Studies Show That A Woman’s Body Chooses The Best Sperm For A Healthy Baby. Our Body Is So Amazing
I believe it was philosopher Herbert Spencer who coined the phrase, “Survival of the fittest”. Basically, this term applies to almost everything known to us. What does it mean though? Well, we all know the theory of evolution is complex but it’s only the strongest, most intelligent of the lot that survive despite all the hurdles. And believe it or not, this applies to our own biologies as well.
You see, we might not be able to wholly choose who we fall in love with (but be mindful) but we do choose who we sleep with. And no, this is not a tharak wala story (though you wish it was), it’s actually more about the science. What I am trying to say is that subconsciously, all women want the best sperm for their egg and now, there are studies that show that women’s reproductive system actually plays a huge role in which sperm, out of the millions that are released when a man ejaculates, fertilises it.
Okay, let me explain and hopefully, I will do a better job than our boring old biology books. Various theories explaine how men and women choose their specific partners. But this natural selection theory talks about how there are subtle signs in sexual behaviour that show that women choose their specific partners who are genetically predisposed to have fit offsprings. Fascinating, isn’t it?
It gets better. Even after we categorically pick the partner that we think will be able to put the healthiest baby in us, our fertilisation process cuts the useless sperm out until it finds the perfect one. Did you ask how it does that? It’s fairly simple, actually.
Just think of the sperms participating in an obstacle course, the only difference is that the winner is not necessarily the fastest runner but the fittest runner. Studies have shown that it’s not usually the first sperm that reaches the egg that does the job. There are two thick layers covering the ova (egg) and only the sperm that breaks down both these layers can make it through. Basically, it has to be one persistent swimmer.
However, that is at a later stage. Recent findings by Dr John Fitzpatrick, an Associate Professor at Stockholm University show that our eggs release a kind of chemical that attracts the right sperm. But like I said, for the sperm to reach the egg, there is a whole Takeshi’s Castle infused with Hunger Games situation that takes place.
We all know that in a single ejaculation millions of sperms get into the race to the egg, and obviously not all of them are equipped enough to produce the fittest offspring. The lazy ones get hunted down pretty quickly. Imagine the uterus like a queen bee who simply dismisses the useless swimmers and narrow the options down for the egg. Why is this starting to sound like an arranged Indian marriage?
This process includes a certain acidic pH of the uterus, the thick lining of mucus inside the uterus wall and the various white blood cells (WBCs) that the uterus uses to kill sperms. Apparently, the female body considers sperms as foreign objects and our immune system tries and ward them off. What a lovely, hostile environment!
Also Read: This Health Blogger Has Been Drinking Sperm Smoothies Because She Thinks They Boost Immunity. WTF Is Going On?
But the most fascinating part is that our egg actually plays an essential role in choosing the sperm that will fertilize it. It’s kind of sweet if you think about it, like a little love story that takes place inside our bodies. The egg attracts the sperms that are genetically compatible with it and rejects the ones that incompatible.
The genes that make this choice are usually related to our immune system, more specifically the (Major histocompatibility complex) MHC that is present in the human cells. MHC plays an important role in identifying and eliminating foreign bodies. So, the study shows that if the egg fuses with sperm with a dissimilar MHC then the offspring is said to have a stronger immune system and thus, it has more chances of survival.
Wow, this sperm race is much more complicated than I imagined. You know, it feels kind of nice to know that unconsciously, we choose the sperm that makes it through.
Here it is, the biology behind getting pregnant. Keep this in mind the next time you pick a sexual partner, it’ll help!