Background on this post: This is just a hypothesis, based upon some scientific research I have read. I first wrote this as a “note essay” back when I still had my LDS Anarchist account on Facebook. I decided not to publish it here because of its more scientific nature, but I have now changed my mind. So, here it is, in a slightly modified and updated form.
The relationship of Sperm Sorting Function to menopause and fertility
All women have designed into their reproductive organ a Sperm Sorting Function (SSF), the purpose of which is to sort through the various sperm deposits in the vaginal cavity and choose the best genetic material for conception.
As long as the SSF is operative, menopause never happens. Menopause is directly related to SSF shutdown.
If sperm never enters the vagina (as in the case of virginal old maids), or if only sperm from one man enters (as in the case of monogamous relations), the SSF is not activated, because it requires the sperm from two or more men for activation.
The greater the number of sperm donors, the more active the SSF (because there is more sorting to do.) The more active the SSF, the more fertile the woman will be. Fertility is directly related to SSF activity.
Fertility, then, is not solely determined by the female, nor solely by the male, but also (and principally) by the NUMBER of male partners a female has in a given sexual period.
Only when SSF is inactive is fertility dependent upon other factors. In other words, when fertile females (who have not, yet, reached menopause) are in monogamous relationships, fertility is determined by other factors. When she engages in polyandrous sexual relations, the SSF takes over in determining fertility and vastly increases her chances of getting pregnant.
SSF and sperm competition complement one another
SSF and sperm competition are complementary, so that for the multiple males engaging in sexual intercourse with the female, their bodies produce genetically superior and more fertile sperm, to compete with the sperm of the other males, as well as greater quantities of it, increasing the likelihood of impregnation. It is almost as if the testicles know that the SSF has been or will be activated and therefore makes the best sperm it can so that the SSF ends up picking its sperm over that of other men.
The greater the sperm competition and the more active the SSF, the more excellent the genetic make-up of the offspring will be. This process reduces or eliminates genetic mutations, resulting in biologically superior children which continues with each succeeding generation as this mating model is followed.
The reason for menopause
Nature is such that good breeding habits, in which genetically superior children are produced, are prolonged while bad breeding habits are shut down prematurely. Menopause is nature’s way of shutting down bad breeding habits. In monogamous and polygynous arrangements, genetic mutations are still passed on, so the SSF, if it is not sufficiently activated, eventually will shut down completely, causing the onset of menopause.
On the other hand, in polyandry in which sperm variety is continually present, the SSF is continually active and keeps menopause from happening, indefinitely. This is done so that genetically superior children continue to be produced.
In cases in which women are promiscuous (such as prostitutes), but who terminate pregnancies or use contraception, menopause may initiate regardless of high SSF activity, due to the body not being able to follow its natural course and produce offspring.
Just as muscles which perform the same exercises over and over again will become accustomed to them, adapt and then stop growing new muscle tissue—which necessitates changing exercise routines to create muscle confusion, allowing continuous muscle growth—the SSF may also adapt to multiple sperm and eventually shut down, initiating menopause. This happens when the same group of men continue to deposit sperm over time with no introduction of a new sperm variable. The SSF will always pick the same genetic makeup (the best) when presented with the same group of men over and over again. The body will eventually not even recognize the inferior sperm and will function as if there were only one sperm donor, with no need for SSF activity.
To continue to keep the SSF active, a woman needs to alternate the groups of men she has intercourse with. A woman who is married to ten men, then, who has sexual intercourse with this same group of men, will inevitably enter menopause. She must, from time to time, be introduced to new husbands, and change the group of men she has sexual relations with, in order to keep the SSF “guessing” or trying to figure out which sperm is best.
The implication of this, assuming that the above speculations are true, is that a woman could conceive children throughout her entire life, by using a strategy that allows the SSF to always be activate.
All of the above assumes familiar sperm (through marriage) because the introduction of unfamiliar sperm through one night stands and other fleeting relations may cause the female body to react in ways that are detrimental to herself and any offspring that may result.
