|Human sperm bound to an egg. |
(Courtesy of the Talbot Lab at the
University of California, Riverside)
According to Rebecca Burch and Gordon Gallup, researchers at the State University of New York, sex researchers are paying too much attention to sperm and not enough to the makeup of the fluid that carries them.
When Burch and Gallup tested samples of human semen, they found luteinizing hormone and follicle-stimulating hormone, both of which can induce a woman to release eggs earlier than normal. Those hormones were conspicuously scant in semen from primates, like chimpanzees, that advertise their most fertile periods with red, swollen backsides.
Sexual evolution is like an arms race, Burch says. When women evolved concealed ovulation, men most likely developed semen full of hormones to wrest back control of paternity.
TODAY'S BOOK SUGGESTION:
The Baby Chase: An Adventure in Fertility
by Holly Finn
-- “I’m not over 40 and childless for no reason,” writes Holly Finn. “I smoked in my twenties. I preferred red wine to sparkling water. I ate too much milk chocolate. I liked limericks. I know all the wrong I’ve done. But also, more than any of that, I’ve always longed for children.”
Yet there she was: successful, social, mostly happy, and not a mother. Knowing that her chances of becoming pregnant naturally were quickly fading, Finn decided to gamble: she—like some 85,000 other women in the U.S. each year—would attempt in vitro fertilization.
Almost three years later, she’s still trying, and in the process has become an accidental pioneer (and, at times, a guinea pig) in the ever-evolving science of IVF.
Length: 50 pages
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• Stories of Pregnancy and Birth over 44 - sharing news stories I find online, for inspiration!