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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Joanne p.
Joanne p.yesterday


David Anderson
David Anderson11 days ago

Interesting. I didn't realize that there was a way to stimulate alpacas to ovulate other than having boy meet girl once to stimulate ovulation and then again in about 2 days for a repeat performance to fertilize. That said, I am not sure it is a method I intend to try.

Larry McDaniel
Larry McDaniel11 days ago

Nice information to have. Thanks.

Lee Rowan
Lee Rowan22 days ago

Boy, Care2, you're really scraping the bottom of the condom with this headline.

Danuta Watola
Danuta Watolaabout a month ago

Thank you for sharing

Joe Le Gris
Joe Le Gris1 months ago

Short but interesting..... (she said), thanks

Maxine Stopfer
Maxine Stopfer1 months ago

If it works for couples struggling to start a family, that would be really great. Not interested myself as I'm alone and much too old to raise a family.

Jayesh S.
Jayesh S.1 months ago

New Updates would be great.

Elisa F.
Elisa F.2 months ago

Thanks for sharing. Need to update.

Joe Le Gris
Joe Le Gris2 months ago

was that the beginning of an article...?