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Lecture 12

PSYC 342 Lecture Notes - Lecture 12: Endometriosis, Bulgarian Lev, Anovulatory Cycle

Course Code
PSYC 342
Jens C Pruessner

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PSYC342 Lecture 12 - Mar. 1
Female Reproductive Organs:
Vagina: Tubular tract leading from uterus to exterior of body
Cervix: Lower, narrow portion of the uterus
Uterus: Muscular reproductive organ, located in the pelvis
Fallopian tubes: Two tubes leading from the ovaries into the uterus
Ovaries: Oocyte-producing organs
The Menstrual Cycle:
Involves the monthly release of hormones that help to mature an oocyte (egg) and prepare the body
for fertilization and pregnancy
When fertilization does not occur, the endometrium (lining of uterus which grows during menstrual
cycle to prepare the attaching of the egg) breaks down and menstruation occurs
What is Menstruation?
Monthly bleeding, “menses”, as a result of the shedding of the endometrium lining
Hormonal Activity:
GnRH (Gonadotropin Releasing Hormone) released from hypothalamus acts on pituitary gland,
leads to the release of FSH & LH
Follicle-Stimulating Hormone (FSH) & Luteinizing Hormone (LH) released by the anterior pituitary,
control the maturation and release of an egg by the ovaries. FSH acts on ovaries to promote devel-
opment of follicles (maturing eggs of the female ovary)
LH causes the mature follicle to release an egg. This is called Ovulation
Estrogen and progesterone, secreted by the ovary, build up the endometrium (the lining of the

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Follicular Phase:
Between days 5 and 13 (but interindividual variations)
Otherwise known as the proliferative phase
Stage ends with ovulation
Main hormone controlling this stage is estrogen
Step 1:
FSH + LH levels will begin to rise at the end of the menstrual period. These rising levels of FSH will
causes ovarian follicles to start growing
Step 2:
The granulose cells surrounding the follicles begin to proliferate and increase their expression of lut-
enizing hormone (LH) receptors.
These follicles also start producing estrogen
Step 3:
As estrogen levels increases they will feedback negatively not he pituitary and hypothalamus, there-
by lowering GnRH, FSH and LH levels
Eventually one follicle will become dominant
Selection of the Dominant Follicle:
How does a follicle gain dominance?
Near the end of the follicular phase, the level of FSH is low, due to inhibition exerted by estro-
As a result of this scarcity in FSH, only the follicle with the most FSH receptors expressed can
acquire enough FSH to continue growing
The other follicles eventually atrophy
Step 4:
The dominant follicle continues to secrete more amounts of estrogen which will eventually lead into
the LH surge...and then ovulation
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