Study Finds That Fetal Sex Plays A Role In Pregnant Woman's Immunity See Details Here!

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Feb 15, 2017 01:00 AM EST

The General Electric ultrasound device Voluson 730 Expert is seen September 26, 2002 in New York City. GE officials and scientists today presented new technologies and innovations from GE Research and Development. (Photo : Mario Tama/Getty Images)

The findings of a recent study suggest that the sex of a baby has a relationship with pregnant women's immune responses. However, for years now women have claimed that their bodies react differently depending on whether they are pregnant with a male or female child.

But some studies find that a baby's sex plays a key role in why some pregnant women report differences in the severity symptoms like morning sickness and cravings among others based on the sex of their baby. Researchers at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center monitored 80 pregnant women during the entire course of their pregnancy. It was checked if these women displayed different levels of immune markers also known as cytokines based on baby's sex.

The examinations were conducted on levels of cytokines in the blood and the levels produced by a sample of immune cells that were exposed to bacteria in the lab, according to Wexnermedical. The researchers found that although the women did not show differences in the levels of blood cytokine based on fetal sex. They discovered that the immune cells of women who were carrying female fetuses produced more proinflammatory cytokines when it is exposed to bacteria.

"This means that women carrying female fetuses exhibited a heightened inflammatory response when their immune system was challenged, compared to women carrying male fetuses," Amanda Mitchell said. She Is a principal investigator of the study and a postdoctoral researcher in the Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research at Ohio State's Wexner Medical Center. The researchers explained that inflammation is an important aspect of the immune response which is associated with healing wounds and also responses to bacteria, viruses, and chronic illnesses. But an excess of it is stressful for the body and can lead to illness-related symptoms like aches and tiredness.

Although further study is required to better understand its effects, the high level of inflammation seen in women pregnant with female fetuses could play a key role in why women usually experience symptoms of medical conditions such as asthma. These symptoms worsen when pregnant with a female in contrast with a male fetus. The researchers report that while a maternal inflammation is capable of influencing the outcomes related to the fetus such as the timing of birth, further studies are necessary to better understand the relationship between fetal sex and maternal inflammation, according to Science Daily.

The researchers believe that it is possible that the fetal sex hormones or hormones found in the placenta influences maternal inflammation levels. The researchers published their findings in the February issue of the journal Brain, Behavior and Immunity.

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