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IVF and Virgin Births

By Tracey Minella

December 23rd, 2013 at 9:55 am


photo: Stuart Miles/

What better season to contemplate the idea of a virgin birth? Or miracles?

The Medical Daily reported this week that virgin births made up 0.5% of births, according to a survey out of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Of the 7,870 respondents, having a median age of 19.3 years at the time of giving birth, 45 reported having given birth despite never having had sex. And without the use of assisted reproductive technology, like IVF. It’s noteworthy that about one third of those claiming virgin births had previously signed chastity pledges. As for the plausibility of this phenomenon, the lead researcher stated there are “no medically-validated reports of virgin births in humans, or other mammals” to her knowledge.”

As an infertile woman, there are two striking takeaways from this story. And they are not the debate about miracles vs. science. Or the apparent need to improve sexual education. Or even the cultural pressures on young girls to remain virgins until marriage.

Need a hint? It was that simple statement tucked in the middle of it all: “And without the use of IVF.”

The first thing that came to mind was the idea that someone…a virgin, to be precise…could actually use IVF to have a baby. Technically, a virgin birth. Imagine that!

But the other epiphany is now my message of hope to all of you non-virgins still on your infertility journeys…juggling things like partners, temperature charts, syringes, and annoying relatives this holiday season:

IVF is today’s miracle. Every day, it creates babies for women who medical science has determined cannot otherwise have children. We call them “miracle babies”.

In this season of hope, may you find the strength to cope with the added stress of the holidays and continue to believe in your dream. Miracles do happen every day.

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Do you believe in miracles?


Photo credit; Stuart Miles


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