It’s not just a coincidence that an egg finds a sperm during the process of conceiving a child. When it comes to hormones, it can affect both men and women when choosing a mate and turns out those same hormones affect the egg as well.
According to CNN, there are certain hormones present at ovulation that can persuade “a woman to choose a cocky, confident man with slight stubble and more masculine features.” And when it comes to men, they “can detect when a woman is ovulating just by smelling her T-shirt.” It’s also been proven that a woman “prefers “the smell of a man with dissimilar genes.”
And as CNN reports women could “give her offspring a boost up the evolutionary ladder” by procreating with a man who has dissimilar genes. And according to the author of the new study, John Fitzpatrick, those same hormones can affect which sperm the egg chooses after sex.
Fitzpatrick, who is an assistant professor in the department of zoology at Stockholm University in Sweden, said that it appears the egg chooses which sperm is more appealing at that time. “Human eggs release chemicals called chemoattractants, which leave a sort of chemical breadcrumb trail that sperm use to find unfertilized eggs.”
And while that has been a known fact this recent study showed them something new.
“What we didn’t know until this study is those chemical breadcrumbs act differently on sperm from different males, in effect choosing which sperm is successful. What this is suggesting is that these fluids are giving females one extra chance — long after she’s picked her partner — to bias the number of sperm that are going to be coming towards the eggs.”
The study also found that there are even times when a woman’s egg would disagree with her choice of partner and pick the sperm of a stranger. “We expected to see some sort of partner effect, but in half of the cases, the eggs were attracting more sperm from a random male. The most likely explanation for this is that these chemical signals allow females to choose males who are more genetically compatible.”
So why does finding dissimilar genes help offspring?
“Basically what these genes are about is fighting infection, fighting diseases, and helping our immune system do really well,” Fitzpatrick said. “The more diverse those genes are, the more diverse are the kinds of infections you can fight. And if your partner has a slightly different combination of these genes than you do, then you’re going to produce offspring that can fight an even broader array of pathogens and diseases.”
The human body is pretty amazing!
Sara Vallone has been a writer and editor for the last four and a half years. A graduate of Ohio University, she enjoys celebrity news, sports, and articles that enhance people’s lives.
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