When does pregnancy begin? It’s a question that should be easily answered and not have any controversy attached to it. In reality though, it does.
And believe it or not, the answer to the question of when pregnancy begins is a big debate even amongst obstetricians and other pregnancy care professionals according to a new survey published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
Dr. Farr A. Curlin and his team at the University of Chicago set out to determine OB/GYNs perspectives on when pregnancy begins. Researchers based in the windy city also wanted to learn the basis for their particular belief.
Researchers sent questionnaires to over 1800 obstetricians across the U.S. posing the question of when pregnancy begins. Doctors could choose one of three options, which included:
- At conception, or the union of the sperm and the egg (a.k.a. as fertilization) – 57% of respondents
- When the embryo is implanted in the uterus – 28% of respondents
- Not sure – 16% of respondents
Of the 1800 surveys sent, Dr. Curlin and his team had a response rate of 66%, or 1156 responses.
According to their final report – “Primary predictors were religious affiliation, importance of religion, and having a moral objection to abortion.”
In the results, more doctors who either considered themselves religious or were against abortion answered they believe pregnancy begins at conception.
Stated in the study’s abstract – “Obstetrician-gynecologists’ beliefs about when pregnancy begins appear to be shaped significantly by whether they object to abortion and by the importance of religion in their lives.”