Can Human Eggs Really Attract The Most Desirable Sperm?
It is generally understood that when it comes to making human babies, both parents genetic material is super important.
That said, the sperm does get credit for some of the more visible choices, like s*x, without any input from the female’s egg.
Recent research suggests, though, that the egg may have more say in selecting a “desirable” sperm than we previously realized.
Stockholm University scientists have found that eggs emit different chemical signals that attract the sort of sperm they want to partner with in order to create an optimal offspring.
Non-human animals have been observed picking up on an array of visual, acoustic, and chemical signals that help them choose the best mate, but this is the first study that’s really shown that human bodies can continue to accept or reject those advances after s*x is over.
The researchers examined how sperm responds to follicular fluid, which surrounds eggs and contains chemoattractants for sperm.
The samples were obtained from couples undergoing IVF, and sperm was tested against follicular fluid from both partners and non-partners to see how it would respond.
John Fitzpatrick, one of the professors involved in the study, said this in a statement:
“Follicular fluid from one female was better at attracting sperm from one male, while follicular fluid from another female was better at attracting sperm from a different male.
This shows that interactions between human eggs and sperm depend on the specific identity of the women and men involved.”
Basically, eggs from a female do not always attract their partner’s sperm, and it has little or nothing to do with the sperm being capable of fertilizing an egg.
Professor Daniel Brison, the scientific director of the Department of Reproductive Medicine at Saint Mary’s Hospital, said:
“Research on the way eggs and sperm interact will advance fertility treatments and may eventually help us understand some of the currently ‘unexplained’ causes of infertility in couples.”
If this new information holds up, this could change the way doctors approach infertility in couples, and hopefully lead to more people getting those babies they’re dying to hold.
As a woman, it is kind of cool to realize that perhaps our eggs have had some say in it all along – and those babies that came so easily are just really happy genetic matches, maybe.