Women Who Give Birth to Men Have Male DNA in Brain for Life

male DNA

Illustration by Oliver Munday for Newsweek

This isn’t something I ask everyday, but have you ever been pregnant, for any amount of time with a boy? If so, your brain likely contains relatively large amounts of male DNA.  Researchers have recently discovered that through a process called michrochimerism fetal cells cross the blood-brain barrier of women and remain there for the rest of their life.  This includes male DNA found in baby boys, meaning that  women everywhere have male DNA in their brains. 

That’s right fellas, your better half has more in common with you than you thought.

Scientists performing the research are torn regarding whether male DNA michrochimerism is a benefit or a detriment to women. Studies have found that:

“Women who harbor male DNA might be protected against some types of cancer, such as breast cancer, and autoimmune disease, like rheumatoid arthritis. It may, though, increase the risk of other cancers, such as colon cancer.”

Further research is required before implications can be defined with 100% accuracy.

There you are Mom, there’s no need to cry.  No matter where I go, I will always be there with you, lurking deep inside your brain.




The Daily Beast: How Male DNA Gets in a Woman’s Brain

Discovery News: Male DNA Found in Brains of Women

NCBI: Male fetal progenitor cells persist in maternal blood for as long as 27 years postpartum