How to Conceive a Boy: 11 Ways to Improve Your Odds

Updated July 3, 2018
baby boy

If you really want a son, there are both natural and medical interventions to help you. However, keep in mind nature offers no guarantee you'll give birth to a baby boy.

Natural Methods

Natural methods use timing, sexual positions, and diet to help conceive a boy. These methods are free (or affordable), and you can try several options if one doesn't work. Discuss any supplements or over-the-counter medications you're using with your doctor.

The Shettles Method

Popularized in the book, How to Choose the Sex of Your Baby, Dr. Shettles suggests having sex 12 hours before ovulation after a period of abstaining from sex. According to Shettles, abstaining from sex will help boost the sperm count which will favor sperm with Y-chromosomes.

Sexual Positions

According to Dr. Shettles, some sexual positions can help you conceive a boy. He notes deeper penetration or rear entry penetration will deposit sperm closer to the cervix and this allows the more aggressive Y sperm to get a head start in fertilizing the egg. However, he also recommends the missionary position to give the Y sperm a bit of an edge.

The Whelan Method

As outlined in Boy or Girl, Dr. Whelan says the timing of intercourse is crucial to determining the sex of the baby. She suggests having sex earlier in your monthly cycle will help produce a male. Research suggests the Whelan method will help couples conceive sons 68 percent of the time.

Chinese Conception Chart

Also known as the Chinese Gender Chart or Chinese Birth Chart, many people use this chart to help conceive a boy. According to tradition, you take the mother's age and the month of conception to predict the gender of the baby. The Chinese Conception Chart is supposedly more than 90 percent accurate when used properly. However, it's important to remember you must use the mother's lunar age and the baby's lunar month of conception to make your prediction.

Evening Primrose Oil

Evening primrose oil supposedly helps women conceive sons by increasing the production of higher quality cervical mucus. Despite anecdotal evidence, some studies suggest it does not increase cervical mucus, and may actually cause birthing complications and other unpleasant side effects.

Guaifenesin Tablets

Taking these tablets during the five days before ovulation may help thin cervical mucus which may improve the odds of conceiving a boy. Although this is mostly anecdotal, some research has actually pointed to Guaifenesin as a fertility booster for both men and women, although experts aren't sure why it works. In case studies of men, Guaifenesin improved sperm count and motility, and in women, it improved their cervical mucus.


Eating Cereal

A study by Fiona Mathews suggests women who had high sodium, high calcium, and high potassium intake before they conceived were more likely to give birth to boys. This research also suggested a higher caloric intake before conception led to women birthing more boys. To increase your odds of conceiving a boy, try to consume more bananas, milk, fortified cereal, cheese, beans, lentils, yogurt, almonds, and watermelon. These foods are high in potassium and calcium.

Get Dad Involved

Since the father-to-be is the one who produces the gender-determining sperm, it makes sense he might influence the outcome. Sperm thrive in cooler environments and, Shettles believes, staying away from heat may make sperm bearing the Y chromosome more active. Men can switch from briefs to boxers and take a cool bath before intercourse to help cool things down.

Urban Legends

While most experts say folk wisdom can't help you select the gender of your baby, many happy parents who believe these strategies work. Either way, there's no harm in trying.

  • Let your partner initiate sex and focus on his pleasure. Legend says if the man climaxes first, you'll conceive a baby boy.
  • Schedule your lovemaking sessions for odd numbered days of the month.
  • Have sex at night, preferably when there's a quarter moon in the sky.
  • Have as much sex as possible. Many people believe more boys are conceived during the "honeymoon" phase of a relationship.

Medical Intervention

You can also use a few high-tech methods to select your baby's gender. Although these methods are more reliable than the other options, they are also more costly.

Sperm Sorting

With sperm sorting, doctors use a tool to separate Y-chromosome carrying sperm from those carrying the X-chromosome. The egg is then fertilized with the desired sperm through IVF. MicroSort boasts results of up to 76 percent success rate. Couples must meet eligibility requirements to utilize this service.

Pre-Implantation Genetic Diagnosis

For couples who want to invest the money for in-vitro fertilization and genetic testing, there is a method for conceiving a boy that is nearly 100 percent effective. Pre-implantation genetic diagnosis involves creating an embryo in the lab and determining the traits that will be present in the baby. Parents can then select a male embryo. This method is often used by couples who are at risk of passing on genetic conditions. However, many note there are some ethical dilemmas to this method. Costs range significantly, charge over $20,000 per attempt.

How to Have a Son

It can be fun to try these methods to conceive your little boy. No matter which option you go for, remember to always check with your doctor before trying any medications and supplements, or making a diet change.

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How to Conceive a Boy: 11 Ways to Improve Your Odds