, Volume 18, Issue 2, pp 261-270

First online:

Correlation of perineal swelling with serum ovarian hormone levels, vaginal cytology, and ovarian follicular development during the baboon reproductive cycle

  • D. E. WildtAffiliated withDelta Regional Primate Research Center
  • , L. L. DoyleAffiliated withUniversity of Arkansas Medical School
  • , S. C. StoneAffiliated withMedical Center, Louisiana State University
  • , Richard M. HarrisonAffiliated withDelta Regional Primate Research Center, Tulane University

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Perineal swelling was correlated with changes in vaginal cytology and serum ovarian hormone levels and with development of the ovarian follicle. The average length of 66 menstrual cycles as seen in 12 mature baboons was 35.7±.66 days with a range of 25 to 47 days. Laparoscopic observations and photographic documentation of follicular development were made as early as 13 days prior to ovulation with the most rapid follicular maturation occurring 24 to 48 hours before ovulation. In 38.5% of the cycles ovulation occurred on the last day of maximal perineal tumescence with 26.9% of the ovulations occurring one day after initial detumescence. In 17.8% ovulations occurred two to five days prior to detumescence while the remaining 17.8% occurred two to three days following first observed detumescence. The mean progesterone level during the follicular phase was significantly less than that in the luteal phase, 1.6 and 6.7 ng/ml respectively (p<0.01). The level of estrogen detected during the periods of maximal tumescence was significantly higher (p<0.05) than that detected in the remainder of the cycle, 19.8 and 5.9 pg/ml respectively. Vaginal smears were stained, observed microscopically, and found to correlate with perineal swelling, hormone levels, and laparoscopic observations.