Gospel applications and speculations
This might explain how Adam and Eve were able to populate an empty world. If Adam lived 930 years, perhaps Eve did, too, or, as is normal for women of today, perhaps she outlived him. If Eve had multiple husbands and her daughters had multiple husbands and so on and so forth, always with a change-up in “sperm line-up” so that the SSF had to constantly figure out which was the best sperm, the earth would have fairly quickly filled up and Eve and her daughters may not have entered into menopause until the very end of their lives, if at all.
A woman today can get pregnant every ten months—nine months of pregnancy and one month of recovery. (This is how my own mother did it with three of her children, in back-to-back fashion!) Women today typically give birth to one child per pregnancy. Sometimes twins are produced, but this is rare. If the human reproductive system is based upon the heavenly birthing process, though, it means that women are, by design and under the right conditions, to give birth to twins, a male and a female. This is because the planets are born by electrical expulsion, in which two planets come out at a time, one out of the north pole, one out of the south pole, one a “female” planet and the other “male.” Or, it may be that women are designed to give birth to first a male (or a female) and then at a later pregnancy a female (or a male.) But however is the design, we do know that females are capable of giving birth to twins, so the capacity is there.
If Eve and her daughters gave birth like the planets, two at a time, one male and one female, and they were exceedingly long lived and always fertile, never entering into menopause, each one of these females may have produced a vast posterity. Just using an imaginary number and saying that Eve was able to give birth 1000 consecutive times, once every 10 months, during a period of 833 years, and supposing that she gave birth to twins each time, a son and a daughter, this would mean that she gave birth to 2000 children, of which 1000 were daughters. Those 1000 daughters, doing the same as her, would each give birth to 1000 daughters. This would give Eve 1000 daughters and 1,000,000 grand-daughters. And so on and so forth: 1 billion great grand-daughters, 1 trillion great great grand-daughters, etc. Obviously, these are just imaginary numbers, not taking into account premature deaths, etc.
Now, looking ahead at the Millennium, if the multihusband-multiwife system is re-introduced among the people and becomes the marriage model for those thousand years, we end up with people who will live just as long as Adam and Eve and will be just as fertile and produce just as many offspring as they did, but with one exception: the first thousand years started with two people only, while the seventh thousand years will start with a vast multitude of people. A thousand years of such peace, progress and posterity will overflow this planet with people. When this planet is filled to the brim with people, the very next year the population will more than double, requiring a second planet upon which to reside. Each succeeding year the population explosion will require more and more planets for all the people. We look at all the planets in the heavens and wonder what they are for, just floating around, supposedly not serving any purpose. Well, it may be that they will find a very important use in the Millennium.
And when all the planets of this solar system are filled to the brim with people, the very next year’s population growth will require an additional solar system’s planets. And so and so forth, until this galaxy is full of God’s children. Now, with such thoughts in mind, we might begin to understand why the Millennium is called the great Millennium by the Lord. It is when the vast majority of His children will come down from heaven to receive bodies and populate the planets of this galaxy.
Assuming that the Millennium is, by divine design, when 99.9999% of the plan of salvation will take place, meaning that 99.9999% of God’s children will be saved at that time, polygyny and monogamy may have been used during the preceding 6000 years to limit the number of children coming to earth. The time just preceding the Millennium, though, may be the right time to bring back (or restore) the multihusband-multiwife marriage system, in preparation for the great Millennium.
Some scriptures that come to mind:
“and [they] did multiply exceedingly” (4 Ne. 1:10)
“there were not…bond and free, but they were all made free” (4 Ne. 1:3.)
“For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband” (Rom. 7:2)
“The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord” (1 Cor. 7:39.)
This makes me think of the multihusband-multiwife marriage system. A wife under this system may become free to marry other men, without being bound to only one husband, thereby allowing her to keep her SSF highly active, making her highly fertile and allowing her to “multiply exceedingly.”
SSF reactivation after menopause (menopause reversal)
Can the SSF be reactivated once it is “permanently” shut down? Sarah was barren and then had her womb open in her old age. We call it a miracle (which it was) but what if there is also a natural and scientifically explanable way to take a woman out of menopause? If the SSF activates with multiple semen deposits and eventually turns “permanently off” with a lack of such semen, could the re-introduction of multiple semen deposits re-start the process? Semen isn’t just deposited and then drips out. It actually gets absorbed into the woman’s blood stream through the vagina. Science likes to isolate individual components of substances, trying to figure out the “active ingredients,” but sometimes isolation is not the name of the game. Like a fruit cocktail, sometimes it is the combination of ingredients that produces the effect, and not any of the individual components. Semen from multiple men may create just such a cocktail. We know, for example, that semen contains testosterone, estrogen and other hormones, such as prostaglandins (made in the prostate gland), luteinizing hormone and follicle-stimulating hormone. Not all of the chemicals in semen have been identified (or isolated.) Could it be possible that male semen might actually regulate the female reproductive cycle, switching it both on and off?
