Origins: The possibility of a man's becoming pregnant has been the subject of more than a few works of speculative fiction and comedy, and the topic was given some sober consideration in the media after the British weekly New Society ran an article discussing specifics of the procedure in 1986. It could be
The dangers of such a course of action are far too high for the idea to be taken as anything more than a bit of scientific "what if" entertainment, however. Although some women have successfully given birth to children conceived outside the womb, ectopic pregnancies are quite dangerous, and nearly all ectopic embryos are removed soon after diagnosis. For a man to attempt to carry a child to term in such a manner would be an unacceptably high risk (especially since the placenta would have to be left to decay inside the man's body after he gave "birth," as its removal would result in major haemorrhaging).
Now, fourteen years later, people have begun to wonder about the web site at http://malepregnancy.com, which purports to chronicle the efforts of one Lee Mingwei to carry off the "first human male pregnancy." The site hosts video clips of
Is this for real? No. It is, like its sister site at http://www.genochoice.com (where you can "Create your own genetically healthy child online!"), an exercise in speculative fantasy. Follow the links from the "Credits" section, and eventually you'll find a disclaimer which reads:
Perhaps some day these concepts might indeed become reality, but for now they exist only within the realm of fiction.
Sightings: The 1978 Joan Rivers film Rabbit Test ran (far too long) with this idea. The 1994 Arnold Schwarzenegger film Junior was a bit more merciful.
Last updated: 9 May 2008
Maitlis, Nicky. "Complications at the Birth of Pregnant Man." The Guardian. 25 August 1986. Mansfield, Stephanie. "A Womb of His Own." The Washington Post. 9 May 1986 (p. D1). The Toronto Star. "Males Could Give Birth, Scientists Say." 12 May 1986 (p. C3).