Baby Sex determines pregnancy immunity 

By Alexander Pan 

Pregnant women have generally claimed that their bodies develop different responses depending on a baby’s sex. Researchers from Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center now have evidence that support these loose claims. The researchers analyzed the different levels of cytokines, which are indicators of immune responses, in 80 pregnant women carrying either male or female fetuses. When blood samples containing cytokines were exposed to bacteria, the researchers determined a greater inflammatory response in the blood samples of female fetuses than those of male fetuses. This increased inflammation supports the reason why pregnant women carrying female fetuses experience increased symptoms of ashiness and fatigue. This discovery enables pregnancy women and obstetricians to find ways to alleviate such heightened symptoms. However, there is more research needed to determine the specific maternal hormones and other inflammatory factors in the placenta that simulate the extensive immune reaction. Although this knowledge of increased inflammatory response in pregnant women with female fetuses is important, the immune system should be boosted or placated with caution. The baby’s and pregnant women’s health and well-being are the priority. An optimally functioning immune system is necessary albeit the inflammatory symptoms. As always, health care providers recommend daily exercise and a well balanced diet to alleviate inflammation and strengthen the immune system. 


Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. (2017, February 10). Baby's sex plays a role in pregnant woman's immunity. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 20, 2017 from