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From Virginity to Parenthood: Exploring Alternative Paths to Fatherhood
June 30, 2023

We have all heard about virgin births, but did you know there's something like a virgin father? Let me explain. Virgin births are not uncommon in the animal kingdom. This involves a process called parthenogenesis (a bit of a mouthful), where an unfertilized egg starts dividing, forms an embryo, and becomes an adult without any intervention from gametes from the other sex. And of course, we all know that there are so many religious stories about the possibility of virgin births, in both Christianity and Hinduism.

But virgin fathers are surprisingly common as well. What this means is that these husbands are virgins - they have never been able to have sex with their wives. Sexless marriages or unconsummated marriages are surprisingly common. But this is one of those things which people don't often talk about, which is why it remains buried under the carpet. It's obviously a matter of shame for the husband. And the wife refuses to talk about it because she thinks he doesn't find her sexually attractive, which is why he doesn't want to have sex with her. The problem is actually far deeper and is often because of psychological reasons, which is why it's so hard to solve. The good news is these men can have a baby either by doing artificial insemination by going to a clinic, or by doing self-insemination using the Malpani self-insemination kit, which means effectively they can get their wives pregnant without ever having sex. And that's the definition of a virgin father!

Authored by : Dr Aniruddha Malpani, MD and reviewed by Dr Anjali Malpani.