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Growth-Boosting Protein May Act As Pregnancy-Protecting Hormone In Humans

Catherine McDiarmid-Watt | Monday, March 28, 2016 | 0 comments

Image: Growth-Boosting Protein May Act As Pregnancy-Protecting Hormone In Humans
Semen doesn’t just ferry sperm. It also bears a mystery ingredient that turns on ovulation in some animals and may even pump up fertility in humans as well.

The molecule, nerve growth factor, kick-starts egg release and revs up pregnancy-protective hormones in llamas, researchers report online August 20 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Llama semen is loaded with NGF, says study coauthor and veterinarian Gregg Adams of the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, Canada. The protein is also found in the semen of bulls and humans.

"If we find that NGF is also effective in women, it will obviously have huge implications for treating male infertility conditions," says reproductive biologist Raj Duggavathi of McGill University’s campus in Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, Canada. "It could be a big boost for couples."

Even though human females ovulate regularly, sometimes women’s bodies gear up for egg release at odd times during their cycle. "I want to know what happens if seminal plasma is absorbed at that time," Adams says. “Will it cause ovulation?” If a timely dose of semen does nudge an egg’s release, he says, "It could be why we sometimes call couples who practice the rhythm method parents."

In addition to tweaking ovulation timing, NGF could boost growth of the pregnancy-protecting corpus luteum in humans. If NGF can cultivate the gland the way it does in llamas, cattle, and mice, it’s possible that frequent sex — and thus a steady supply of semen — during early pregnancy could help prevent miscarriage.

The idea "is not crazy at all," Adams says.

Source: Science News / Meghan Rosen
Photo Credit: G. Adams/Univ. of Saskatchewan
All rights reserved



TODAY'S BOOK SUGGESTION:
Image: Unsung Lullabies: Understanding and Coping with Infertility, by Martha Diamond, David Diamond and Janet Jaffe. Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; 1st edition (June 1, 2005)Unsung Lullabies:
Understanding and Coping with Infertility
by Martha Diamond, David Diamond and Janet Jaffe

-- For people experiencing infertility, wanting a baby is a craving unlike any other. The intensity of their longing is matched only by the complexity of the emotional maze they must navigate.

With insight and compassion, Drs. Janet Jaffe, Martha Diamond, and David Diamond-specialists in the field of Reproductive Psychology who have each experienced their own struggle with infertility-give couples the tools to:

 • Reduce their sense of helplessness and isolation
 • Identify their mates' coping styles to erase unfair expectations
 • Listen to their "unsung lullabies"--their conscious and unconscious dreams about having a family--to mourn the losses of infertility and move on.

Ground-breaking, wise, and compassionate, Unsung Lullabies is a necessary companion for anyone coping with infertility.


Image: Buy Now on Amazon.comPaperback: 304 pages
Click to order/for more info: Unsung Lullabies
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More "Pregnancy Over 40" blogs to visit:
Life Begins... - Pregnancy stories of loss, hope and help
Pregnancy Stories by Age - Daily blog of hope and inspiration!
You Can Get Pregnant in Your 40's - Sharing articles, discussing options and suggestions
Stories of Pregnancy and Birth over 44 - sharing news stories I find online, for inspiration!





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Catherine

About Catherine: I am mom to three grown sons, two grandchildren and two rescue dogs. After years of raising my boys as a single mom, I remarried a wonderful man who had never had a child of his own. Unexpectedly, I found myself pregnant at 49!
Sadly we lost that precious baby at 8 weeks, and decided to try again. Five more losses, turned down for donor egg, foster care and adoption due to my age and losses - we have accepted that there will be no more babies in our house.

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