time when children develop inside the mother's body before birth
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- “Human beings are created in the image of God”. Part of the gift that God has given us as humans is procreation, the ability to participate in creation along with the Author of life. This sacred gift should always be valued and treasured. In God’s original plan every pregnancy should be the result of the expression of love between a man and a woman committed to each other in marriage. A pregnancy should be wanted, and each baby should be loved, valued, and nurtured even before birth. Unfortunately, since the entrance of sin, Satan has made intentional efforts to mar the image of God by defacing all of God’s gifts—including the gift of procreation. Consequently, individuals are at times faced with difficult dilemmas and decisions regarding a pregnancy.
- Adventist.org, "Statement on the Biblical View of Unborn Life and its Implications for Abortion" (PDF). 18 Oct 2019. p.1
- Unwanted pregnancies are not random events. The lives of women who have unwanted pregnancies or abortions differ in a variety of ways from the lives of women who do not have unwanted pregnancies or abortions, and do so before, during, and after pregnancy occurs. These differences may have implications for later functioning apart from any influence from the experience of unwanted pregnancy and/or abortion. The necessity of considering preexisting or co-occurring group differences is widely recognized by researchers who study the consequences of nonmarital and adolescent births (e.g., Moore, 1995). As described below, substantial research literature has shown that systemic and personal characteristics that predispose women to have unintended pregnancies also predispose them to have psychological and behavioral problems. Consequently, correlations between abortion status and mental health problems observed after an abortion may be spurious due to their joint association with similar risk factors present prior to the pregnancy.
- "Report of the APA Task Force on Mental Health and Abortion" (PDF). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. 13 August 2008. Archived (PDF) from the original on 15 June 2010. p.13
- Studies done in the past 10 years have shown that hormone levels associated with relaxation and stress are significantly altered when massage therapy is introduced to women’s prenatal care. This leads to mood regulation and improved cardiovascular health.
In women who received bi-weekly massages for only five weeks, hormones such as norepinephrine and cortisol (hormones associated with stress) were reduced, and dopamine and serotonin levels were increased (low levels of these hormones are associated with depression).
- American Pregnancy Association, “Prenatal Massage Therapy“
- Pregnancy is a great time for you to quit smoking. You will feel better and have more energy to go through your pregnancy. You will also reduce your risks of future health problems such as heart disease, cancer, and other lung problems. Studies show that 12-20 percent of pregnant women smoke, putting themselves and their babies at risk. And over 1,000 babies in the U.S. die each year because their mothers smoked while pregnant.
- American Pregnancy Association, “Smoking During Pregnancy”, (April 27, 2019)
- Smoking during pregnancy can cause low-birth weight, preterm delivery, and infant death. Smoking during pregnancy is estimated to account for 20 to 30 percent of low-birth-weight babies, up to 14 percent of preterm deliveries, and about 10 percent of all infant deaths according to the American Lung Association.
- American Pregnancy Association, “Smoking During Pregnancy”, (April 27, 2019)
- [P]regnant women also must take care of their bodies, not avoiding exercise nor adopting a low diet; this it is easy for the lawgiver to secure by ordering them to make a journey daily for the due worship of the deities whose office is the control of childbirth. As regards the mind, however, on the contrary it suits them to pass the time more indolently than as regards their bodies; for children before birth are evidently affected by the mother just as growing plants are by the earth.
- Even though the planning status of a pregnancy does not tell us the full reason why women choose abortion, understanding the prevalence of unplanned pregnancy and its proximate cause—nonuse of contraceptives or contraceptive failure—is essential for understanding the context within which women seek abortion.
Evidence abounds that a high proportion of women become pregnant unintentionally, in both developed and developing countries. In the United States and in some Eastern European countries for which data are available, about one-half to three-fifths of all pregnancies are unintended, and a large proportion of these are resolved through abortion.2 And in many developing countries, the proportion of recent births that are unintended exceeds 40%; even in regions where most couples still want large families, 10-20% of births are unplanned.
- Bankole; et al. (1998). "Reasons Why Women Have Induced Abortions: Evidence from 27 Countries". International Family Planning Perspectives. 24 (3): 117–27, 152. doi:10.2307/3038208. JSTOR 3038208. Archived from the original on 17 January 2006.
- Eric Johnston, an attorney who helped draft the Alabama bill, thinks a man and a woman can have sex and go straight to a clinic to determine if she’s pregnant. First off, you’ve gotta give her six minutes to clench her way to a toilet; otherwise she’s gonna get a UTI and ruin an exam table. Secondly, that isn’t how it works. . . It's still hard to know if you're pregnant at six weeks. You might have no symptoms, or if you do, they’re symptoms like fatigue or bloating and gas. On the other hand, it does explain P.F. Chang’s new motto: ‘Maybe it’s not us; maybe you’re pregnant!’
- Samantha Bee, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, (5/15/2019); as qtd. in Laura Bradley, "Samantha Bee Teaches “F--king Idiots” Behind Abortion Laws Some Sex Ed", Vanity Fair, (May 16, 2019).
- The bearing of a child takes nine months, no matter how many women are assigned.
- Several recent studies claimed that sexual desire in women decreases in the first trimester of pregnancy, remains the same in the second, and further decreases in the third. These results are attributed to the fact that most studies obtained their data at an isolated stage, i.e., they surveyed a population of pregnant women at just a specific moment of the process, thus obtaining data on women’s sexual desire regarding only one trimester. In this study, the same sample was assessed at four different periods, corresponding to the start of pregnancy and each of the trimesters. This way, it was possible to identify a clear evolution throughout pregnancy.
- Francisco Javier Fernández-Carrasco, Luciano Rodríguez-Díaz, Urbano González-Mey, Juana María Vázquez-Lara, Juan Gómez-Salgado, and Tesifón Parrón-Carreño; “Changes in Sexual Desire in Women and Their Partners during Pregnancy”, J Clin Med. 2020 Feb; 9(2): 526.
