Chinese Table: what it is, how it works, how to calculate and more

Some prefer to wait and others choose to know. After all, 9 months of gestation can be a very long time for curious parents to find out the sex of the baby.

For those who are going through this moment, an option to alleviate curiosity is the Chinese table. Although without scientific proof, the chances of her getting the biological sex of the baby to come are correct.

In addition, other tests can be performed to prove it later. Check out how it works!

What is the Chinese table?

The Chinese table, also known as the Chinese pregnancy table, is a method that has the purpose of finding out the sex of the baby during a pregnancy. For this, it considers the mother’s lunar age and the month of conception. The chances of success are 50%, however, it should not be understood as a science.

It is based on the Chinese lunar calendar and lends techniques from traditional Chinese medicine to this alternative way of knowing the biological sex of who is about to be born.

Many people believe that in this way it is possible to know the sex of their children. In some past beliefs, the Chinese table was used to try to predict the sex of the baby.

Scientifically, there is no evidence of its effectiveness, being considered by many people as a popular belief. It is considered a sympathy and not an exam.

There are also some considerations that interfere with the result, such as mothers who were born before completing 9 months of gestation or a pregnancy of twins or more babies.

Know the origin, how it works and the difference in this way for other traditional exams.

Origin of the Chinese table

There are some legends regarding its origin. One of the main ones says that its use started with the Chinese emperors.

These men are believed to use this technique as a way of predicting whether their heirs would be men, thus ensuring the continuity of the royal lineage.

There are also other versions. One of them relates the appearance of the table to the Qing Dynasty. This period is considered the last imperial dynasty in China.

There were 268 years of dynasty, from 1644 to 1912. The Chinese table, within this context, comes up with the theory that it would, in fact, be a graph created within this period and that it would have disappeared in 1900, when they lost, in the same year, the war against the Alliance of Eight Nations.

One theory that exists is that this original table was sent to England and that they kept it hidden, as they believed it to be a treasure, and that would be the reason for the disappearance.

Some time passed after that episode and, in 1972, in a way that was also unknown, the table appeared again in Austria.

Interestingly, it fell into the hands of a Chinese historian. He then decided to publish this content in a Taiwanese newspaper. Since then, the chart appears annually in the Chinese Farmers’ Almanac. It also gained space in the delivery rooms of China’s hospitals.

Another variation claims that the chart would have been found near the tomb of the Qing Dynasty royal family in Beijing. However, in this version, the age of the table is different. In this case, it would have arisen 700 years before the dynasty.

The third version has literally different elements. In this story, it is believed that the Chinese table would have emerged according to the theory of Yin Yang and Pa Kua (Ba Gua).

Yin Yang is a concept of duality and applies to everything that exists in the universe, as a philosophy of balance, with opposite and complementary forces. Yin would be the feminine, the night, the moon and the fire. Yang, the concept of masculine, sun and water. That’s the idea, basically.

Pa Kua, like Yin Yang, also appeared in China. These two concepts talk to each other, as Pa Kua are combinations of Yin Yang energies. As arrangements, they can be arranged in different ways and have different meanings.

They are represented by trigrams, drawings that coincide with the possibilities of combining Yin Yang, in three lines.

The greatest legend around Pa Kua says that Emperor Fu Hsi saw these trigrams in the shell of a turtle and, in this instant, he realized the secrets of the world and the meaning of everything. Inspiring!

Thus, the Chinese table may have emerged from these theories and union of concepts. In the story with Yang Yang and Pa Kua, it is believed that the table was found in the Forbidden City in the Qing Dynasty, in an underground room. They also have that it was created based on the elements metal, water, wood, fire and earth.

These stories are versions of what may have happened for the appearance of the table, but the fact is that they all coincide in practice.

The Chinese table basically requires information such as the lunar age of the pregnant woman and the month in which the child was conceived.

What is the Chinese calendar?

The Chinese calendar is the oldest record of a chronological calendar. It is lunisolar, that is, it is based on the phases of the moon and the sun.

It began to be used during the early years of Emperor Huang Di, also called Yellow Emperor.

In addition to counting the time in years, the Chinese calendar also considers cycles. These cycles are completed every 12 years and each bears the name of a different animal.