For example, this is an excerpt from an article by Beth Rosenshein, called, Preventing Menopause:
We have all been taught that ovarian failure is inevitable and that there is nothing that can be done about it. A recent study would suggest otherwise.1 [1 Refers to a study on WebMD Medical News called, Age of Menopause getting later, found on webmd.com]
The timing of ovarian failure can be influenced. Ovaries fail for one reason and one reason only: they run out of eggs. The ovaries contain a certain number of eggs at birth. After puberty, when the ovaries begin to recruit eggs every month, the store of eggs goes down. As long as things go well, the number of eggs recruited each month is approximately the same. Based on the number of eggs at puberty and the number of eggs recruited monthly, a woman’s ovaries should last her until she is in her seventies.2 [2 Refers to Gougeon A, Ecochard R, Thalabard JC. Age-related changes of the population of human ovarian follicles: increase in the disappearance rate of non-growing and early-growing follicles in aging women. Biol Reprod. 1994;50(3):653-63] All goes well until a woman reaches her late thirties, when the ovaries begin to use more eggs than necessary every month. As a result, the store of eggs goes down faster than normal, and the ovaries run out of eggs about 20-30 years sooner than necessary. The reason ovaries begin to use more eggs is because the ovaries are not getting what they need to function well. Like any ailing organ, providing what is needed helps the ovaries work better.
So, menopause is caused by ovarian failure and ovaries fail because they run out of eggs, and they run out of eggs because they start to use up more eggs than is necessary every month, and they begin to use more eggs because they aren’t getting what they need to function well. So, the big question is, what do ovaries need to function well? My hypothesis is that they need a variable semen cocktail (no pun intended) from multiple men who are familiar to her (no one night stands but from long term relationships, such as marriage) on a regular basis, and that this semen cocktail needs to be regularly varied so that not the same group of men contribute to it all the time, but a differently mixed semen cocktail is regularly received into the vagina, because this will keep the SSF activated and will regulate the ovaries, keeping them in perfect heath.
(As far as re-activating the ovaries once they have failed, due to using up the store of eggs, please see the Addendum below at the end of this post.)
There are a set number of eggs in human females that can be fertilized. When they are used up or discarded, that is it, right? But how many does she have?
From a web site:
A woman has the maximum number of potential eggs (primary oocytes) while still a fetus, more than 7 million. By birth the number has fallen to 1 or 2 million, and by puberty to about 300,000. Only 300 to 400 reach maturity.
Why such large numbers? Could it be that these numbers fall due to mutations via generational monogamy? Could it be that the re-introduction of the multihusband-multiwife model might reverse the fall of these numbers, leaving a higher number that reach maturity, so that if females live longer, they would also remain fertile longer? Could the tribal model be some kind of a preparation of the organs of reproduction for the Millennium, in which people will live a thousand years again? Again, all hypothesis, but it would not surprise me if all our numbers are wrong as to how many humans have lived on this planet.