- The outcomes found in the present study show that dyadic sexual desire decreases in men as pregnancy advances. This may be due to the fact that some may see their partner as less attractive due to the changes that occur in women’s bodies, such as the increase in the size of the abdomen, the fact that the genitals swell at the end of pregnancy, the vagina turns a bluish color due to hyperemia, the breast’s areolas turn dark, a black line appears going from the navel to the pubis, etc.. Men can also see the fetus as an intruder in the relationship or as a third person, making them feel uncomfortable regarding sexual encounters. In addition, due to the changing roles in the couple, the woman may be regarded as a mother instead as the object of sexual desire she was before. Of course, men may also fear of harming the fetus as a result of sexual encounter.
- Francisco Javier Fernández-Carrasco, Luciano Rodríguez-Díaz, Urbano González-Mey, Juana María Vázquez-Lara, Juan Gómez-Salgado, and Tesifón Parrón-Carreño; “Changes in Sexual Desire in Women and Their Partners during Pregnancy”, J Clin Med. 2020 Feb; 9(2): 526.
- Techniques that entail the dissociation of husband and wife, by the intrusion of a person other than the couple (donation of sperm or ovum, surrogate uterus), are gravely immoral. These techniques (heterologous artificial insemination and fertilization) infringe the child's right to be born of a father and mother known to him and bound to each other by marriage. They betray the spouses' "right to become a father and a mother only through each other."
- Techniques involving only the married couple (homologous artificial insemination and fertilization) are perhaps less reprehensible, yet remain morally unacceptable. They dissociate the sexual act from the procreative act. The act which brings the child into existence is no longer an act by which two persons give themselves to one another, but one that "entrusts the life and identity of the embryo into the power of doctors and biologists and establishes the domination of technology over the origin and destiny of the human person. Such a relationship of domination is in itself contrary to the dignity and equality that must be common to parents and children."167 "Under the moral aspect procreation is deprived of its proper perfection when it is not willed as the fruit of the conjugal act, that is to say, of the specific act of the spouses' union . . . . Only respect for the link between the meanings of the conjugal act and respect for the unity of the human being make possible procreation in conformity with the dignity of the person."168
- Birth rates for teenagers differ sharply among race and Hispanic ethnicity population subgroups. In 2003 the overall rate was highest for Mexican teeangers, 93.2 per 1,000 aged 15-19 years, and lowest for API teenagers, 17.4. In-between were 64.7 for non-Hispanic black teenagers, 60.8 for Puerto Ricans, 53.1 for American Indians, and 27.4 for non-Hispanic white teenagers.
Whereas rates have fallen for adolescents in all groups over the 1991-2003 period, the most striking declines are for non-Hispanic black teenagers. Overall, their rate fell 45 percent during this period, but the rate for non-Hispanic black teenagers aged 15-17 years has fallen more than one-half, from 86.1 per 1,000 in 1991 to 38.7 in 2003 (figure 3, table A)State-specific teenage birth rates are discussed later in this report.
‘’’Teenage pregnancy rates have fallen substantially since 1990’’’, generally mirroring the declines in the teenage birth rates. Pregnancy rates are computed from the sums of live births, induced abortions, and fetal losses. Currently, teenage ‘’pregnancy’’ rates are available through 2000, the most recent year for which detailed national abortion estimates are available. The teenage pregnancy rate in 2000 was 84.5 per 1,000 females aged 15-19 years, the lowest rate reported since 1976, when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, NCHS series of national estimates first became available (19,20). The rate has dropped 27 percent since its 1990 peak (116.3). The decline in the pregnancy rate during 1990-2000 is reflected in declines in live births and induced abortions, with larger declines reported for abortions.
- CDC, "Births: Final Data for 2003", National Vital Statistics Reports, (September 8, 2005), Volume 54, Number 2, p.5
- We are moved particularly by the anguish of women who face unwanted pregnancies alone. The panic and isolation of such pregnancies, even in the best of circumstances, can be traumatic. Poverty, lack of supportive relationships, immaturity, oppressive social realities, sexism, and racism can intensify her sense of powerlessness. The prospect of having and caring for a child can seem overwhelming.
- Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, “A Social Statement on Abortion”, Department for Studies of the Commission for Church in Society, September 1991, p.4
- We are called to be a compassionate community, praying and standing with those who struggle with decisions regarding unintended pregnancies. We encourage women and men to seek support and counsel from family members, pastors, professionals, and confidants whom they trust and respect. Church members must not only be aware of the moral complexity of the situation, but be able and willing to listen and walk with women and men through the process of decision-making, healing, and renewal, a process that may include feelings such as grief, guilt, relief, denial, regret, or anger.
Pastors and other members of this church should be trained to provide counsel that is competent and respectful of the integrity of the woman, the man, and others who may be involved in these decisions. The professional expertise of the church’s social ministry organizations should also be utilized. It is important that those who counsel persons faced with unintended pregnancies respect how deeply the woman’s pregnancy involves her whole person—body, mind and spirit—in relation to all the commitments that comprise her stewardship of life. Counsellors should seek to call forth her power to act responsibly after prayerful reflection upon all factors involved.
- Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, “A Social Statement on Abortion”, Department for Studies of the Commission for Church in Society, September 1991, pp.5-6
- Because of the Christian presumption to preserve and protect life, this church, in most circumstances, encourages women with unintended pregnancies to continue the pregnancy. Faith and trust in God’s promises has the power to sustain people in the face of seemingly insurmountable obstacles. In each set of circumstances, there must also be a realistic assessment of what will be necessary to bear, nurture, and provide for children over the long-term, and what resources are available or need to be provided for this purpose. The needs of children are a constant. The parenting arrangements through which these needs are met may vary. If it is not possible for both parents to raise the child, this might be done by one parent, by the extended family, or by foster or adoptive parents.
