Can sperm cause ovulation?
In a study published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers have discovered what may be an ovulation induction factor (OIF) in semen. Women, like most female mammals, are spontaneous ovulators, which means eggs are released regularly regardless of sexual activity. Other mammals like rabbits and camels, release eggs only when hormones are released in response to the physical stimulation of sexual intercourse. They are referred to as "induced ovulators". New research results now indicate that human semen may have an OIF that could lead to enhancing the fertility of certain women experiencing problems getting pregnant.
Why Do Scientists Think Sperm May Hold Ovulation Induction Properties?
After investigating all substances composing human sperm, biologists now think a special protein crucial to normal development and health of sensory neurons is responsible for inducing ovulation. Called neural growth factor (NGF), this protein seems to have addition fertility-enhancing effects, such as the ability to change the timing of egg-bearing follicle development and promoting growth and functioning of the corpus luteum, a structure important for sustaining a pregnancy.
Following the release into a woman's cervix, the NGF in semen travels through the female body and behaves chemically like a hormone. Scientists are now researching the possibility that men with high amounts of ovulation induction factor in their semen may be more fertile than men without such high concentrations of neural growth factor. This also raises speculation that OIF treatments could be realized to help couples experiencing infertility.
Enhancing Fertility with Assisted Reproductive Technologies
Although ongoing researching indicates sperm may have a key role in achieving pregnancy, many women will still require intrauterine insemination (IUI) or in vitro fertilization (IVF) following a fertility evaluation to determine what is causing their infertility. Women who are good candidates for having an IUI procedure include women whose fallopian tubes are not blocked, have abnormal cervical mucus or unexplained fertility. Women who are good candidates for IVF are those with damaged fallopian tubes, endometriosis, polycystic ovarian syndrome or partners with low sperm counts.
New York Reproductive Wellness offers a wide variety of ovulation induction and assisted reproductive technologies to help women get pregnant and have the family they have always wanted. Call today to make a consultation appointment with our fertility doctor.