Okay, drum roll please….Here is abstract #1, in which some researchers cast doubt upon the findings of another group of researchers. The doubting scientists say in their abstract:
A group of scientists from Harvard Medical School (Johnson et al., 2004) claims to have “established the existence of proliferative germ cells that sustain oocyte and follicle production in the postnatal mammalian ovary”
And then they go on to contradict those claims. Here is the entire abstract, called Eggs Forever?:
A group of scientists from Harvard Medical School (Johnson et al., 2004) claims to have “established the existence of proliferative germ cells that sustain oocyte and follicle production in the postnatal mammalian ovary,” expressing no doubts about their methods, results and conclusion. Johnson et al. based their conclusions of oocyte and follicular renewal from existing germline stem cells (GSC) in the postnatal mouse ovary on three types of observations: (1) A claimed discordance in follicle loss versus follicle atresia in the neonatal period and in the following pubertal and adult period; (2) immunohistochemical detection of proliferating GSC with meiotic capacity using combined markers for meiosis, germline, and mitosis; and (3) neo-folliculogenesis in ovarian chimeric grafting experiments with adult mice.Oogenesis is the process that transforms the proliferative oogonium into an oocyte through meiosis, followed by folliculogenesis and follicular and oocyte maturation. The most crucial part in producing a functional oocyte is firstly, initiation and completion of the first meiotic prophase, and secondly, enclosure of the resulting diplotene oocyte in a follicle. Neither of these two events has been shown to take place in Johnson et al.’s study of the postnatal mouse ovary. We hereby address the observations underpinning their hypothesis and conclude that it is premature to replace the paradigm that adult mammalian neo-oogenesis/folliculogenesis does not take place.
Now, the original group of scientist who made the initial claim then responds to this abstract with another abstract of their own, called, Serious doubts over “Eggs Forever?” In this abstract the researchers categorically state:
While we agree with Byskov et al. that our work represents a radical departure from the age-old dogma that mammalian females permanently lose the capacity for oocyte and follicle production during the perinatal period, careful examination of all of the available data leaves no doubt that adult female mammals retain the capacity for oogenesis and folliculogenesis.
This means that menopause may be reversible. So, based upon this abstract, I will stick to my hypothesis that the key to all of this is a variable, multimale sperm cocktail regularly received into the vaginal cavity and that such a cocktail might actually take menopausal woman out of menopause and back into fertility, or, to use the scientific language, cause oogenesis and folliculogenesis. Here is the entire abstract:
A recent commentary in this journal by Byskov et al. (2005) claims that, despite published results from numerous independent lines of investigation from our laboratory and others, there does not “exist any evidence for neo-folliculogenesis in the adult mammalian ovary.” While we agree with Byskov et al. that our work represents a radical departure from the age-old dogma that mammalian females permanently lose the capacity for oocyte and follicle production during the perinatal period, careful examination of all of the available data leaves no doubt that adult female mammals retain the capacity for oogenesis and folliculogenesis. These findings do not change the fact that exhaustion of the oocyte pool occurs with advancing chronological age–a process responsible for driving the menopause in women–but rather question the basic mechanism underlying age-related ovarian failure. In this regard, studies of aging male mice have demonstrated that testicular atrophy is associated with a dramatic decline in the number, activity and quality of germline stem cells that maintain spermatogenesis during adulthood (Zhang et al., 2006). Therefore, to the contrary of the opinion of Byskov et al. that such a process would be “considered exceptional among stem cells,” it is certainly reasonable to hypothesize that a similar deterioration of female germline stem cell function underlies the decline in oocyte quality and the onset of ovarian failure in aging females. Further, while we accept that a departure from conventional thinking can take years to gain widespread acceptance, we feel this resistance to change should not be construed as the sole means to voice opinions about the validity of our data or the maturity of our principal conclusion.
Yet another abstract, this one, in my opinion, very interesting. It is titled, Systemic signals in aged males exert potent rejuvenating effects on the ovarian follicle reserve in mammalian females.
Through the use of parabiosis in mice, aging-related deterioration of skeletal muscle and liver has been linked to a loss of systemic factors that support adult stem or progenitor cell activity. Since aging-related ovarian failure has recently been attributed, at least in part, to a loss of de-novo oocyte-containing follicle formation associated with declining oogonial stem cell activity, herein we tested in mice if aging-related changes in systemic factors influence the size of the ovarian follicle reserve. Ovaries of young (2-month-old) females parabiotically joined with young females for 5 weeks possess comparable numbers of healthy and degenerative (atretic) oocyte-containing follicles in their ovaries as those detected in non-parabiotic young females. Joining of young females with young males significantly increases follicle atresia without a net change healthy follicle numbers. Surprisingly, young females joined with aged (24-month-old) males exhibit a significant increase in the number of primordial follicles comprising the ovarian reserve, and this occurs without changes in follicle growth activation or atresia. Blood of aged males also induces ovarian expression of the germ cell-specific meiosis gene,Stimulated by retinoic acid gene 8 (Stra8), in ovaries of female parabionts, further supporting the conclusion that the observed changes in the follicle reserve of females joined with aged males reflect increased oocyte formation. Thus, factors in male blood exert dramatic effects on ovarian follicle dynamics, and aging males possess a beneficial systemic factor that significantly expands the ovarian follicle reserve in females through enhanced oogenesis.
