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The Power of Semen

The Power of Semen

Originally published on September 19, 2012, on

Just when we thought we had the biology of human reproduction figured out, new research shows there’s still plenty we don’t understand. Today’s example? A team of biologists have shown that a protein commonly found in the semen of many animals—including humans—can help kick-start the release of an egg (a.k.a. ovulation). The protein, which has been on biologists’ radars for a long time, is called beta nerve growth factor, or β-NGF—named for the first thing scientists noticed it doing.

Studies in llamas, alpacas, and cows show that giving β-NGF as a shot leads to the release of an egg in most of the animals. But what about humans? We know there is β-NGF in human semen too, but we don’t know whether it does something similar in humans as in the animals the scientists tested it on. The researchers hope to tackle this question next.

The answers they find will help determine how reliable the rhythm method (a.k.a. fertility awareness) can be as a form of birth control. It could also suggest a new treatment for couples struggling with infertility… We’ll be keeping our ears open!



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Everyone should have the life they want, when they want it. And until someone is ready to have a baby, we believe they should have access to birth control. That’s where we come in. Bedsider makes birth control easier. How? By giving you everything you need to find it, get it, and use it well.


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7:33AM PDT on Aug 22, 2014

First let me say, the planet is not overpopulated with humans, areas are. Land is purchased and people are relocated into urban areas...subdivisions, cities, etc.

Now for the power of the semen. I simply smile and say thank you for sharing.

2:48AM PDT on Jul 3, 2014

The other is dying and other species wiped out because of humans overpopulating, yet you encourage more of this and more worship of males who are the most dedicated to marking territory with pollution, war, destruction of forests, nuclear (that marking lasts forever), etc.? Male-worship is obscene. Encourage people to STOP reproducing.

11:44PM PDT on Jun 26, 2014

Very interesting...Thanks for sharing.

12:46AM PDT on Jun 6, 2014

Thanks for sharing!

1:01AM PDT on May 18, 2014

Yet another sign that humans should not try to "limit" their fertility, and explanation why the rhythm method might not even be very effective. So many signs that the human body very much tries to get pregnant if it can.

Encourage large families worldwide so that more and more people can experience life.

5:48PM PDT on May 12, 2014

It's amazing how scientific discoveries make this topic more interesting.

10:16AM PDT on May 10, 2014

interesting for sure - thanks! :)

9:24PM PDT on May 6, 2014


5:38PM PDT on Apr 7, 2014

Sadly we have not yet become smart enough to really know how little it is we know.
We have tons of knowledge and intelligence but are badly lacking wisdom.

4:49AM PDT on Apr 6, 2014

Thank you.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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