This TikTok Suggests Your Grandma Had a Mind-Blowing Role In Your Creation
No two familial relationships are exactly the same, and this especially goes for grandmothers and their grandchildren. Some people catch up with their grannies at Thanksgiving and Christmas, then avoid speaking to them until the next holiday season rolls around. Others call them once a week and chat about their latest relationship woes and Netflix binges.
No matter which type of relationship you have, though, a new viral TikTok is showing that you may be closer to your grandma than you ever realized.
On Saturday, TikTok user @debodali posted a video with what she calls "earth-shattering information" about the female reproductive system. "As women, we're born with all of our eggs," she explains. "So your mom didn't make your eggs, your grandmother did, because your mom was born with her eggs. The egg that made you was created by your grandmother." (Related: How Coronavirus Might Affect Your Reproductive Health)
Confused? Let's break it down, starting with some health class basics. In females, the ovaries (the small, oval-shaped glands located on the sides of the uterus) are responsible for producing eggs (aka the ova or oocytes), which develop into a fetus when fertilized with sperm, according to the Cleveland Clinic. These eggs are produced only in the womb, and the number of eggs tops off at roughly six million to seven million eggs 20 weeks into gestation, according to the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists (ACOG). At that point, the number of eggs begins to drop, and by the time a female baby is born, they're left with just one to two million eggs, according to ACOG. (Related: Does Your Uterus Really Get Bigger During Your Period?)
While it's true that females are born with all their eggs, the rest of @debodali's points weren't entirely on the money, says Jenna McCarthy, M.D., a board-certified reproductive endocrinologist and the medical director of WINFertility. "A more accurate description is that your mother created her eggs while she was still growing inside your grandmother," Dr. McCarthy explains.
Think of it as a Russian nesting doll. In this instance, your grandmother is bearing your mother inside her womb. At the same time, your mother is producing eggs inside her ovaries, and one of those eggs is eventually fertilized to become you. Even though your mother and the egg that made you were technically in the same body (your grandmother's) at the same time, you're both made from a different blend of DNA, says Dr. McCarthy. (Related: 5 Shape Editors Took 23andMe DNA Tests and This Is What They Learned)
"Your mother's eggs are created from her [own] genetic material, which is a combination of her mother and father's DNA," explains Dr. McCarthy. "If the egg you grew from was actually created by your grandmother, the DNA inside it would not include the DNA from your grandfather."
Translation: It's not true to say that "the egg that made you was created by your grandmother," as @debodali suggests in her TikTok. Your own mother made her eggs all by herself — it just happened to take place while she was in your grandma's uterus.
Still, this idea of womb-ception is seriously mind-blowing. "It is pretty cool to think about the fact that the egg that became you grew inside your mother while she was still growing inside your grandmother," says Dr. McCarthy. "So, it is true to say that a part of you (the part from your mother) grew inside your grandmother's womb."