This church encourages and seeks to support adoption as a positive option to abortion. Because adoption is an increasingly more open process today, it generally is easier for birth parents to have a role in selecting the adoptive parents and in maintaining some contact with the child. These possibilities can be helpful in the grieving process that is likely to occur when birth parent(s) choose to place the child for adoption after having bonded with the child during pregnancy. Care needs to be taken in selecting adoption processes that do not exploit but safeguard the welfare of all parties involved. At the same time, we recognize that there are unintended pregnancies for which adoption is not an acceptable option.
- Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, “A Social Statement on Abortion”, Department for Studies of the Commission for Church in Society, September 1991, p.6
- “There's an entire generation of women who saw a sonogram as their first baby picture," Charmaine Yoest, the president of Americans United for Life, told the AP. This seems like a thin argument—real-time ultrasound machines have been available since at least the mid-1970s, and it seems doubtful that women’s views would be radically reshaped by the sonograms that theoretically bedecked the mantelpieces of their childhood homes.
- Emma Green, Are Fewer American Women Getting Abortions?”, The Atlantic, (June 17, 2015).
- There was a time when doctors recommended alcohol to pregnant women for relaxation and pain relief, or even prescribed it intravenously as a tocolytic — meaning it stopped premature labor. One doctor who trained me spoke of a 1960s prenatal ward full of intoxicated women “swearing like sailors.”
Things began to change in 1973, when fetal alcohol syndrome, or F.A.S., was formally recognized after a seminal article was published in The Lancet, a medical journal. F.A.S. is a constellation of findings that includes changes in growth, distinctive facial features and a negative impact on the developing brain. We now know that alcohol is a teratogen, meaning it can cause birth defects.
With that knowledge, the pendulum swung hard. In 1988, Congress passed the Alcoholic Beverage Labeling Act, which would add the well-known “women should not drink alcoholic beverages during pregnancy because of the risk of birth defects” label to alcoholic beverages for sale or distribution in the United States. (A warning about drinking and driving was also added.) Many people unfortunately took this as an opportunity to police pregnant women in public.
- Jen Gunter, “Drinking While Pregnant: An Inconvenient Truth”, New York Times, (Feb. 5, 2019)
- Pregnancy seemed like a tremendous abdication of control. Something growing inside you which would eventually usurp your life.
- The involvement of immune mechanisms in the aetiology of preeclampsia is often suggested. Normal pregnancy is thought to be associated with a state of tolerance to the foreign antigens of the fetus, whereas in preeclamptic women this immunological tolerance might be hampered. The present study shows that oral sex and swallowing sperm is correlated with a diminished occurrence of preeclampsia which fits in the existing idea that a paternal factor is involved in the occurrence of preeclampsia. Because pregnancy has many similarities with transplantation, we hypothesize that induction of allogeneic tolerance to the paternal HLA molecules of the fetus may be crucial. Recent data suggest that exposure, and especially oral exposure to soluble HLA (sHLA) or HLA derived peptides can lead to transplantation tolerance. Similarly, sHLA antigens, that are present in the seminal plasma, might cause tolerance in the mother to paternal antigens. In order to test whether this indeed may be the case, we investigated whether sHLA antigens are present in seminal plasma. Using a specific ELISA we detected sHLA class I molecules in seminal plasma. The level varied between individuals and was related to the level in plasma. Further studies showed that these sHLA class I molecules included classical HLA class I alleles, such as sHLA-A2, -B7, -B51, -B35 and sHLA-A9. Preliminary data show lower levels of sHLA in seminal plasma in the preeclampsia group, although not significantly different from the control group. An extension of the present study is necessary to verify this hypothesis.
- C A Koelman, A B Coumans, H W Nijman, I I Doxiadis, G A Dekker, F H Claas; “Correlation between oral sex and a low incidence of preeclampsia: a role for soluble HLA in seminal fluid?”, J Reprod Immunol. 2000 Mar;46(2):155-66.
- A Padmini procreates once in four years, Chitarini once in three, Hastini once in two and Sankhini every year.
- Labdhodaya in his Padmini Charitra Choupai. quoted from B.K. Karkra, Rani Padmini, The Heroine of Chittor. (2009) Rupa.
- The idea that “life” and pregnancy begin at the moment of conception is a rather recent belief, and before the mid-20th century women might not have considered themselves pregnant until sometime in the second trimester. According to Koblitz, the variation in pregnancy definitions allowed ample moral and ethical ‘wiggle’ room for women to take matters into their own hands, so to speak. Regardless of the legality of what was deemed abortion at the time, many women did have access to a number of resources to restore menses (i.e., to abort a fetus) or otherwise control their fertility (with pre-conception methods) available to them. Such resources included (now lost) herbal knowledge passed down from generations of women before them, to midwives with pessaries and uterine sounds, to (less effective) patent medications and douches. This book examines each of these methods and portrays women as active agents controlling their fertility rather than helpless victims of back alley abortionists or ignorant dupes to patent medicine hucksters.
The idea that there is variation in the definition of pregnancy between cultures and historical periods stands out as an extremely valuable fact considering that women’s abilities to control their fertility are consistently part of a larger national public debate, especially in the U.S.
- Tiffany Lamoreaux, “A Review of Koblitz’s “Sex and Herbs and Birth Control”, The Feminist Wire, (September 9, 2014)
- Few studies on job stress relative to pregnancy have been carried out, but both animal and epidemiological studies have shown effect of exposure to stressful conditions during pregnancy and adverse effects on the offspring.
- Larsen AD, “The effect of maternal exposure to psychosocial job strain on pregnancy outcomes and child development”, Dan Med J. 2015 Feb;62(2):B5015.
