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Lecture 6

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Psychology 2075
William Fisher

October 17, 2012 Lecture 6—Sex Hormones, Sex Differentiation, and Menstruation The Organ Recital Continued - Male and Female External and Internal Genitals and Reproductive Organs - Sex Hormones - Hypothalamus—Pituitary—Gonadal Axis - Ovarian (Menstrual) Cycle Puberty Sex Hormones - Sex hormones are chemical substances manufactured in the gonads (testes, ovaries) and adrenal glands and secreted directly into the bloodstream - Testes and ovaries are analogous and homologous o Testosterone  From testes and adrenals o Estrogen  From ovaries o Progesterone  From ovaries - Sex hormones function within the hypothalamus—pituitary— gonadal “axis” or functional chain o Gonads secrete hormones negative feedback loop Hypothalamus—Pituitary--Gonadal - Axis Feedback Loop in Female o Hypothalamus (brain) secretes GnRH, which acts on pituitary (endocrine gland), causing it to secrete FSH and LH, which stimulate follicle and ovum, estrogen, and progesterone production, in ovary (gonad) o Estrogen and progesterone from the ovary (gonad) form negative feedback loop that acts on hypothalamus to regulate pituitary (with GnRh) to regulate follicle and estrogen and progesterone production (with FSH and LH) - Axis Feedback Loop in Male o Hypothalamus (brain), secretes GnRH, which acts on pituitary (endocrine gland), which secretes FSH to signal testes to produce sperm and LH to signal testes to produce testosterone o Feedback loop of sperm (inhibin) and testosterone, sensed by hypothalamus, keeps sperm and testosterone levels at relatively constant state o Males are more regular/stable in their hormonal output Menstrual (Ovarian) Cycle - Follicular phase o FSH causes ovarian follicle development  Usually just one o Endometrium proliferates - Ovulation phase o LH surge causes ovulation o Mature egg emerges from the ovary o Ovary is not physically connected to fallopian tubeegg migrates toward the fimbria - Luteal phase o Follicle become corpus luteum o Endometrium becomes secretory o Corpus luteum secretes progesterone which via feedback loop eventually reduces estrogen and progesterone production - Menstruation o Hormonal support for development and maintenance of endometrium withdrawn, endometrium is shed in menstruation o Low levels of estrogen and progesterone soon trigger new cycle of follicular, ovulation, luteal phases... Menstrual (Ovarian) Cycle: Length and Timing of Menstruation - Normal menstrual cycle = 20 to 36 to 40 days; average is about 28 days - Menstruation begins on day 1 and continues until about day 4 or 5 - Follicular phase extends from about day 5 to about day 13 - Ovulation occurs on day 14 - Luteal phase extends from day 15 to the end of the cycle, day 28 Menstrual Cycle Issues - Menstrual Pain o Dysmenorrhea  Prostaglandins; antiprostaglandins o Ovarian cysts (fluid filled) o Endometriosis (cyclical severe pain) - Premenstrual Symptoms and Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) o Symptoms are affective and somatic o Cyclical presence vs absence of symptoms o Symptoms occur during luteal phase o Charting o Treatment - Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) o Marked premenstrual symptoms>6/12months o Severe and impairing - Endometriosis o Involves growth of endometrial tissues outside of the uterus at a number of sites (e.g., on ovaries, outside of uterine body, etc.) o Causes pain, often cyclical, and subfertility  Affects 10% of Canadian women of reproductive age  Affects 50% of Canadian women with infertility and chronic pelvic pain - Treated with combined oral contraceptives (continuous), medically induced short term menopause, or if required, surgery - See and - Menstrual cycle, affect, and cognition o Mood (some changes but interpretation is unclear) o Cognition (small changes in sex dimorphic abilities) o Sexual desire peeks at ovulation and premenstrual o Biology and social expectations at cause Menstrual Distress? - 1843: Dr. William DeWees, Diseases of Females, “Melancholies of Menstruation” - 1931: Dr. Robert Frank, Archives of Neurologic Psychiatry, “Premenstrual Tension” o Unrest, irritability, “jumping out of their skin” o Treat with bleeding, laxatives, enemas, radiation of ovaries o Physicians (not women patients) reported good results - 1948: Dr. Erle Henrikson, “Bitch Syndrome” o Changed by publisher to “Witch Syndrome” Dr. Rudolph Moos’s Menstrual Distress Questionnaire (Moos, Psychosomatic Medicine, 1969) Menstrual Cycle Phase and Premenstrual Distress: Bodily Sensations and Social Expectations? - Women who were told they were premenstrual and were actually premenstrual had the highest pain - Women who were actually premenstrual but told they were midcycle had significantly lower pain - Shows that pain is also due to expectations Menstrual Cycle Phase and Athletic and Academic Performance - Hyde: Overall Changes in Performance? o Research on intellectual or athletic performance generally shows no fluctuations over the cycle o Research on problem solving, memory, or creative thinking shows no fluctuations over the cycle - Studied medical students: no correlation between test grades and menstrual cycle phase - Another study showed negative correlation between test grades and menstrual cycle phase - Sex dimorphic abilities: abilities that either men or women excel at Menstrual Cycle Phase and Athletic Performance and Mood: Occasional Mixed Results Menstrual Cycle Phase: Cognition and Performance Hormones and Performance - Luteal phase o High estrogen, high progesterone  Better performance on verbal and fine motor skills: ‘female” abilities  Worse performance on spatial ability and abstract reasoning: “male” abilities Menstrual Cycle Phase and Sexual Interest - Ovulation (vs. luteal) phase women showed more interest in non-partner sexual activity, but not partner sexual activity - Ovulation (vs. luteal) phase women’s partners showed more attention and were more possessive Menopause - Cessation of ovarian function - Weight distribution changes - Vasomotor experiences o
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