They are the same ones that give rise to the 12 Chinese signs. They are: ox, sheep, horse, rabbit, dragon, cock, monkey, pig, rat, snake, tiger and dog.

How does the genetic determination of the baby’s gender take place?

Before discovering the sex of the baby, it is interesting to know how this genetic determination happens.

If your child will be a girl or a boy, due to biological sex, this is a “decision” that happens at the moment of fertilization, that is, the encounter of the sperm with the egg.

Our bodies produce sexual gametes through a process called meiosis , or meiotic divisions. It means that cell division occurs and the number of chromosomes is reduced by half.

The female gamete (egg) and the male gamete (sperm), therefore, have 23 chromosomes each. Their union must form 46 chromosomes. This is the number of chromosomes for a healthy human being.

It is important to understand this process to understand how the baby’s sex is determined because it is the sperm, the male gamete, that determines whether it will be a boy or a girl.

The egg will always originate from a cell with the sex chromosome X, while the man produces the sperm with the sex chromosome X or Y.

Thus, the genetic determination of sex takes place according to the combination of the child’s and mother’s gametes, the mother can only donate X and the father can donate both X and Y.

Therefore, the sex of the baby depends on the father’s sperm, which joins with the egg and creates the combinations XX for baby girls and XY for baby boys.

How does the Chinese table work?

To find out the sex of the baby using the Chinese table, it is necessary to follow some steps. Are they:

Lunar age

The lunar age, for those who want to use the Chinese table, is the first step to follow. To know which one is yours, it is very simple.

The pregnant woman only needs to know the age she was when she got pregnant and add 1 more year. However, there are exceptions for women who were born in the months of January and February.

A woman who was born on 10/05/89, in 2017, turns 28 years old. When in gestation, their lunar age will be 29 years old.

For pregnant women who were born in the months of January and February, no more than 1 year. The lunar age will be the same age at which you became pregnant.

It is necessary to use the lunar age, as in China, there is a belief that children are already born at 1 year of age and, during the Chinese New Year, complete 2 years. However, the Chinese New Year has no fixed date.

Thus, adding an extra year to find the lunar age, means matching the age of the mother and child with Chinese culture.

It is also necessary to consider mothers who were born premature, that is, before the expected 9 months in a pregnancy. In such cases, the lunar age must be calculated according to the date that it would have been its birth.

For example, if the pregnant woman was born 8 months, between the months of January and February, one more year must be added, as she should have been born in March.

Conception month

The second step in using the Chinese table is to know the exact month in which the baby was conceived. To discover this, it is possible to perform an ultrasound or even calculate by the last menstruation.

Choosing to identify the date by menstruation, it is not possible to know the exact day in all cases, but as the Chinese table considers only the month, it can be a useful way of guiding yourself.

Without this information, in a precise way, the table will show a different result than what could be the real one.

Table application

After having the month of conception and the lunar age, the pregnant woman proceeds to apply this information in the table.

The Chinese table is divided into two parts: in one direction, it shows the months and, in the other, the lunar age. It can show variations, sometimes showing age in vertical lines, sometimes in horizontal ones. The same thing with the months.

The pink squares indicate that the pregnancy is for a girl and the blue squares for a boy.

Chinese table works?

The Chinese table is not an exact science and, therefore, the chances of making mistakes are great. Despite all its tradition, to find out the sex of the baby more reliably, it is best to resort to an ultrasound exam.

One of the gaps in the Chinese table is the lack of explanation, and even logic, for deciphering the relationship of the lunar age, the month of conception and the sex of the baby.

Another argument raised concerns a question of probability. The chances of all women of the same lunar age and identical conception month having a baby of the same sex are questioned.

In addition, there are issues related to the day of conception and its accuracy. Conception, in most cases, does not happen on the day of the sexual act.

Thus, a sexual intercourse that occurred on the last day of a month, can result in a conception only in the following month.

The Chinese table also points to no explanation for pregnant women with twins.

And, going back in time, according to the legend of the emperors who wanted to follow the royal lineage, the fact that they did not have only men as children is an indication of the alleged failure.

In short, what we know is that the Chinese table is a tradition and does not hold on to scientific data. For parents who yearn to know the sex of the child they expect, it may be an option, but more as a belief than irrefutable information.

What does science say?

