Med Tech Isn’t Reshaping Our Preconcepts Of Birth, It’s Obliterating Them


You might be thinking about trying for a baby this year. If you are, you may have already informed your parents, and they could be lecturing you about what to expect. Of course, depending on how informed they are, their concept of the birthing process could be wrong. Medicine has changed, technology has advanced. Sometimes these changes are better, sometimes they are worse. Only one thing is certain, you need to be prepared for the new way that pregnancy and giving birth is approached. Every year, advances alter the birthing process in radical ways to the point where it is quite different to what we might have imagined. So, let’s think about what to expect when you’re expecting in 2016.


Help Getting Pregnant

In the past, there were limited options for help if you were trying to get pregnant. If you had a low sperm count or an inhospitable uterus, that was the end of your journey getting pregnant. Things are different now, and if you do struggle, you can keep trying. With new drugs and surgeries, there is every possibility that a natural pregnancy could still happen for you. But even if it doesn’t the doors of having a baby are not closed. You can research using a surrogate. With a surrogate, the eggs and sperm are placed inside a surrogate mother. The baby born still has the genetic makeup of both you and your partner. But a surrogate is used when the mother, for whatever reason is unable to give birth.

We also have a better understanding of what makes people more and less fertile. Small changes like adding new additions to your diet can make a pregnancy more likely. While cutting out, bad unhealthy habits will sharply increase your chances as well. As such, there is a wealth of research to run through if you want to become a mom or a dad.

Then there’s the roadblocks that were once in place for people trying to get pregnant. It was once believed that after you hit thirty, the chances of pregnancy dropped roughly forty percent. However, thanks to new medicine, this is no longer the case. Indeed, it’s true to say that many people have children a lot later in life. As they say, forty is the new thirty and fifty is the new forty.

Knowing You’re Pregnant

You can find out whether you’re pregnant earlier than ever. We’re not quite at the point where we can find out the day after the act of consummation, but we’re getting pretty close. Indeed, it’s possible to tell whether you could be pregnant just five days before your period is due. That’s quite impressive, and it’s all based on how the tests work. The tests record the hormone released during pregnancy. With new technology, it’s easier than ever to measure the levels of the pregnancy hormone. Of course, new tech hasn’t been able to rule out the chances of a false positive. Although you might be happy to hear that a false positive is far less likely compared with a false negative.

You can see the baby earlier too. At six weeks, you can book an appointment with your doctor and get a scan. With the latest technology, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to see the small sack where your baby is. It won’t be distinguishable as a little person yet, but some parents still find this quite reassuring.

Choosing Your Baby

You have more control over how your baby turns out when it’s born if you’re willing to pay that is. Researchers are now able to control the gender of the baby and may even be able to alter certain physical traits. For instance, with a test tube baby, you may be able to decide the eye color. Or at least raise the chances of getting your desired shade. It’s rare certainly and costs a fortune, but the possibility is now available on the market for parents who want it. Some people may see this as playing god, but the concept has been around for quite some time. It’s only recently that tech has caught up with theoretical science

What’s more interesting is the ability for scientists to recognize genetic defects. Every day we get closer to the time where doctors are able to tell you if your child will have conditions such as autism. Today, it’s possible to recognize whether a baby has more of a chance of developing Down Syndrome with an early ultrasound. Once scientists discover the ‘autism’ gene, they’ll be able to predict whether a child is like to have this disorder too. It paves a dangerous new path for medicine but one that will no doubt be embraced by some concerned young parents.

Quell Paranoia

How many parents worry that they have been given the wrong baby once they leave the hospital? Or, if they used a surrogate that their baby isn’t even theirs. Although it’s a scary concept, there have been cases of foul play during conception. Most notably supposed fertility experts have been found to have tampered with the process and even used their own DNA to create babies. It sounds like science fiction, but it’s sadly entirely possible. That’s why parents feel reassured that they can get a home paternity test that is one hundred percent accurate. There is now no need to worry that your baby might not be yours.

Survival Rates

Finally, you might be worried if you have a baby born early. Or, if you have problems during the birthing process. While this is never good news, it is no longer the nightmare scenario it once was. New medicine and technology can help babies survive in the most troubling circumstances. Birth defects such as spina bifida can be treated early, almost as soon as the baby is out. This has lead to babies with medical issues getting a better quality of life.

So, while some of the changes to the conception and birthing process are frightening, it’s mainly good news. It has certainly improved the quality of lives for many born this generation.