Oddly enough, they can.
In a study conducted by researchers in the U.S. and Germany, it was found that the presence of bourgeonal, a compound used in perfumes, would cause sperm to double their swimming speed.
The compound, which smells like Lily of the Valley, activates a chemical receptor on the surface of the cell, much like those found in your nose. This signals the cell to open calcium ion channels, which lets protein flow out of the cell. As the protein leaved the cell, it flicks the sperm's tail. It's believed that human eggs may release a bourgeonal-like substance to tell sperm when they should make their final sprint to their goal.
Another compound used in perfume, undecanal, can block these receptors, keeping the ion channels from opening. Scientists hope to eventually develop an undecanal-based contraceptive, preventing sperm from reaching their destination before they die off.
Posted 1149 day ago