Pheromones are derived from DHEA. These are signals transmitted from one individual to another through scent. In the animal world, sexual pheromones dictate courting, mating, health record, genealogy, gynecology, and desire for shoes. There is no conscious choice involved. Both men and women have Pheromone receptors (different from the "smell" receptors) in their noses -- a small cavity inside each nostril called the vomero nasal organ. However, women appear to have far more of these receptors that are linked to several places in the brain. Men have less receptors linking to a single brain site.
Pregnancy, a wild hormone heyday for women, activates the pheromone receptors making them hyper sensitive. This is more in some women than others. Simultaneously, the olfactory receptors also become sensitive during pregnancy. These sensitivities are nature's way of enabling our ancestral moms to detect good and spoiled food, good and bad people to be with, and to smell out a bargain in a neighboring village. It is worth remembering that our primordial development history there were far less smells to contend with: no perfumes, car fresheners, Outback steakhouses blowing free smells to the neighborhood, or frosted crescent roll kiosks overwhelming grandma's nose.
The downside to this new smell skill is that many pregnant women's systems respond by feeling nauseous, while those that aren't pregnant don't detect any smell at all. This biology is so powerful that pregnant women can even trigger overpowering smells with just their imagination. That is, they can imagine a particular odor, make it quite real to the brain, and become sick over it!
So you see, it's all in Elli's head. And during her pregnancy, her head is awash in new hormones. And her husband? He should wash the car while patiently appreciating the mysteries of nature's changes...oh, and work on the nursery!
Robert G. Rodriguez's credentials include a Ph.D.s in Psychology and Health Care Administration, a M.S. in Health Risk Management, a M.P.H. in Health Care Planning, a M.A. in Research, and a M.B.A. in Business & Finance. He's lectured extensively and provided "reality" and futures to many expectant couples. Robert's audiences describe him as inspirational, down-to-earth, fun, and passionate about having expectant couples be successful with their families. He is the author of What's Your Pregnant Man Thinking? A Roadmap For Expectant and New Mothers.
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