- Our findings from the US were consistent with previous research that has found a decline in sexual activity during pregnancy in other countries. Specifically, we found that women who were in late pregnancy (second or third trimester) had lower reports of sexual activity including having multiple vaginal or oral sex partners in the past 12 months. Additionally, we found that pregnant women had lower reports of condom use at least vaginal sex which was consistent with a study in Kenya that found low levels of condom use among pregnant women. Finally, we did not find any difference in reports of having a sex partner who is at STI/HIV risk among pregnant, postpartum and other women. A previous study in Uganda that interviewed sexually active women and their spouses found no difference in spouses reporting a non-marital partner for pregnant, lactating or other women. We also found no difference in reported penile-anal sex or condom use at last penile-anal sex among pregnant, postpartum and other women. It is worth noting that reports of penile-anal sex may occur less frequently in the general population (the current study) than in high risk populations. Finally, differences in behavior for pregnant and non-pregnant women were most commonly identified for non-Hispanic white women and women 25–44 years old.
- Jami S. Leichliter, and Sevgi O. Aral; “Pregnancy, Penile-anal Sex and Other Sexual Behaviors in the United States, 2011–2015”, Sex Transm Dis. 2019 Mar; 46(3): e29–e31.
- The female body needs to navigate a tricky dilemma. In order to protect itself, the body needs to defend against foreign invaders. But if it applies that logic to sperm or a fetus, then pregnancy can't occur. The shifts in immunity that women experience may be a response to this problem.
- Tierney Lorenz, "Sexual activity causes immune system changes that increase chances of conception", Science Daily, (October 5, 2015).
- Seven studies including 7125 pregnant women were included in this systematic review. Overall, the incidence of preeclampsia was similar in women with a higher overall sperm exposure compared to controls, 774/5512 (14 %) vs 220/1619 (13.6 %); OR 1.04, 95 % CI 0.88–1.22, respectively. The incidence of preeclampsia was significantly reduced in women with a higher overall sperm exposure when including only nulliparous women, 643/3946 (16.1 %) vs 170/725 (23.4 %); OR 0.63, 95 % CI 0.52 to 0.76. Significant lower rate of preeclampsia was also found for ≥12-month sexual cohabitation, 494/3627 (13.6 %) vs 123/691 (17.8 %); OR 0.73, 95 % CI 0.59−0.90. Significantly higher rate of preeclampsia was reported in women not using barrier methods, 315/1904 (16.5 %) vs 103/962 (10.7 %); OR 1.65, 95 % CI 1.30–2.10.
- Daniele Di Mascio, Gabriele Saccone, Federica Bellussi, Amerigo Vitagliano, Vincenzo Berghella “Type of paternal sperm exposure before pregnancy and the risk of preeclampsia: A systematic review”, European Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Reproductive Health, Volume 251, P246-253, (August 01, 2020)
- Malignant disease requiring radiation therapy during pregnancy presents an enormous challenge for the clinician. The optimal radiotherapeutic management of the patient and the optimal management of the pregnancy involve directly opposing demands. Ionizing radiation should be avoided during pregnancy whenever possible. Doses in excess of 0.1 Gy (10 rad) delivered during gestation have been associated with various detrimental effects, and therapeutic abortion has been recommended. If radiation is unavoidable, such as in the treatment of some gynecologic tumors, lymphomatous diseases, or other advanced solid tumors, it must be performed with extreme caution and maximal effort to reduce the dose to the fetus by special shielding techniques. Decisions regarding the use of radiation therapy during pregnancy, the delay of therapy, or pregnancy termination should be made by a multidisciplinary team and be guided by the prognosis of the disease, the stage of gestation, the risk to the fetus from the expected fetal radiation dose, and the patient's ethical and religious beliefs.
- Over many generations, a refined understanding of the needs of the body protected humanity. One might recall, for example, the solicitude with which the Egyptians treated the condition of pregnancy. It is rare nowadays for anyone to pay attention to the tastes or strange predilections of pregnant women. But in ancient times, at the earliest stage of pregnancy a temple physician would refer to astrological data and determine what mineral and vegetable influences would be necessary; and this made childbirth much easier. Nowadays, instead of applying wise measures beforehand, people rely on crude narcotics, for they are unwilling to understand that the bond between mother and child has yet to be severed. At times the heart of the mother is very stressed, and any narcotic also affects the milk. Nature is in need of natural reactions.
- Pregnancy is a natural result of sexual activity and integral to God’s design and command for humans to “be fruitful and increase in number” (Genesis 1:28). If God permits a pregnancy, planned or unplanned, we should understand that God is forming a new life in his image. Sex is a responsible act only in a relationship in which a couple is willing to care for any children that can come from that union. However, in stark contrast to the biblical vision, irresponsible and flippant treatment of sex abounds in our society. It is no wonder that unplanned pregnancy similarly abounds and places many parents and their children in environmentally, economically and emotionally precarious states.
We recognize the pain, fear and even anguish that sometimes accompany an unplanned pregnancy. The parents, particularly when they are young or unmarried, are often overwhelmed by the sacrifices that would be required to care for a young life. In too many cases, fathers desert their partners and unborn children as soon as pregnancy is discovered. Abandoned pregnant mothers may feel hopeless in the face of the daunting challenges of single parenting. Sadly, many fathers and mothers in these situations each year turn away from the joys and responsibilities of parenting or the alternative of adoption, and many then bear heavy burdens stemming from those decisions for years to come.
- National Association of Evangelicals, “Abortion 2010: Resolution Adopted by NAE Board of Directors”.
- Approximately half of all pregnancies are unplanned, and more than 40 percent of these three million unplanned pregnancies are aborted. This accounts for the vast majority of America’s abortions every year. Any serious attempt to reduce the number of abortions must therefore come to terms with unplanned pregnancy, the pandemic of extramarital sex and the complex issues surrounding contraception and other family planning methods. Where couples are not willing to accept the responsibilities of parenting, they should educate themselves about ethical methods of family planning. The Church is understandably reluctant to recommend contraception for unmarried sexual partners, given that it cannot condone extramarital sex. However, it is even more tragic when unmarried individuals compound one sin by conceiving and then destroying the precious gift of life. Witness the far-reaching consequences to King David’s sins of adultery and murder.
- National Association of Evangelicals, “Abortion 2010: Resolution Adopted by NAE Board of Directors”.
