Hormones and sexual behavior associated with postconception perineal swelling in the sooty mangabey (Cercocebus torquatus atys)
Three studies were conducted with female sooty mangabeys to describe the occurrence of perineal swelling during pregnancy and to document the associated patterns of ovarian hormone secretion and sexual behavior. Menstrual cycles and pregnancies were charted in 29 female subjects by recording daily vaginal bleeding and perineal swelling. As in other swelling species, maximum perineal tumescence corresponded with the periovulatory phase of the cycle; however, a second tumescence was recorded during pregnancy, with a peak at 49 days postconception. The swelling patterns were similar with the exception that deturgescence was slower during pregnancy. In a second study, blood samples were obtained weekly from nine females to document the estradiol (E2) and progesterone (P4) profiles during pregnancy. Analyses revealed increased E2 concentrations and low P4 levels in association with the postconception swelling. A third study compared sexual behavior during ovulatory and post-conception tumescent peaks. Behavioral data revealed that, although there was no overall difference in male mount rate to females during the ovulatory and postconception maximum swelling period, when only the alpha male was considered, significantly fewer mounts were directed to females exhibiting a post-conception versus an ovulatory maximum tumescence.
Key wordsCercocebus swelling cycles postconception estrus sexual behavior ovarian hormones
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