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Friday, 21 April 2017



Ancient Egyptians had a 70% accurate method for detecting pregnancy: a woman would wee on some seeds—if they sprouted, she was pregnant.

Ancient Greeks believed pregnancy could be prevented if a woman held her breath during intercourse and sneezed afterwards.

There was a fashion in England for pregnancy portraits in the years around 1600.

English "pregnancy portrait" of an unknown lady, attributed to Marcus Gheeraerts II, c. 1595

The experiments of the Italian priest-biologist Lazzaro Spallanzani (January 10, 1729 – February 12, 1799) showed that semen is necessary for fertilization. Spallanzani discovered and described animal (mammal) reproduction, showing that it requires both semen and an ovum. He was the first to perform in vitro fertilization, with frogs, and an artificial insemination, using a dog.


Field Marshal von Blücher, the Prussian Commander at Waterloo, once suffered a breakdown, during which he lost his sight and suffered a delusion that a burly French grenadier had impregnated him with a baby elephant. Wellington recalled that Blücher would repeatedly shout in French about his pregnancy to anyone who cared.

Pregnancy tests in 1927 used to consist of injecting a female's urine into a mouse. It was based upon the observation that when urine from a woman in the early months of pregnancy is injected into immature female mice, the ovaries of the mice enlarge and show follicular maturation. The test was considered reliable, with an error rate of less than 2%.

In December 1952 I Love Lucy became the first television show to acknowledge pregnancy. 71.7% of all television sets in the United States were tuned into the following month to watch Lucille Ball give birth. The original air date was chosen to coincide with Ball's real-life delivery of her son by Caesarean section.

British obstetrician and gynaecologist Patrick Steptoe and biologist and physiologist Robert Edwards announced the fertilization of human eggs outside the body in 1969. Louise Joy Brown, the first test-tube baby, was born nine years later.

The first successful transfer of an embryo from one human to another resulting in pregnancy was reported in July 1983. It subsequently led to the announcement of the first human birth on February 3, 1984 at the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. The procedure was carried out under the direction of Dr. John Buster of the University of California at Los Angeles School of Medicine. The sperm used in the artificial insemination came from the husband of the woman who bore the baby.


The average number of days mums-to-be are pregnant, from fertilization to giving birth, is 270 (38 weeks and four days) but it can vary by as much as 37 days.

49% of pregnancies in the U.S. are unintended.

African Elephants have the longest pregnancy of any mammal at 22 months.

The longest gestation period of any vertebrate belongs to the frilled shark, who carry their young for 3.5 years.

Pandas have been known to fake pregnancies in order to receive more food and special treatment from humans.

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