Your Uterine Fluid Might Influence Your Future Babies Because Science Is Cool
Science is so cool. A new study by Cell Press has found evidence that uterine fluid does more than just help sperm and egg meet: it might actually inform the developing fetus the mother’s outside conditions. Things like stress, diet, and even location all impact a woman’s uterine fluid. Who knew?
Uterine fluid (not to be confused with amniotic fluid) helps create a helpful environment for sperm migration and fertilization, and then supports the embryo as it implants onto the wall of the uterus. Studies in animals suggest that the uterine fluid can actually prepare a growing fetus for the world it will eventually enter. Every woman’s uterine fluid is different, and things like food availability, stress, and exposure to different pollutants can all impact the pH of the fluid.
So what does this mean?
Well, further research is necessary, but doctors and researchers hypothesize that the placenta might not be the only way a mother’s body “communicates” with her growing baby. There is evidence that fetuses can react to changes in a mother’s diet long before the placenta is in the picture.
“This suggests the involvement of uterine fluid as the communication medium to transfer information between the maternal environment and the floating embryo,” says the study’s senior author En-Kui Duan, a reproductive biologist at the Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences. “The preimplantation period is a critical time for programming offspring health, and thus, expecting mothers should keep a good diet and good mood, and stay away from harmful chemicals during this critical window.”
Dr. Sherry Ross, an OB/GYN and women’s health expert, told FitPregnancy that “if the cellular makeup of the uterine fluid positively or negatively affects a growing embryo, a woman would want to plan ahead before getting pregnant. Eating well, exercising regularly, avoiding environmental toxins and stress contribute to being your healthiest self in preparation for pregnancy. Ideally, you want to allow yourself six months to prepare your body to set the stage for a healthy pregnancy and healthy baby.”
So, very cool, but also another thing to keep in mind when preparing your life and body for a baby.
(Image: iStock / AndreyPopov)