Pregnancy Block from a Female Perspective

  • Stuart D. Becker
  • Jane L. Hurst
Conference paper

DOI: 10.1007/978-0-387-73945-8_13

Cite this paper as:
Becker S.D., Hurst J.L. (2008) Pregnancy Block from a Female Perspective. In: Hurst J.L., Beynon R.J., Roberts S.C., Wyatt T.D. (eds) Chemical Signals in Vertebrates 11. Springer, New York, NY


Within a limited time after mating, exposure of female rodents to the scent of an unfamiliar conspecific male results in pregnancy termination. Since its discovery in mice, pregnancy block (or the ‘Bruce Effect’) has been confirmed in several other murine and microtine rodent species. Adaptive explanations for this behaviour have traditionally focused on advantages to the blocking male, but the suggested benefits to females remain controversial. Consideration of potential female benefits and the implications of female advantage in pregnancy block suggest that this behaviour could evolve with little or no reference to male advantage, and may represent a potential reproductive cost to stud males.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media,LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stuart D. Becker
    • 1
  • Jane L. Hurst
  1. 1.Department of Veterinary Preclinical ScienceUniversity of LiverpoolLeahurstUSA

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