When does pregnancy begin? Doctors disagree

Source: Reuters


Though most doctors will give you a definition of when pregnancy begins, it’s not always the same one, according to a new survey.

Most of the polled obstetrician-gynecologists believe pregnancy begins when the sperm fertilizes the egg. But a minority say it doesn’t begin until a week later when the fertilized egg implants in the uterus — the definition given by the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG).

“People say that the medical profession has settled on this,” said Dr. Farr Curlin, the senior author of the study and a professor at the University of Chicago. “And what our data show rather clearly is that it is not at all settled among the medical profession.”

The definition of pregnancy can have a major impact on law and policy.

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