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Do Womens’ Bodies Protect Them From STDs?

Meet Interferon epsilon (or IFNe).

Women-produce-a-protein-that-protects-them-from-STDsIFNe is a naturally occurring protein in women that protects them from Chlamydia and Herpes Simplex and may protect them from HIV and HPV. This protein was discovered by Dr. Paul Hertzog, Director of the Monash Institute of Medical Research Centre for Innate Immunity and Infectious Diseases and his team.

When is IFNe produced?

IFNe is produced during a woman’s hormone cycle and Professor Hertzog says that the protein is produced differently than others:

“Most proteins protecting us against infection are produced only after we’re exposed to a virus or bacteria,” Professor Hertzog says. “But this protein is produced normally and is instead regulated by hormones so its levels change during the oestrous cycle (an animal’s menstrual cycle) and is switched off at implantation in pregnancy and at other times like menopause.” (source)

What’s next for IFNe?

Dr. Hertzog’s plan is to future his teams’ research in hopes to use IFNe as a possible cure for STDs. He also wants to see if his research on IFNe can be applied to finding ways to prevent other diseases.

What does this mean if you’re sexually active?

Dr. Hertzog and his team continue to conduct research on IFNe, so don’t get too excited with this knowledge. Sexually transmitted diseases affect 450 million people worldwide and cost the United States nearly $17 billion dollars in treatment each year (source). For women who know their body produces this hormone, this isn’t an invitation to practice unsafe sex.

Keep using safe sex practices and continue to get tested periodically if you’ve had multiple sexual partners. The day may come when IFNe becomes a way to prevent STDs for everyone, but that day is a long way off.

We hope Dr. Hertzog and his team are onto something great that curtails the rapid spread of STDs.


posted in Interferon epsilon and have Comments (9)


  1. Comment by Attic Management Group on March 17, 2013 at 7:11 pm

    Very interesting to learn about this. The human body is truly a work of art, and it’s amazing to see all of the new research that’s being done out there.

  2. Comment by Title Boxing Club Belton on March 18, 2013 at 4:55 pm

    I think this could help out a lot of people in the future if it turns out to be the break through that it sounds like.

  3. Comment by Automated Controlled Systems on March 18, 2013 at 7:14 pm

    INFe sounds like a great way to help treat or cure STDs in the future.

  4. Comment by DataComm Plus on March 18, 2013 at 9:01 pm

    The human body is an incredible piece of work, and the more we learn about it, the more I’m surprised. It’s crazy the amount of diseases our body can fight, and this is just proof, of how cool the human body is.

  5. Comment by Honest Accurate Auto Service on March 18, 2013 at 9:58 pm

    Who knew there was so much to the body? It’s crazy that we discover these modern miracles.

  6. Comment by TITLE Boxing Club Leawood on March 19, 2013 at 6:53 pm

    I am a bit confused by this, so it is produced in women’s bodies but not all of them? Sounds like it could be a promising find though.

  7. Comment by TEST SMARTLY LABS of Des Moines on March 19, 2013 at 7:54 pm

    This is pretty amazing information! IFNe could lead the way to a cure…or prevention of many STDs.

  8. Comment by Ravgen on March 19, 2013 at 10:06 pm

    Thanks for sharing this great information! Could make a big difference in the future!

  9. Comment by Sallas Auto Repair on March 20, 2013 at 5:03 pm

    It’s crazy what the body is capable of.

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