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Overdue delivery

The father’s genes might increase the risk of a prolonged pregnancy by the ratio of 30 %. Researchers of Aarhus University in Denmark have discovered this during the analyses of overdue deliveries. The team leaded by Annette Wind Olesen, is the first team to study the role of the father’s genes in prolonged pregnancies, which have been defined as 42 weeks.

Scientists believe that basically environmental factors prolonge pregnancy. Studies have been made on 22.000 women who had a prolonged pregnancy and who gave birth to their second child between 1980 and 1994. In the control group there were 7.000 mothers who have two or more children. The result amazed the Danish research team. If the woman had a prolonged pregnancy, and meanwhile changed her partner, the risk for a second prolonged pregnancy decreases significantly. "This, indicates that the father’ genes determine the child’s birth time", says Wind-Olesen.

The risk of a second prolonged pregnancy is 19,9 % states the specialist magazine New Scientist. If the first pregnancy lasts "normally" 37 and 41 weeks, the risk of a second prolonged pregnancy is 7,7 %. However, for mothers who had a prolonged first pregnancy, the risk of a prolonged second pregnancy drops from 19,9 to 15,4 %, when they change their partners. The next step for the research could be researching the genes that paricipate in this.





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