The implications of the above abstract might be that the sperm cocktail must have variety not only in that the men who put their part into it are different than the last cocktail’s group of men, but that the men themselves ought to be of variable ages, young men, middle aged and old men. In other words, that the female reproductive system responds greatest when there is the greatest diversity and variety in the cocktail. Taking this even further (don’t you just love to speculate every once in awhile?), racial diversity may also engage the SSF and subsequent oogenesis and folliculogenesis to an even greater degree.
Some experiments that could be done using this working hypothesis: a monogamous mouse pair living alone as control; a polyandrous mouse arrangement with two or more (young) male mice and one female mouse living together so that the female mates with each mouse; a polyandrous mouse arrangement in which the female lives with all of the males but she is allowed to mate with only part of the group for one sexual period and then is allowed to mate with a different part of the group for the next sexual period, always with a rotation and mix-up so that no two succeeding sexual periods have the same “sperm cocktail.” A fourth group could be polyandrous like the third, except that each part of the group that mates with the female will consist of diverse ages: young, middle-aged and old. Then, we could see what kind of children result from these various mating strategies. Also, each of these mice in all of the various arrangements would be taken from monogamous lines, to see if sperm mutations are affected by any arrangement. For the third and fourth arrangements, it may be easier simply to make the ratio of males to the single female quite high, so high in fact that she is incapable of mating with all of the males in a given sexual period, thereby eliminating the need to herd her into one particular group of males (and away from the others) at a time.
Another aspect of this theory is where does inbreeding fit in? If sperm competition genetically upgrades the sperm of all sperm cocktail donors, and if an activated SSF routinely selects the genetically superior sperm from a variable sperm cocktail, would sexual relations with close relatives (inbreeding) pose the same risks of manifesting recessive or deleterious traits in offspring as the inbreeding found in monogamous or polygynous or polyandrous settings?
If the answer to that question is no, then this could explain why the children of Adam and Eve could inbreed without danger, by adopting a multihusband-multiwife model which allowed the women to sleep with multiple groups of husbands, regularly varied, so that the sperm cocktail was always different each sexually active period. The mouse experiment proposed above could test this out.
For example, models of hymenopteran offspring relatedness and number of mating partners suggest offspring heterogeneity increases steeply when the number of partners increases from one to five and sperm use is random (Page and Metcalf, 1982; see also Yasui, 1998).
I find the above number five quite significant. Five may be the basic husband group unit for minimum female fitness:
In contrast to Bateman’s principle, there is now increasing evidence that female fitness can depend on the number of mates obtained.
On April 8, 2012, I came across the following article which seems to indicate that the findings of oogenesis and folliculogenesis have been established as fact. Here is the article:
And here is a quote from it:
Generating an unlimited supply of human eggs and the prospect of reversing the menopause was made possible by a series of breakthroughs led by Professor Jonathan Tilly of Harvard.
In 2004 he astounded the world of reproductive biology by suggesting that there were active stem cells in the ovaries of mice that seemed capable of replenishing eggs throughout life.
For half a century, a dogma of reproductive biology was that women are born with their full complement of egg cells which they gradually lose through life until they run out when they reach the menopause.
“This age-old belief that females are given a fixed ‘bank account’ of eggs at birth is incorrect,” Professor Tilly said.
“In fact ovaries in adulthood are probably more closely matched to testes in adulthood in their capacity to make new germ cells, which are the special cells that give rise to sperm and eggs,“ he said.
”Over the past 50 years, all the basic science, all the clinical work and all the clinical outcome was predicated on one simple belief, that is the oocyte pool, the early egg-cell pool in the ovaries was a fixed entity, and once those eggs were used up they cannot be renewed, replenished or replaced,“ he added.
Last month, Professor Tilly published pioneering research showing that these stem cells exist in human ovaries and that they could be stimulated in the laboratory to grow into immature egg cells.