuss with your rav. Since your case is not halachically equivalent to that of an infertile couple, you cannot assume that a given leniency applies to you without first raising it with your rav.

Behatzlacha! Please contact us with any further questions.

This response was updated on 13 April, 2021.

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