Researchers in University of Leicester have revealed that gas from stink bombs as well as flatulence can play a critical role in the human reproductive system.
Hydrogen sulphide, partially responsible for the foul odor of stink bombs, is also a toxic gas and has been used for chemical warfare.
The researchers are investigating the potentially critical role the chemical might have in term and pre-term births.
"Evidence has been gathering over the last ten years that the gas hydrogen sulphide has a signaling role in the body," said Dr. Ray Carson of the Department of Medical and Social Care Education at the University of Leicester.
"Hydrogen sulphide has been shown to relax smooth muscle in the body and it may have a role in inflammation.
"For the past decade, I have studied the role of hydrogen sulphide in the female reproductive tract. So far, hydrogen sulphide has been shown to relax the uterus and it can be produced by the placenta, uterine tissue and the amniotic sac," he added.
Carson has focused his study on initiation of term labor, premature labor and pre-eclampsia, which are still poorly understood.
"It is possible that research on hydrogen sulphide could provide some insight into these areas," said Carson.
A recent study had reported that mice that lack a key enzyme that produces hydrogen sulphide had high blood pressure, so, according to the researchers, it seems certain that interest in hydrogen sulphide will continue to grow.
The study was presented at the First International Conference on Hydrogen Sulphide in Biology and Medicine in Shanghai, China.