Hormonal Pregnancy Tests and Congenital Malformation


DURING a survey of babies born with meningomyelocele or hydrocephalus, one hundred mothers of such children provided histories of the relevant pregnancy. Among other things they were questioned by one of us (I. G.) as to the drugs which they had taken. The same information was obtained from a matched control group of one hundred mothers recently delivered of healthy babies. Data obtained from the mothers about drugs during pregnancy were checked with the medical advisers. As part of the survey the mothers were asked how their pregnancy was diagnosed. Nineteen mothers in the survey group and four of the control mothers reported having received oral tablets for the diagnosis of pregnancy (Table 1). There was no significant difference between the two groups with respect to any other drugs taken in the first trimester. The average interval between conception and test was 5.6 weeks in the survey group, and 6.2 weeks in the control group.


  1. 1

    Penrose, L. S., The Biology of Mental Defect, 117 (Sidgwick and Jackson, London, 1963).

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information



Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

GAL, I., KIRMAN, B. & STERN, J. Hormonal Pregnancy Tests and Congenital Malformation. Nature 216, 83 (1967). https://doi.org/10.1038/216083a0

Download citation

Further reading


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.


Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing