How to Conceive a Boy
There are so many old wive’s tales related to conceiving a specific gender, you’d need a Rolodex just to keep them all straight. From eating certain foods to having sex in certain positions, there are millions of rumored ways to influence the birth of a male child.
Questions about the gender of your offspring probably comes from a healthy place inside your head — you may prefer a boy this time because you have nothing but daughters, or maybe you and your husband have dreamed of having a little boy for years. In older cultures (and even in some modern ones) having a male baby is tantamount to winning the lottery — males pass on the family name, do more work around the home, and are less of a liability in certain situations.
How Is a Baby’s Gender Determined?
Whatever your reason, you’ve decided you’d like to try and have a boy. Here’s something not many people know — the female partner has very little to do with determining a baby’s gender.
Every woman has eggs that contain exclusively X chromosomes. A baby boy is conceived when sperm that carry a Y chromosome fertilizes her egg. When a Y chromosome and an X chromosome meet, the woman gives birth to a baby boy. However, if the sperm that fertilizes her eggs contains another X chromosome, the mother will give birth to a daughter.
That’s it. Plain and simple. Most men have no idea that their body carries the ability to create both boys and girls. This is because when a man ejaculates, 200 to 400 million sperm are released into the woman’s body. Some of these sperm contain Y chromosomes, and others contain X chromosomes. Since only one sperm can fertilize an egg, the gender of the sperm does most of the work of gender selection.
Theories about how to conceive a boy using simple at-home gender selection tricks are based on the idea that a couple can eat certain foods or do certain things to create an environment that helps select which gendered sperm fertilize the female’s eggs.
Here’s an in-depth look at a few methods rumored to help conceive a male baby.
Chinese Conception Chart
Sometimes called the Chinese Gender Chart or Chinese Birth Chart, this chart is a method of at home gender selection that says that the age of the mother and the month in which the baby is conceived help predict the sex of an unborn baby. This conception chart was found over 700 years ago in a royal tomb near Beijing. People who believe in the Chinese Conception Chart claim it is about 90% accurate when it is used properly. Unfortunately, the Chinese Conception Chart is based on a mother’s lunar age and the baby’s lunar month of conception to make an accurate prediction — using our calendar system will probably give you an inaccurate result.
Dietary Supplements and Medications
Is it really possibly to take over the counter products to influence the gender of your baby? (See How to Take Vitamins for more information.)
Some people believe that taking Evening Primrose Oil supplements increase the quality of a woman’s cervical mucus, an important ingredient in conception. Another theory revolving around cervical mucus and medication — some women take the drug Guaifenesin (Mucinex) during the five days before their ovulation in order to thin out cervical mucus that is too thick, which reportedly increases the odds of a woman conceiving a son. Other supplements, like potassium in particular, are said to increase a woman’s chances of having a boy.
There are some truly off-the-wall ideas out there in the land of urban legend about conceiving a boy. Any expert in the field will tell you that superstition and folk remedies don’t really work — but for many couples, there seems to be no harm in at least trying these folk methods of creating a boy baby.
1. The woman should change her diet to include lots of red meat, salty snacks, and soft drinks.
2. The man should initiate sex and the sex should be focused on his pleasure. This folk tale says that if the man climaxes first, the woman is more likely to have a baby boy.
3. Only make love on odd-numbered days of the month.
4. Only make love at night, preferably only when there’s a quarter moon in the sky.
5. Make love as much as possible. This folk tale seems to put faith in the folk belief that boys are often conceived during the “honeymoon” phase of a relationship.
6. The male partner should drink coffee before sex, so his Y chromosome sperm will become more active.
The Shettles Method
A man named Dr. Shettles wrote a book on conceiving male children. He bases his theory of gender selection on the notion that sperm containing Y chromosomes move much faster than X chromosome carrying cells. Because they’re so much faster, couples who want to conceive a boy child should have sex less than twenty-four hours before ovulation and no more than twelve hours past it. Dr. Shettles also suggests that you penetrate your partner as deeply as possible in order to deposit sperm close to the cervix. He thinks this method should deposit more aggressive Y chromosome sperm closer to the woman’s fertilized egg.
The Whelan Method
Developed as a rebuttal to Dr. Shettles’ method, the Whelan method exists on the belief that the timing of intercourse is most crucial to determining the sex of the baby. In Dr. Whelan’s opinion, having sex earlier in your monthly cycle is far more likely to produce male babies. The Whelan method has been tested, and can create male children 68% of the time. Not much greater than 50% (the overall odds of having a boy) but it’s something.
There’s simply no tried and true way to influence the gender of your child. Different folk tales suggest different things that can cause a male child to be born, from eating figs and chocolate (Italian folk remedy) to eating spicy food (India) to not sleeping with your partner during the month of conception (American South). No matter which method you choose, remember that a baby’s gender has a 50% chance of being male or female no matter what you do to try and intervene.
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