Male Sea Horses carry eggs deposited by their female counterparts in a pouch, where the egg becomes fertilized, and the hatchlings are nurtured to term. That, unfortunately, is the best information we have about male pregnancy at this time.
The website www.malepregnancy.com would have us believe otherwise. The well-crafted site claims to have successfully impregnated a man, Lee Mingwei. The obvious problem is that Mr. Mingwei lacks a uterus, which is integral to the pregnancy process, but his pregnancy is theoretically possible as an ectopic pregnancy. Ectopic pregnancies are risky for anyone, and the site talks about measures taken to prevent massive hemorrhaging and the potential damage to surrounding organs. The web page entitled “The Science of Male Pregnancy” explains that Mr. Mingwei took large doses of female hormones in order to prepare for the pregnancy and that the implantation occurred via IVF into the peritoneum, the smooth membrane that lines the abdominal area. The concept is interesting to consider.
But it’s just a hoax. According to The Museum of Hoaxes, the website was created by artist Virgil Wong as an intricate hoax, and the site has been around since 1999. If there were a Mr. Mingwei, and he were pregnant, he’d either be carrying a seven year old in his abdominal cavity or male gestation is reeeaaallly slow. Ironically, the site specifically denies being a War of the Worlds hoax, which is exactly what it was created to be.
There was, however, a shocking and true story on male pregnancy in 2006. ABC News covered the story of Sanju Bhagat, a victim of the rare medical abnormality “fetus in fetu”. He carried his twin brother as a parasite for forty years, until his stomach finally became so distended that he couldn’t breathe and went to the hospital. There, the doctors basically performed a C-section on what they originally thought was a tumor. Instead they found Mr. Bhagat’s partially formed twin brother.
There was another claim of successful male pregnancy in the 1960’s. According to Alex Boese, “Dr. Cecil Jacobson claimed that he successfully engineered a male pregnancy in a baboon. This is the same Dr. Jacobson who was later arrested for impregnating 75 women at his fertility clinic with his own sperm without their knowledge, which may suggest that he has a little bit of a credibility problem.”
I personally think male pregnancy is a great idea – tell me where to mail my donation for research. But, unfortunately, for now the miracle of birth, morning sickness, and stretch marks are still reserved for the fairer sex. Still, a few of us hopefuls may hold out until science catches up with the woo.