Women’s eggs prefer some men’s sperm over others, research shows

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Whatever the level of attraction a woman feels for a man, the same may not always be the case for her eggs.

That’s according to a new study that looked into the chemicals used by a female egg to attract male sperm.

‘Human eggs release chemicals called chemoattractants that attract sperm to unfertilized eggs. We wanted to know if eggs use these chemical signals to pick which sperm they attract,’ said John Fitzpatrick, an associate professor at Stockholm University, which partnered with the Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust (MFT) for the study.


 The scientists specifically looked at follicular fluid, which surrounds the eggs and contains the chemicals that attract sperm. They wanted to see if the fluids from different women attracted certain sperm more than others.


And, to put it bluntly, it does. ‘Follicular fluid from one female was better at attracting sperm from one male, while follicular fluid from another female was better at attracting sperm from a different male,’ said Professor Fitzpatrick.

 ‘This shows that interactions between human eggs and sperm depend on the specific identity of the women and men involved.’

‘Research on the way eggs and sperm interact will advance fertility treatments and may eventually help us understand some of the currently ‘unexplained’ causes of infertility in couples.’



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