Weird Medicine

Jane The Virgin, In Real Life: Women Getting Pregnant Using IVF Despite Never Having Sex Is On The Rise

pregnant
IVF treatments are helping more women skip the sex to have a "virgin birth." J.K. Califf CC BY-SA 2.0

The number of virgin births, or pregnancies among heterosexual women who've never had sex, is on the rise. While some say that bringing up a child in a non-traditional setting such as this could have consequences, others have upheld the idea that these virgin mothers are actually more emotionally stable than mothers who have been left to bring up a child alone due to a failed relationship.

Four major British IVF firms claim that within the las five years, they've assisted in the pregnancies of at least 25 heterosexual single women who claim to have never had sexual intercourse, The Telegraph reported. Although the identity of these women has not been released, Maha Ragunath, director of the Care Fertility clinic in Nottingham, which treated three of these virgin pregnancies, said women who choose to undergo the treatment are from diverse backgrounds — some still live with their parents while others have full-time careers. However, they all have one thing in common: a strong desire to start a family, with or without a man.

“They are extremely happy to go ahead on their own and don’t care about the implications that might bring for the child or how they would go into a new relationship,” Ragunath told the Daily Mail.

There are many different reasons why these mothers have chosen to abstain from sexual intercourse. For example, Tracey Sainsbury, a senior fertility counselor and research officer at the London Women’s Clinic, said some women may have psychological or medical reasons for never having sex.

“Some wish to save sexual intercourse for a special relationship. They feel they have not found the right partner to share sex with, but they know they want a baby now,” Sainsbury told the Daily Mail. For many, the choice to refrain from sexual activity is often spurred by religious and cultural pressures or past traumatic experiences.

Some criticize these virgin births, claiming that women who are not emotionally ready to have sex aren't ready to have a baby, either. Others question the reasoning behind these women’s motivation to have virgin births.

“What is the child for these women? A teddy bear that they pick off the shelf?”Josephine Quintavalle, of the group Comment on Reproductive Ethics, told the Daily Mail .

Despite this criticism, Laura Witjens, chief executive of the National Gamete Donation Trust, said the children of these rare virgin mothers come out just fine. In fact, she said they end up better than children from single mothers who had split from the fathers.

Mumsnet CEO Justine Roberts agreed with Witjens, telling the Huffington Post, “Active parenting isn't always the result of sex — adoptive parents and same-sex parents are obvious examples — and love and stability seem to be what really counts in the end.”

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