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How to Conceive a Girl

Follow the Chinese Lunar Birth Calendar

While skeptics claim that we can’t truly influence the sex of our baby, there’s certainly a lot of interesting (and sometimes humorous) theories about how you can make sure it’s a girl.

Some parents swear that they conceived a baby girl by following certain rituals, using various “positions” in the bedroom, or even having carefully planned romantic encounters as opposed to “impulsive” intercourse. Although medical doctors largely disregard these techniques as old wives’ tales, many gender-picking believers vehemently disagree.

If you’re absolutely determined to have a baby girl, you may want try some of these tricks that some parents, astrologers, and even a few doctors recommend.

This famous gender-predicting calendar was handed around among women well before its ubiquitous appearance on the Internet—on paper gone fuzzy with multiple photocopyings. Purportedly dating back to China 700 years ago, it has been adapted for easy use with the non-lunar, or Gregorian calendar (the kind probably hanging over your desk). Based on the mystical calendar, a baby’s sex is determined by the mother’s age and the month in which she conceives. For example, if you are 25 years old and want to have a girl, you should try to conceive in January, April, May, or July, according to the Chinese birth calendar.

Lunar calendar adherents say the chart is 99 percent accurate. (Disclosure: It correctly predicted the gender of my little girl.) You can use BabyZone’s interactive gender predictor, which is based on the Chinese lunar birth calendar, to find the months it predicts you can conceive a girl.

Eat a Girly Diet

Some gender-prediction mavens say that following a specific diet for a few weeks before conceiving could increase your chances of having a girl. They say that switching your diet changes the pH balance in your body, which some believe contributes to the sex of your baby.

According to this school of thought, the key to conceiving a girl is eating plenty of highly acidic foods, such as grapefruit, oranges, lemons, and so forth. The theory is that an acidic environment kills male-producing sperm, so female-producing sperm have a better chance of making it to the egg. Believers in this theory say your diet also should be high in calcium and magnesium but low in salt and potassium if you want to conceive a girl.

(Of note, an acidifying diet is not necessarily made up of acidic foods (but often, rather, junk food), and is considered by some researchers to be a not very healthy diet. See The pH Diet and Your Fertility for more details. Meanwhile, however you modify it, BabyZone sticks to its guns on urging a healthy and balanced diet in pursuit of conception, period.)

It’s All Right to Be Shallow

Another popular school of thought says that certain sexual positions can increase your odds of having a girl. According to Dr. Landrum Shettles, MD, author of <i How to Choose the Sex of Your Baby, shallow penetration during intercourse seems to favor girls.

Shettles explains that a woman’s vagina is more acidic closer to its entrance, and—as mentioned before—some people believe male-carrying sperm don’t fare well in acidic environments. To achieve this more “shallow” penetration, Shettles suggests the missionary position for couples who want to conceive a girl.

Of course, if this gets boring, you can get creative, but keep that shallow principle in mind.

Get the Timing Right

According to the Shettles method, the timing of conception is the biggest factor in determining the sex of your baby. Along with some other medical experts, Shettles claims that Y-chromosome sperm (boys) are faster swimmers than X-chromosome sperm (girls). However, girl sperm are thought to be more “resilient,” surviving longer in the reproductive tract than boy sperm.

Based on this theory, you’re more likely to conceive a girl if you have intercourse every day for two to four days before ovulating and then abstain from sex one to two days before ovulation and a few more days after ovulation. The premise is that by the time you ovulate, all of the male sperm have died off leaving only female sperm to fertilize the egg. Conversely, if you have intercourse on the day you ovulate, the faster-swimming male sperm may beat the girls to the egg. This approach means you’ll have to know your cycle. and do some very careful calendar watching, or take an ovulation test to determine precisely when you’re ovulating.

Heat up the Love

Another theory claims that girl-producing sperm prefer, or can at least tolerate, warmer temperatures. If you buy into this concept, you should encourage your partner to take a hot bath before intercourse if you want a baby girl.

Whether this works or not, don’t overdo it. General advice for increased fertility is to keep those guys on the cooler side. So frequent hot-tubbing or overly brief briefs may have a long term deleterious effect. Overall sperm count changes over about two months.

Don’t Have an Orgasm

According to the Shettles method, the timing of conception is the biggest factor in determining the sex of your baby. Along with some other medical experts, Shettles claims that Y-chromosome sperm (boys) are faster swimmers than X-chromosome sperm (girls). However, girl sperm are thought to be more “resilient,” surviving longer in the reproductive tract than boy sperm.

Based on this theory, you’re more likely to conceive a girl if you have intercourse every day for two to four days before ovulating and then abstain from sex one to two days before ovulation and a few more days after ovulation. The premise is that by the time you ovulate, all of the male sperm have died off leaving only female sperm to fertilize the egg. Conversely, if you have intercourse on the day you ovulate, the faster-swimming male sperm may beat the girls to the egg. This approach means you’ll have to know your cycle. and do some very careful calendar watching, or take an ovulation test to determine precisely when you’re ovulating.

Another theory claims that girl-producing sperm prefer, or can at least tolerate, warmer temperatures. If you buy into this concept, you should encourage your partner to take a hot bath before intercourse if you want a baby girl.

Whether this works or not, don’t overdo it. General advice for increased fertility is to keep those guys on the cooler side. So frequent hot-tubbing or overly brief briefs may have a long term deleterious effect. Overall sperm count changes over about two months.

The Shettles method also says that a woman’s orgasm plays a role in determining the sex of the baby. The theory is that when a woman has an orgasm, her body releases a substance that increases alkaline levels. Because an environment high in alkaline favors boys, Shettles says a woman should not have an orgasm during intercourse if she wants a girl.

This would potentially be at odds with the advice of some experienced mothers: that doing the deed quickly and without ceremony is the way to get a boy!

Slow the Pace

Indeed, during my research, I spoke with two different mothers who each have one girl and one boy. They both said basically the same thing in so many words: If you want to conceive a girl, have well-planned, romantic intercourse.

“Our daughter was conceived during a planned encounter with soft music and candlelight,” says Casey in Birmingham. On the other hand, she says her son was conceived on her husband’s lunch break from work. “No soft music, no candles—just a wham-bam, thank you ma’am, and get back to work.”

Holly from Atlanta tells a similar tale. “If you want a girl, you should have regimented, planned sex that correlates to your carefully counted menstrual cycle days,” she says. She explains that’s exactly how she and her husband conceived their little girl. On the other hand, her son was conceived in a very different manner. “If you want a boy, your drunken husband should attack you on the living room floor on a random weeknight and you should have no idea where you are in your monthly cycle,” she laughs.

Casey puts it simply, saying, “If you are trying to conceive a girl, have sex the way a woman would want it. Start with soft music, candlelight and all the time in the world.” What better way to bring a little girl into the world?

Leave Sex out of It

If you’re absolutely desperate to have a girl, you can try shelling out $20,000 or more to guarantee the XX punch. In vitro fertilization—a procedure that carries a hefty price tag—produces a live embryo in the lab after harvesting eggs from mom and sperm from dad. The embryo could potentially have its DNA tested before implantation to find out whether it’s got XX or XY chromosomes. Many people find this method to be extremely immoral and unnatural, and some clinics would only do such testing to find serious hereditary defects.

If spending this much money and going through a lot of uncomfortable medical procedures is not part of your plan, you can also guarantee the sex of your child through adoption. Or, trust in luck, folklore, and a smattering of science to get the baby of your dreams. And you may want to eat another grapefruit, while you’re at it!

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