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Reproductive Technologies

  • By: Deirdre M. Condit
  • In: Encyclopedia of Motherhood
  • Edited by: Andrea O'Reilly
  • Subject:Sociology of Gender, Parenting, Maternal Health

Reproductive technologies include all methods, devices, medications, or medical interventions intended to enhance or prevent human reproduction. Ancient appeals to fertility deities and early evidence of women's efforts to stop conception attest to a strong human desire to control their reproduction. Most reproductive technologies aim to overcome infertility by augmenting conception, gestation, and birth. Doctors generally define infertility as the inability to conceive and sustain a pregnancy after one year of unprotected intercourse.

Infertility

Infertility is common. In 2002, about 12 percent of women (aged 15–44) in the United States had trouble getting pregnant or carrying a pregnancy to term. Both women and men experience infertility, the causes of which are attributable to women in about one third of cases, to men in about one third of ...

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