- By the 1940s scientists had figured out the importance of hormones in the female reproductive cycle. They established that once a woman becomes pregnant, her fertility is suspended. A woman cannot conceive again while pregnant, because her ovaries secrete the hormones estrogen and progesterone. The secretion of estrogen tells the pituitary gland to withhold the hormones necessary for ovulation. The secretion of progesterone also helps to inhibit ovulation by suppressing the lutenizing hormone known as LH.
- “It is extremely possible and very common for people to get to the six-week mark and not know they are pregnant,” said Dr. Jennifer Villavicencio, lead for equity transformation at the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
The cardiac activity detected on ultrasound is not a true heartbeat, Dr. Villavicencio added. It results from electrical activity, but the valves of the heart have not yet formed. And the sound does not indicate the pregnancy is viable, she said.
“Forcing them to find out about a pregnancy and make a decision about how to manage it in a short period of time is antithetical to ethical care,” Dr. Villavicencio said.
- Roni Caryn Rabin, ”Answers to Questions About the Texas Abortion Law”, New York Times, (September 1, 2021).
- The process of fertilization, also known as conception, occurs within 24 hours of ovulation at the distal end of the fallopian tube. The newly created zygote travels down the fallopian tube until it reaches the uterine cavity 3.5 days after conception. It forms the blastocyst stage at this point by 4.5 days and implants in the endometrium at 7–9 days after conception. There is no test at this time that can determine that fertilization has taken place or that a conceptus is present until ∼12 days after conception, by a serum quantitative β-hCG level. In order for successful implantation to occur, the endometrium has to evolve from the prereceptive phase to the receptive phase. According to Johnson
“the uterus can be thought of as a primarily hostile environment able to carefully control a potentially dangerous invasive trophoblastic tissue. Clearly, for the conceptus to survive, its early development and transport must be coordinated precisely with the changing receptivity of the uterus. This coordination is achieved by the mediation of the steroid hormones. Progestagenic domination is required if the uterus and implanting blastocyst are to engage effectively. (Johnson 2007, 198)
There are still many details of that nine-day period leading up to implantation that are not known, but from the research done so far, it is extremely complex and the proper levels of progesterone at critical times are necessary for it to be successful.
In assessing whether a drug has had a purely contraceptive effect, the only parameter that can ether sperm have made their way up to the fallopian tube or have fertilized the ovum at the end of the tube be observed is to determine whether ovulation has occurred by ultrasound. There is no way to determine whether sperm accurately assess when ovulation occurs normally in a particular woman’s cycle and whether the drug interferes with ovulation in a subsequent cycle are the most reliable determinants of a contraceptive effect. Studies that accurately assess when ovulation occurs normally in a particular woman's cycle and whether the drug interferes with ovulation in a subsequent cycle are the most reliable determinants of a contraceptive effect. Likewise, those investigators who claim there is no effect of LNG-EC on post-fertilization events, but fail to study the hormonal milieu throughout the luteal phase cannot make that claim accurately. In addition, the process that allows successful implantation of the human blastocyst is quite complex and is not entirely understood at the present time.
- Kathleen Mary Raviele, “Levonorgestrel in cases of rape: How does it work?”, Linacre Q. May, 2014; 81(2): 117–129.
- Female skeletons have three features that may indicate the number of full-term pregnancies: (1) dorsal pitting of the public plate, (2) scarring of the preauricular groove, and (3) scarring of the groove for the interosseous ligament. When parturition occurs, one or more of these features are produced. Hypothetically, one can study the dorsal pits on a female pubis and dertermine the number of births she had.
- John M. Riddle, “Eve's Herbs: A History of Contraception and Abortion in the West”, Harvard University Press, 1997, p.15
- Noonan, Himes, and Feen cite the numerous instances in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin sources in which the subjects of abortion and contraception are encountered, and they see no consensus in antiquity about when it was morally wrong to contracept potentially fertile intercourse or to abort once fertilization had occurred. The Stoics had a notion of potentiality at conception but believed that the soul was not present until birth. Aristotle’s position was more definite, but still it was not definitive. Marie-Therese Forntanille believes that the time interval that at least some of the ancient saw between conception and “animation” (“quickening,” it will be called later) was a zone for action without incurring moral or legal wrong.. There was an imprecise difference between when the fetus was formed according to Aristotle and when quickening occurred, but the difference was too subjective for precise legal or theological distinctions. Between conception and animation was a window for action by the female. For this reason contraception and early abortions were acceptable. Hebrew religious law allowed for a period of up to thirty days before a fetus was potentially viable. A woman was not to be regarded as pregnant until forty days after conception.
- John M. Riddle, “Eve's Herbs: A History of Contraception and Abortion in the West”, Harvard University Press, 1997, p.23
- As women know all too well, there can be many reasons for a delayed or irregular menstruation, a condition called amenorrhea. Among them are febrile and chronic diseases, malnutrition, overwork, stress, mental depression, and, all too important, mistaken perceptions and memory. Of course, another possible reason for the delay is pregnancy. There is no reliable way for a woman who missed a normal onset by a few days or so to know what the cause may have been. If she takes a drug to stimulate menstruation, she could not possibly know whether she had assisted a natural process of terminated a very early pregnancy. “Early pregnancy” here is defined by modern conventions, by which pregnancy begins at conception or implantation.
Indeed, during the Middle Ages, a woman would not have stated the situation as I just have. As we shall see in the next chapter, pregnancy was not thought to have occurred until the woman so declared it or her pregnancy was so visibly evident that it could not be denied.
- John M. Riddle, Contraception and Abortion from the Ancient World to the Renaissance, Harvard University Press, 1992, p.26
- Robert Winston, a pioneer of in-vitro fertilization, created a stir in 1999 when he told London's Sunday Times that "male pregnancy would certainly be possible." In rare cases, women have given birth to babies that developed outside the uterus--a phenomenon known as ectopic or extrauterine pregnancy. Winston argued that men should also be able to bear fetuses in their abdominal cavities. But male pregnancy would be complicated and, scientists say, potentially fatal.