A study carried out in Sweden, in 2010, proposed to identify the scientific values ​​of the Chinese table and their probabilities of success.

The researchers collected data, from 1973 to 2006, on the birth of 3.4 million babies, considering the Chinese table.

This study is considered the most important in relation to this culture, due to the numbers obtained and time dedicated to field research.

From that number, the researchers were able to extract reliable information from 2.8 million mothers, who were able to tell the exact month of conception and lunar age.

The result obtained was that the Chinese table was able to correctly reveal the sex of the babies in approximately 50% of the cases.

This result appears in all age scales and month of conception. This is considered a bad result and is compared to a game of chance, such as heads and tails.

There are other scientific researches that seek to understand the Chinese table and its relationship with pregnancy, going beyond the sex of the baby. However, there is still no evidence that it actually works. You can get it right, but you can also get it wrong. A game of luck.

Popularity on the internet

The internet is a very fertile place for testing and for anyone who is curious about any topic. With pregnant women, it is no different.

Finding out the sex of the baby is a normal curiosity for parents and many rely on it for what will come after birth.

Because it has a 50% chance of success, its fame on the internet grows. However, it is healthy to resort to safer tests, if the intention is to be absolutely sure about the gender of the incoming baby.

Creating expectations about the result obtained through the Chinese table can be negative for parents.

Alternatives beyond the Chinese table

Some clinical examinations are more accurate about the baby’s sex. For those who want to go beyond what the Chinese table allows, some options are:

Blood test

Also known as fetal sexing , this blood test allows a result of up to 99% certainty. Pregnant women can perform this test right after the first 8 weeks of pregnancy, which is considered a very recent time.

This examination finds the presence of the Y chromosome (male) in the blood of the pregnant woman. When this chromosome is present, it means that the mother may be expecting a male baby. His absence indicates a girl’s pregnancy.

In the case of a twin pregnancy, the lack of the Y chromosome indicates that the two babies are girls. However, the presence of this chromosome reveals only that there is a boy’s pregnancy, it does not confirm the sex of the two.

The result takes 5 to 10 days to be ready and it is not necessary for the mother to be fasting. It is only necessary that the pregnant woman has not had a blood transfusion or organ transplant.

Urine analysis

This test can be purchased at pharmacies and is the simplest way to obtain the sex of the baby, as it can be done at home.

The chance of success is approximately 82%. To do this test it is necessary to collect a jet of the first urine of the day.

It works similarly to the pharmacy pregnancy test. The hormones present in the mother’s urine interact with the chemical crystals present in the test formula. This interaction causes a color change.

This color will reveal the result: boy or girl. To know the meaning of the color in the test, it is necessary to see what is stated on the packaging, as it may vary from test to test.

To perform it, it is necessary that the pregnancy is at least in the tenth week. The result appears in a few minutes.

It is not indicated for twin pregnancies, for those who have undergone infertility treatment – due to progesterone drugs – and for when the pregnancy is already in the 32nd week.

In addition, the result can be affected when the pregnant woman has had sex in the last 48 hours and when it is a pregnancy by artificial insemination.

Ultrasound

It is one of the most common and accurate tests to obtain the baby’s sex. In addition, it has the advantage of not being an invasive test.

However, your result is more assertive when you are in a more advanced pregnancy, starting from the 16th week.

The baby’s genitalia begins to develop around the 12th and 13th week. If the medical devices are good, it is possible to find out the sex of the baby at this point. When they are not, it is best to wait a little longer.

The great advantage of ultrasound compared to other tests is that it reveals the sex of the baby in multiple pregnancies.

Genetic testing

It is a rarer test because it is only indicated when genetic diseases are suspected, and it is not recommended as a test only to find out if it is a pregnancy of a girl or a boy.

Performed through biopsies, this test can be done by a sample of the placenta (vilocorial), by the collection of the amniotic fluid (amniocentesis) or fetal blood collection by the umbilical cord (cordocentesis).

It presents risks to the mother and the baby, such as bleeding and abortion by vilochoral biopsy, in addition to possible infections caused by the rupture of the bag in the amniocentesis biopsy.


For pregnant women and all curious parents, the Chinese table can be a way of trying to adjust the sex of the baby. The chances of error are great and there is no scientific basis to prove its effectiveness. However, it is worth knowing its origin and meaning.

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