HSCI 216 Lecture 6: HSCI 216 Lecture 6

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HSCI 216
Day 6
June 22, 17
Human Reproductive Ecology
Learning Objectives
- To understand the different trajectories of male and female reproduction
- To understand why female reproductive physiology limits human reproduction
- To understand why human females are a “special” type of mammalian female
- To understand how the human body handles pregnancy
Basics of mammalian reproduction: Men
- There are ~2,00,000- 4,000,000 spermatozoids per ejaculate
- Spermatozoids are produced continuously
- Spermatozoids can survive up to 48 hours in the vaginal tract
- Reproductive life span can be up to 55 years (based on a ~70 year life span)
Basics of mammalian reproduction: Women
- At birth women have about 2 million follicles
- This number is reduced to~300,000 400,000 when women reach puberty
- One follicle matures each month 400 follicles will mature, in the current “contraceptive
environment” (< 100 in non-contraceptive environments)
- Each egg survives between 6 and 24 hours after ovulation
- Reproductive life span < 30 years
Compared side by side
Which reproductive physiology limits human reproduction?
Women
Men
~ 100 eggs in lifetime
~ 2-4 million spermatozoids per ejaculate +
continuous production
Egg survival 6-24 hours
Spermatozoids can survive up to 48 hours
Reproductive life span < 30 years
Reproductive life span > 55 years
- So, a lot of what we know about reproduction in women has actually been derived from
animal research (more ethical and less complicated in animals) (humans can sue)
- Rats and mice are their go tos
That is a big problem why?
- Mice and women aren’t exactly the same so the comparison is off (ex: uterus are
different)
Solution
- Bio-Anthropologists! (Dr. Pablo Nepomnaschy (FHS)
- Looks at stress right at conception, (stress hormone), followed children from birth to
puberty, effects on anxiety reaction from birth to puberty on children from mom, hit
puberty early if more stressed
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