"Precious" pregnancies treated differently


Pregnancy advise is not the same for every woman. An international study shows that parents who conceive through assisted reproductive technologies (ART) may be given different advice than those who conceive naturally despite the fact that they are exposed to the same pregnancy risks.

”Precious babies”

Often, babies conceived ART are referred to as “precious babies” in reference to the challenges faced in conceiving that child. “Some pregnancies are deemed by parents to be more valuable than others, particularly if conception has taken several courses of assisted reproductive treatment to achieve. But you might expect clinical recommendations regarding pregnancies to remain consistent, particularly when it comes to tests for serious medical conditions,” explained Dr. Yaniv Hanoch, associate professor of psychology at Plymouth University in the UK. The study shows this isn’t true.

Increase in use of ART

Use of ART has doubled in the past decade according to the CDC. Over 1% of all babies are born using technology. Still, it’s not infallible. Only about one-third of women under 35 achieve live birth and the percentage of live birth drops as ages increase.

Fewer invasive tests for the ART babies

For this study, they used a hypothetical case of a 37 year old pregnant woman. They asked physicians if they would recommend amniocentesis to test for Down syndrome. The recommendation changed when the physicians believed the baby was conceived through ART. Even though most agreed the risks of amniocentesis are negligible, only 19.2% of clinicians recommended the test, compared with 43.5% when the pregnancy was natural. “When considering a procedure that may endanger a pregnancy, the value ascribed to loss of that pregnancy may seem greater if the pregnancy was achieved by tremendous effort, thereby swaying the decision toward avoiding the procedure so as not to incur even the smallest risk of endangering the pregnancy,” stated researchers.

“This study demonstrates there may be a tendency for clinicians to be affected by the nature of the pregnancy before determining the parents’ wishes.”

Source: MedicalNewsToday, Human Reproduction


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