A doctor would first administer a battery of hormones, including estrogen and progesterone, to prepare the male body to support a developing fetus. Side effects of the hormones could include the development of breasts, sterility, even cancer. A surgeon would then implant an embryo, created by in-vitro fertilization, in the wall of the man's peritoneum, the membrane that lines the abdominal cavity. If all went well, the fetus would grow inside the abdomen until delivery by cesarean section.
The delivery would probably be the most dangerous part of this hypothetical process, because there would be a high risk of hemorrhaging. During pregnancy, the placenta extends villi, hairlike projections containing blood vessels, into the surrounding tissues to establish a blood supply for the baby. Unlike the uterus, the abdomen is not designed to separate from the placenta during delivery. The placenta would become so bonded to the man's body that it might be impossible to surgically remove it without also removing parts of abdominal organs, such as the bowels. The likely end product: a gaping wound in the abdomen and heavy, uncontrolled bleeding, says Gillian Lockwood, medical director of Midland Fertility Services, a leading British fertility clinic.
The alternative--leaving the placenta in place--could be even more dangerous. The placenta would shrink after the birth, thus possibly rupturing the blood vessels attached to it. There would also be a high risk of infection caused by the dead placental tissue. "The question is not 'Can a man do it?' " says bioethicist Glenn McGee of Albany Medical College. "It's 'If a man does have a successful pregnancy, can he survive it?'"
- Meryl Rothstein, Holly Lindem in “Male Pregnancy: A Dangerous Proposition”, Popular Science, (August 1, 2005)
- Unwanted pregnancies occur because women are unable to regulate their fertility by contraception alone. The complexities of managing sexual behaviour and the fallibility of contraception mean that some unwanted pregnancies are inevitable.
- Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists: "The Care of Women Requesting Induced Abortion" (PDF). Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. p. 9. Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 July 2013. Retrieved 29 June 2008. p.3
- Intercourse during late pregnancy was associated with a reduced risk of preterm delivery. The conditional odds ratio (OR) was 0.34 and 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.23, 0.51 for preterm delivery within 2 weeks after intercourse. Similar decreased risk for preterm delivery was found with recent female orgasm. Adjusting for race, age, education, and living with a partner had little effect on results. Cases were more likely than controls to report poorer health, medical reasons for reducing sexual activity, less interest in sex, and receipt of advice to restrict sexual activity during pregnancy. Results did not differ substantially according to presence or absence of bacterial vaginosis at 28 weeks.
- A E Sayle, D A Savitz, J M Thorp Jr, I Hertz-Picciotto, A J Wilcox, “Sexual activity during late pregnancy and risk of preterm delivery”, Obstet Gynecol. 2001 Feb;97(2):283-9.
- Unintended pregnancy is the root cause of induced abortion, whether safe or unsafe. More than one third of the approximately 205 million pregnancies that occur world-wide annually are unintended, and about 22% of all pregnancies end in induced abortion. Two thirds of unintended pregnancies in developing countries occur among women who are not using any method of contraception. An estimated 123 million married women in developing countries have an unmet need for contraception, that is, they do not want to have another child or they want to have one later, yet they are not using any method of contraception, either modern or traditional. The use of contraceptives, especially of less effective traditional methods, does not entirely eliminate unplanned pregnancies. Each year an estimated 27 million unintended pregnancies occur as a result of method failure or ineffective use; of these, about 6 million occur even though the contraceptive method has been used correctly and consistently.
- Shah, I; Ahman, E (December 2009). "Unsafe abortion: global and regional incidence, trends, consequences, and challenges" (PDF). Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Canada. 31 (12): p.1157
- Not every pregnancy results in a personal relationship between a woman and fetus. Pregnancy is not always a happy occasion—it may be a destructive and threatening experi-ence. Far from being regarded as a person to be protected and loved, a conceptus may be experienced as a threat to personal well-being or a reminder of sexual abuse or of the dangers attending the processes of conception and gestation.
- Paul D. Simmons, “Personhood, the Bible, and the Abortion Debate”, p.6
- Despite the many contraceptive options available in the United States, nearly half (49%) of the 6.4 million pregnancies each year are unintended; these represent a significant cost to the health care system.
- James Trussell, “The cost of unintended pregnancy in the United States”, “Contraception”. 2007 Mar;75(3):168-70.
- Standing in the Hebrew-Christian tradition, we affirm God as the Source of life-our life, all life, life to the full. He has called us to share the work of creation with him giving us the privileges and responsibilities of fellowship in the family and in the wider units of society. Thus we affirm the freedom with which God endowed men and women, but we affirm and receive this as freedom bound to responsibility. At its best our Western legal tradition, too, has served the dual purpose of protecting human freedom and helping human beings to discharge their responsibilities to one another.
Our religious heritage has also stressed reverence for human life. Accordingly, the enhancement of human life and the protection of the rights of persons, particularly the weak and defenseless, has become an important element in our legal system. It has found expression in laws intended to protect those who cannot protect themselves, such as children, including the unborn. It is neither likely nor desirable that organized society would disavow its responsibility in this regard.
