Why women reject certain kind of sperms?June 24th, 2010 - 4:14 pm ICT by IANS
Sydney, June 24 (IANS) Some sperms fail to ‘communicate’ with the female reproductive tract and while a man may appear to be fertile, his semen can be rejected by a woman if it’s not compatible, says a study.
This is more likely to happen if a woman has not been previously exposed to his sperm over a long period of time, says study author Sarah Robertson, professor at the University of Adelaide’s (UA) Robinson Institute.
“We used to think that if a woman couldn’t get pregnant, and the man’s semen test was normal, the problem lay with the woman. But it appears this is not always the case,” Robertson said.
The fertility specialist is leading a national research project examining the actions of semen in the cervix and uterus after intercourse takes place.
“We have discovered that sperm doesn’t just fertilise an egg. Semen has special qualities that contribute to a healthy pregnancy, including helping to prepare the female body for nurturing the foetus. It contains signalling molecules that are responsible for activating immune changes in women so they can accept a foreign substance in the body - in this case sperm - leading to conception and a healthy pregnancy,” says Robertson.
“It’s rather like a two-way dance. The male provides information that increases the chances of conception and progression to pregnancy, but the female body has a quality control system which needs convincing that his sperm is compatible, and also judges whether the conditions are right for reproducing,” he added.
“That’s where the dance can go wrong with some couples - if the male signals are not strong enough, or if the female system is too choosy,” Robertson said, according to a university release.
“If we can understand the cascade of events which come into play when the sperm enters the female reproductive tract, we may be able to mimic or assist this with new therapies, encouraging tolerance of her partner’s semen, for those couples who are experiencing difficulties becoming pregnant,” concludes Robertson.
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