Chapter

Menstrual cycle and ovulation

William L. Ledger

in Oxford Textbook of Endocrinology and Diabetes

Second edition

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780199235292
Published online July 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199608232 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/med/9780199235292.003.0809

Series: Oxford Textbooks

Menstrual cycle and ovulation

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The drive to reproduce is the most basic imperative followed by all animal and plant species. The human race has demonstrated great efficiency in increasing its numbers despite relatively low reproductive efficiency when compared with many other species. Humans are monotocous, and the coordinated ovarian and uterine cycles that are evidenced by monthly menstruation serve the purpose of preparing the uterus for implantation at the time when a single fertilized oocyte has completed its journey along the Fallopian tube and into the uterine cavity. Failure of the ovarian or uterine cycles at any point can lead to infertility, and eventual depletion of the pool of primordial follicles within the ovaries results in menopause with cessation of menses and clinical symptoms of hypo-oestrogenism.

This chapter will describe the physiology of the ovarian and uterine cycles with particular reference to the various pathological consequences that can result when the complex mechanisms that regulate the processes fail to function.

Chapter.  5253 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Endocrinology and Diabetes

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