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Does a woman retain traces of her male partner after giving birth?

Dear Cecil:

I remember reading, some years ago, a newspaper account of a woman who took her pedigreed bitch in for stud service, and was horrified to find a litter of mongrels nine weeks later. She sued the owner of the stud service, saying that the pedigree was irretrievable, and that therefore the bitch was no good as a source of purebred dogs. If this is true, does this mean that if a human female has ever been pregnant, she carries the father's genetic information in future pregnancies, even if a subsequent pregnancy is by a different man?

John S., Dallas

Cecil replies:

If ignorance were cornflakes, John, you’d be General Mills. As you’d know if you’d been paying attention in high school biology, pregnant females — whether human, female, or wombat — retain no male residue once they expel the placenta after giving birth. The woman who filed the lawsuit obviously had a couple kinks in her cable, and it sounds like you could stand a little rest yourself.

Cecil Adams

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