BookmarkBookmarkTick

Are Doctors Giving IVF Couples Different Advice When It Comes to Prenatal Testing?

ByKylie McConville
Updated
March 2, 2017
Hero Image

Something called the “precious baby” phenomenon has parents-to-be worried that their doctors may be giving different couples conflicting advice, all according to how they conceived.

An international study of 37-year-old moms-to-be recently showed that 45 percent of their doctors recommended an amniocentesis for mom if baby was conceived naturally — and only 19 percent of doctors suggested the procedure to women who had used assisted reproductive technologies (ART) in order to conceive. Why are doctors testing your amniotic fluid anyway? It’s a way for doctors to look at any chromosomal abnormalities and infections while baby’s in utero. Doctors also test for Down Syndrome at this time too. So, what explains the difference in docs who suggest it — and those that don’t? The “precious baby” phenomenon.

“Precious baby” refers to the idea that one baby is more precious than another — based on how she was conceived. But is it really possible? Is one baby more precious than another? We’d like to think not (they’re all precious!), but for some couples — and doctors, that’s apparently just the case.

According to Dr. Yaniv Hanoch, who co-authored the study, it’s not only parents who deem their pregnancies to be more valuable than others, especially if they’ve used technology to help them conceive — more and more, doctors are more likely to be affected by the nature of how their patients got pregnant. Basically, doctors are finding it harder to stay out of mom and dad’s business if they used IVF or another alternative method to conceive, believing that these babies are more “precious” because they were not conceived naturally. “This study demonstrates there may be a tendency for clinicians to be affected by the nature of the pregnancy before determining the parents’ wishes.”

Related Video

In order to collect data, researchers used responses from a questionnaire of nearly 160 OBs and gynecologists. At least a third of the doctors surveyed admitted that they immediately recommended moms-to-be have an amniocentesis, while just 31.3 percent said that they recommended the procedure after receiving further clarification on the high risk to mom and baby. But once researchers probed OBs and gynecologists further, they found that those percentages differed once the “method” of pregnancy was taken into account.  “Even without a medical indication,” the researchers wrote, “more clinicians would recommend amniocentesis to a woman with normal screening test results in a spontaneous pregnancy than to one who had undergone ART. Thus far, researchers have provided only indirect evidence to support the claim of differential management of ART pregnancies, but our findings show they do not appear to be immune to the ‘precious baby’ phenomenon.”

Do you think doctors should consider different risks based on how couple’s conceive?

bravo tv star writes book for children explaining infertility

Bravo TV Star’s New Book Wants to Teach Kids IVF Is Totally Normal

profile picture of Nehal Aggarwal
Nehal Aggarwal
Associate Editor
Published
03/24/2020
actress amy schumer posts about her egg retrieval procedure

Amy Schumer Is Staying Positive Through Egg Retrieval Procedure

profile picture of Nehal Aggarwal
Nehal Aggarwal
Associate Editor
Published
01/14/2020
amy schumer with chris fischer

Amy Schumer Reveals IVF Struggle and Reaches Out to Fans for Support

profile picture of Nehal Aggarwal
Nehal Aggarwal
Associate Editor
Published
01/10/2020
mina starsiak hawk opens up about her infertility struggles on instagram

HGTV Star Mina Starsiak Reveals Infertility Struggle and IVF Journey

profile picture of Nehal Aggarwal
Nehal Aggarwal
Associate Editor
Published
12/12/2019
new parents happily holding their newborn baby

This Picture Book Wants to Teach Kids That IVF Is Completely Normal

profile picture of Nehal Aggarwal
Nehal Aggarwal
Associate Editor
Published
12/05/2019
chrissy teigen and john legend sitting together at en event

John Legend Gets Real on How IVF Changed His Relationship With Teigen

profile picture of Nehal Aggarwal
Nehal Aggarwal
Associate Editor
Published
11/15/2019
mom opens up about her decision to have her children via reciprocal ivf

How Reciprocal IVF Let Two Moms Both Be a Part of Creating Their Baby

profile picture of Christina Bailey
Christina Bailey
Co-Creator of Baby Bailey Mama Drama
birthday cake with confetti sprinkles

World’s First IVF Baby Celebrates 41st Birthday

profile picture of Stephanie Grassullo
Stephanie Grassullo
Associate Editor
Published
07/25/2019
Baby born with genes from three different people.

How a Baby in Greece Was Born With Genes From Three People

profile picture of Stephanie Grassullo
Stephanie Grassullo
Associate Editor
Published
04/12/2019
woman reflects on her emotional ivf journey

New Mom Reflects on the Emotional Roller Coaster That Is IVF

profile picture of Stephanie Grassullo
Stephanie Grassullo
Associate Editor
Published
01/08/2019
image of one couple's rainbow baby and the process of ivf represented in the fertility treatment shots.

Powerful IVF Newborn Photo Celebrates Parents' Rainbow Baby

profile picture of Stephanie Grassullo
Stephanie Grassullo
Associate Editor
Published
08/20/2018
john legend with pregnant wife, chrissy teigen

Chrissy Teigen, Honest as Ever, Defends Fan Who Asks About IVF

profile picture of Laurie Ulster
Laurie Ulster
Contributing Writer
Published
06/29/2018
collage illustrating baby born 4 years after parents death

This Baby Was Born Four Years After His Parents Died

profile picture of Anisa Arsenault
Anisa Arsenault
Associate Editor
Published
04/12/2018
Article removed.