Inevitably, therefore, a judgment will be made or assumed as to when personal human life begins and at what point society has an interest in it and affirms an obligation toward it. Although a form of life exist in the sperm and the unfertilized ovum, new kind of life emerges at the moment of their union. Many regard conception (up to 72 hours after coitus), others implantation (7 days), as the beginning of an inviolable life. But while such life is human in origin and potentially human in character, the integration of bodily functions and the possibility of social interaction do not appear until later. Alternative candidates for the beginning of significantly human life are the final fixing of the genetic code (3 weeks), the first central nervous system activity (8 weeks), brain development and cardiac activity (12 weeks). Some time after the twelfth week “quickening” occurs; that is, the mother can feel the arm and leg movements of the fetus. “Viability” in the present stage of technology begins between the 20th and 28th weeks, and the fetus has a chance for survival outside the womb. At some point in the process from conception to birth there comes “a period when a life contains that which is essentially valued as significantly human and should be vested with a sanctity uncompromisable to the interest of lesser claims”
- Robert M. Veatch in Social Action, (March, 1971); United Church of Christ, “General Synod Statements and Resolutions Regarding Freedom of Choice”, pp. 1-2
- After high-profile scares like thalidomide in the 1960s, where pregnant women taking the drug had children with serious birth defects, drug researchers were hesitant to include women in drug trials because of the possibility that they might get pregnant, said Dr. Cara Tannenbaum, scientific director of the Institute of Gender and Health at the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. Also, women’s menstrual cycles were seen as a complicating factor in drug trials. Generally, researchers want to keep as many variables as they can the same, to get a clearer picture of what effect a drug is having. Fluctuating hormone levels can affect how drugs are absorbed by the liver, said Tannenbaum, so it was simpler to just test on men, who didn’t have this issue.
- Leslie Young, "Drugs aren’t tested on women like they are on men, and it could have deadly consequences", Global News, November 2, 2016.
- I strongly encourage those who are pregnant or considering pregnancy to talk with their health care provider about the protective benefits of the Covid-19 vaccine to keep their babies and themselves safe.
- Rochelle Walensky "CDC issues urgent alert: Pregnant women need the Covid-19 vaccines" (September 29, 2021)
- To conclude, chemotherapy administered during the first trimester is associated with significant teratogenic effects. The risks of birth defects when cytotoxic drugs are administered during second and third trimesters are similar to those of the general population. As for exposure to X-radiation, the accepted dose limits of radiation are about 5 cGy, and most radiographic imaging techniques employs doses well below these safe limits. Therapeutic radiation, which involves exposure to much higher doses, is only considered acceptable (when fetal well-being is to be preserved) for the treatment of areas at a correct distance from the fetus, and after consultation with an experienced radiation oncologist.
- Weisz, B; Schiff, E; Lishner, M (2001). "Cancer in pregnancy: maternal and fetal implications". Human Reproduction Update. 7 (4): 384–393. doi:10.1093/humupd/7.4.384. PMID 11476351. p.391
- While most pregnancies and births are uneventful, all pregnancies are at risk. Around 15% of all pregnant women will develop a potentially life-threatening complication that calls for skilled care, and some will require a major obstetrical intervention to survive. This manual is written for midwives and doctors at the district hospital who are responsible for the care of women with complications of pregnancy, childbirth or the immediate postpartum period, including immediate problems of the newborn.
- World Health Organization (2017). "Introduction". [https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/255760/9789241565493-eng.pdf?sequence=1 Managing Complications in Pregnancy and Childbirth: A Guide for Midwives and Doctors. Geneva: World Health Organization, p.xi ISBN 978-92-4-154587-7. OCLC 181845530. Retrieved 30 July 2019.
“Sex and Pregnancy: A Perinatal Educator's Guide” (Fall 2000)Edit
Viola Polomeno, “Sex and Pregnancy: A Perinatal Educator's Guide”, J Perinat Educ. 2000 Fall; 9(4): 15–27.
- The first phase (from conception to 12 weeks).
In the first phase, Ganem (1992) reported a 20% decrease in sexual intercourse due to a decrease in sexual desire on the part of the pregnant woman, who may be experiencing nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and sensitive breasts. She is described as now putting energy into her evolving role of mother. Though she experiences many emotional changes, she needs to know that she is still loved by her partner and by other family members. Some women may discover that their sexual desire improves at this time, especially if it was absent or at a lower level before the pregnancy. Some couples fear that sexual intercourse at this time could cause miscarriages. However, a couple could be told to abstain from sexual intercourse during the first three months, only if she has had complications with previous pregnancies or is experiencing cramping or bleeding.
- The second phase (12 to 32 weeks).
The second phase can be a special time for the couple as they refocus on themselves. Typically, the woman is adjusting to the physical and psychological changes of pregnancy, while the man is starting to deal with impending fatherhood. The pregnancy may enhance the couple's feeling of being a team. Their sexual love is often rekindled as the woman accepts her pregnant body and, thus, can feel sexual and have sexual desire. The baby's movements and making his/her presence felt might herald moments of shared joy and happiness. Ganem (1992) reported that couples felt a sense of security and intimacy in their love, with many of them wanting to isolate themselves at this time in order to concentrate on themselves. However, Ganem also reported that one-third of couples will experience the fifth-month crisis (Ganem, 1992): The woman may turn inward and her partner may feel that he is no longer important. At this time, some men react by seeking another woman and initiating an extramarital affair. On the other hand, since the pregnant woman's libido is often greatly increased and if her partner does not respond, she may be the one who seeks company elsewhere.
According to Ganem (1992), one-fifth of women will discover orgasm for the first time during their pregnancies. Many couples use the woman's heightened libido to experiment and expand their sexual repertoire: for example, they may change their positions for sexual intercourse (Wilkerson & Shrock, 2000), try different caresses, sexual games, and fantasies, and offer mutual pleasuring in the form of mutual masturbation. In Ganem's study, couples reported that the timing of lovemaking changed: Women appeared to desire their partner between 10:00 and 11:00 a.m. and between 4:00 and 6:00 p.m.. Dr. Ganem proposed that a connection exists between these two periods and the timing of potential hypoglycemia during the day for some pregnant women. The only sexual technique that has been questioned during a healthy pregnancy is the man blowing into the woman's vagina during cunnilingus. Some propose that this technique can cause an air embolism (Alteneder & Hartzell, 1997). Ganem reported that 40% of French pregnant women in his practice expressed a desire for anal intercourse.
- The third phase (32 to 36 weeks).
