A new study has found that the reason as to why women pregnant with female babies have an easier pregnancy and it lies in the placenta!
Sounds pretty complicated, right? Well, it all boils down to the genes produced by the placenta which are different for males than for females. Female placental development has a higher gene expression than that of males.
This is because male babies grow faster and therefore they are put at higher risk for bad outcomes since they might not get as much nutrition as needed. This study shows why female babies are less likely to be premature, stillborn, or have neonatal deaths.
The study, which was published in Molecular Human Reproduction found that genes produced by the placenta are different in males and females.
“We found that with female babies, there is much higher expression of genes involved in placental development, the maintenance of pregnancy, and maternal immune tolerance,” said study co-author Sam Buckberry
It is known that pregnancies are more likely to have bad outcomes if the baby is a boy. This is partly due to the fact that boys grow faster from the moment of conception, and this puts them at a higher risk of lacking nutrition.
“We’ve known for some time that girls are clearly winning in the battle for survival,” said Claire Roberts, lead author of the study, according to HealthDay. This study’s results can explain why female babies are less likely to have a preterm birth, still birth, neonatal death, or macrosomia — a baby that weighs more than 8 lbs., 13 ounces at birth. This production of different genes in the placenta can also explain other gender differences that exist throughout life. “Male babies generally grow faster and bigger than females. This occurs in both the animal and human worlds, but until now we haven’t really understood how or why,” Roberts added.
Pretty interesting, right? Seems like women are winning in this game of life.