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Hormones and Reproduction

The general pathway for the hormonal release implicated in ovulation is the following:

  1. The hypothalamus in the brain secretes Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH). It seems that neural stimuli can effect the release of GnRH by the hypothalamus. Hence the temporary disturbances of menstruation that may follow emotional stress.
  2. GnRH then stimulates the pituitary gland, situated directly below the hypothalamus, to secrete the gonadotrophins , luteinising hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH).
  3. LH and FSH then act on the ovaries . FSH stimulates maturation of a follicle in the ovary as well as the release of oestrogens and an ovum , while LH, which peaks sharply in the middle of the ovarian cycle, causes the empty follicle to be transformed into a corpus luteum . In males, LH and FSH stimulate release of the male sex hormones, such as testosterone.
  4. Sex hormones are also produced by the adrenal glands, located on top of the kidneys.

During puberty , blood levels of LH and FSH increase and produce the typical physiological and psychological changes observed during these years.

Hormone levels and types in the body also change during pregnancy .

The information in this page is presented in summarised form and has been taken from the following source(s):
1. Introduction to Human Physiology , 2nd Edition (1981), M. Griffins, Macmillan Publishing Co. Inc, New York
2. Child Development , 6th Edition (1994), J. W. Santrock, Wm. C. Brown Communications, Inc.


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Female Sex Hormones
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Gonadorelin
FSH
LH
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Sex Hormones
Progesterone
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LH

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  http://www.hon.ch/Dossier/MotherChild/female_repro/female_hormones.html Last modified: Jun 25 2002