Pregnancy Scent Can Possibly Reveal the Sex of Your Baby, Because Ultrasounds are Overrated

If you've ever had a child and wanted to learn the sex of the baby before birth, you probably paid a visit to your doctor and got an ultrasound. But, science has just shown you can find out the sex of your baby by scent. It was thought for years that primates can detect if someone is pregnant based on scent, but was recently discovered that males can also use this to sense the babies sex. The new research, published in Biology Letters, used lemurs for the study, which is the first source of confirmation of this strange phenomena. Study authors Jeremy Crawford and Christine Drea speculate that such a practice “may help guide social interactions, potentially promoting mother–infant recognition, reducing intragroup conflict," they say.

In order to conduct the research, the study authors took samples of secretions from the genital area of female lemurs both during and before their pregnancy. They then studied the ingredients that were present in the vaginal secretions and found that lemurs who were with child had less scent compounds present, compared to when they were pre-partum. In other words, the lemur's secretions had less scent during pregnancy than before. The scent also changed more significantly when the lemur mom was having a boy, which is where detecting the sex could come in.

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What are the benefits of being able to detect all of this through your nose? Being able to detect a pregnancy is important for those who are part of what is considered to be sexually promiscuous species, (as both humans and lemurs are) the scientists say. In addition, being able to detect the sex of a fetus could help the parents-to-be prepare for their newborns arrival. Crawford reasons,“It could be that producing these compounds uses resources that are directed elsewhere when they’re pregnant, especially if it’s more energetically costly for a female to have a male pregnancy than a female pregnancy." Indeed, this would be consistent with human pregnancies, as a 2009 study from Tel Aviv University found that mothers expecting boys were more likely to have problems during pregnancy and more commonly required C-section. Perhaps there really is something to this.

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While you might not want to use your vaginal scent as an indicator of your pregnancy status just yet, it sure is an interesting prospect. If you want to do an at-home experiment...I certainly wouldn't stop you.

Images: Getty (1) ; Giphy (2)