In the third phase, women may experience increased doubts and uncertainties, which can impact a woman's sexuality to the point that all sexual activity stops. She may have fears that her baby may be malformed or abnormal, or that she could deliver prematurely. If these fears are strong, gaining reassurance from prenatal care visits and knowing about the fetal heartbeat, the adequate size of the pelvis, and the baby's correct position may not be enough. Simultaneously, many changes are occurring in the pelvis: The baby is exerting more pressure, which may result in pinching sensations in different parts of the pelvis, pain deep in the vagina, or discomfort and pain from sciatica and the separation of the pubic symphysis. Pelvic pressure increases if the pregnant woman is carrying several fetuses. Any of these problems may decrease the frequency of intercourse.
- The fourth phase (36+ weeks).
In the last and fourth phase involving the ninth month of pregnancy, couples wonder when the birth will occur. According to Ganem (1992), this phase is also a sensitive time in the couple's relationship because a potential risk for separation exists, even for the most functional of couples and for those who deeply love each other. How the couple deals with this sensitive period will have an impact for labor and birth (Polomeno, 1998a, 1998b) and may set the pattern for postpartum adjustment and future pregnancies (Polomeno, 1999b).
During the time, the woman's sexual and erotic capacity still exists. However, the baby is heavy and pressing down on different parts of her pelvis, and the mother may feel tired or afraid of the impending birth. Pelvic congestion follows orgasm and its absorption is even slower than before (between 48 and 72 hours). It is important that couples know about this physical fact because a delay of 48 to 72 hours may be needed for repeated sexual intercourse. It is important to respect this delay, at least for vaginal orgasm. Clitoral orgasm can be substituted, but some women complain of pain radiating to the outer labia. A compress of lukewarm or cold water applied to the perineum may alleviate this pain. Some women may experience temporary abdominal discomfort, but this does not harm the baby—a fact about which women need to be reassured. Women who enjoy stimulation from the G-Spot may experience congestion without ejaculation or only partial ejaculation.
- Couples can continue to have intercourse throughout the ninth month, right up to the beginning of labor. Some couples use sexual intercourse to initiate labor because prostaglandins contained in the seminal fluid soften the cervix and are said to gently start contractions. Sheila Kitzinger (1983) describes a natural way of starting labor through lovemaking. She suggests that the pregnant woman lies on her back—her head and shoulders well supported by many pillows—while her partner kneels in front of her and between her legs. Kitzinger writes, “Lift one leg so that your foot is over his shoulder, then the other…. [This] allows the deepest penetration so that the tip of the penis can touch the cervix…. [W]hen he has ejaculated he should stay inside you for 5 minutes or so and you should stay in the same position, with legs raised, for 10 to 15 minutes, so that the cervix is bathed in semen” (Kitzinger, 1983, p. 207). This can be followed by manual or oral stimulation of the nipples to encourage contraction of the uterus. Kitzinger reports, “About 20 minutes of nipple caressing, interspersed with other kinds of loving touch, seems right for most women” (Kitzinger, 1983, p. 209).
- All sexual practices are possible, provided that the pregnancy is normal and the partners feel comfortable with them. A pregnant woman can masturbate just as her partner can, or they can engage in mutual masturbation (also called mutual pleasuring). Anal intercourse is controversial—but if the couple is used to it, gentleness and the use of a water-based, sterile lubricating gel are suggested. However, if the woman has hemorrhoids, the couple should abstain from anal intercourse. Fellatio and cunnilingus can continue; however, the man may find that the vaginal secretions have a different taste—being more metallic or salty. This taste usually disappears once the woman has an orgasm (Ganem, 1992). The pregnant woman can be more susceptible to infections; thus, some accessories that couples use for sexual play may not be appropriate during pregnancy because the items can cause pain or infections. If sexual accessories are used, couples need to be more careful and, through reasonable judgment, determine if or how they want to continue to use them. Examples of such accessories include vibrators and edible products used with oral sex. Use of these items inside the vagina may increase the risk of infection. Body paints may cause skin sensitivity during pregnancy. If a couple feels unsure about sexual accessories and their use, they could be encouraged to consult with a sexual therapist who specializes in sexual practices during pregnancy and to inquire about the safety of these items.
- Sex is normal and healthy during pregnancy (Sprecher & McKinney, 1993), and sexuality is unique to each couple (Polomeno, 2000b). Some couples and perinatal health care professionals hold a traditional viewpoint regarding sex and pregnancy, while others believe that pregnancy is the ideal time to be creative, imaginative, innovative, and adventuresome. Perinatal educators can help couples as they explore their sexuality during pregnancy (Polomeno, 2000a). Some believe that the intimacy dimension of the couple's relationship is the most affected dimension in the transition to parenthood (Polomeno, 1997; Selder, 1989). Thus, information that helps couples use mutual pleasuring to cement the passion in their relationship during the changes of pregnancy may make pregnancy an exciting time, rather than one of discord.
- Q: Some women say being pregnant made them feel powerful and some say they felt vulnerable. I’m guessing you mainly felt powerful.
- A: I felt powerful in this way of “I don’t give a fuck about what people think,” and I felt this life running through me when she was kicking me. But I did also feel really vulnerable. You become like a vampire when you’re pregnant: your senses are so sensitive and your emotions are so heightened – that helps with performance because you really feel things. Any stories about something happening to little girls killed me. Put it this way: I did not find Inside Out uplifting.
- Ali Wong in "Ali Wong: 'Being able to joke about my miscarriage was a relief'", by Hadley Freeman, The Guardian, (9 Jun, 2016).
- Q: You’re the first comedian to make a special while pregnant. Was it important to you to break that barrier?
- A: Being the first to do it was less important to me than just getting it done before I had the baby. When I planned it in my first trimester I had no idea how I’d look or feel in my third. I had no idea about things like the severe constipations, the bleeding gums or that my lasered moustache would come back. So those were all fun surprises.
- Ali Wong in "Ali Wong: 'Being able to joke about my miscarriage was a relief'", by Hadley Freeman, The Guardian, (9 Jun, 2016).