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The role of hormones in the female reproductive system.
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The role of hormones in the female reproductive system
The oestrus cycle is the continuing process of fertility and non-fertility controlled by several hormones and the endocrine system. This consists of the hypothalamus, the anterior pituitary gland, the ovaries and the uterus, known as the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian-uterine axis. Oestrus normally lasts for 18 to 24 days but this figure can vary in specific circumstances such as early puberty when the cycle lasts for a lot less time (3 to 12 days) and also when the cycle commences after pregnancy and parturition (Fuquay 2002). The oestrus cycle halts during pregnancy due to the large amounts of progesterone in the blood supplied by the Corpus Luteium (CL). Progesterone is vital for maintaining pregnancy and also for stimulating the growth of mammary alveoli for the purpose of lactation.
Gonadotrophin releasing hormone (GnRH) begins a cascade of hormones through the animal that are responsible for the oestrus cycle taking place. It is secreted in a pulsating manner with rises and falls in concentrations from the hypothalamus where it is transported to the anterior pituitary gland. It is here that the GnRH controls the release of two protein hormones, luteinizing hormone (LH)
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