Human eggs use chemical signals to attract sperm. New research from Stockholm University and Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust shows that eggs use these chemical signals to choose sperm. Different women’s eggs attract different men’s sperm—and not necessarily their partner’s.
Humans spend a lot of time and energy choosing their partner. A new study by researchers from Stockholm University and Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust (MFT) shows that choosing your partner continues even after sex—human eggs can “choose” 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.
The researchers examined how sperm respond to follicular fluid, which surrounds eggs and contains sperm chemoattractants. The researchers wanted to find out if follicular fluids from different females attracted sperm from some males more than others.
Microscopic mate choice
“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.