The DNA Of Sex Partners: Living In You Right Now?
“Every time you go away – you take a piece of me with you.” ~ A Love Song
This little tidbit of sex science is particularly attention-worthy for the ladies. But, gentlemen? Also take heed. Scientists have discovered that a large minority of women have the Y-chromosome gene sequenced in their blood. At first glance, this seems peculiar. Men are born with the Y-chromosome, but most women are not. The male chromosomal cells in these females must have derived from somewhere. But what is the source?
The most immediately obvious source might be a fetus. Almost every woman who has ever been impregnated or given birth to a child has cells from the fetus circulating in her bloodstream. These cells filter through the placenta and reside in the mother’s bloodstream and organs – including her heart and brain – for the rest of her life. This condition is called microchimerism, named after the Greek chimera, a creature composed from the parts of multiple animals.Pregnancy-related microchimerism explains why women with sons would have the Y-chromosome sequenced in their blood. This is fascinating all on it’s own!
But how do you explain why women without sons also have male cells circulating in their bloodstream?
Taking blood samples from 120 women without sons, they found that 21 percent had male DNA. Women were categorized into four groups according to pregnancy history:
- women with daughters only
- spontaneous abortions
- induced abortions
- no children/no abortions
While the number of women bearing male DNA was highest in the groups that had abortions (nearly 80 percent), women who had only girls or no babies (20 percent) also had male cells in their blood. For no apparent reason? Other reasons why women in the fourth group carried male cells:
- inherited in the womb from a male twin that passed
- from a miscarriage they did not know about
- from their mother via an older brother
- Or through sexual intercourse?!
There remains the possibility that cells from a lover may be transmitted during sex. Those cells may live forever in the recipient’s body, taking up residence in any organ. These cells are the imprint of lovers past, a trace of living history. Is it possible a Woman’s DNA resides in a Man’s body after being lovers? Do men carry around the genes of women they’ve slept with?
My imagination is stirring. What are these foreign invaders doing in the hearts and minds of lovers everywhere? Are they wreaking havoc in our heads? The cause of all sorrow? Hey – in a sexy science fiction scenario, a person could even take a drop of their own blood, isolate a cell from their former lover – and clone them! Oh, the possibilities?