The Role of Prostaglandins in Dysmenorrhea and Menorrhagia

  • Roger P. Smith


First identified in prostatic secretions, the 20-carbon eicosanoids that make up the prostaglandins, prostacyclins, and thromboxanes, perform critical cellular and regulatory functions throughout the body. These molecules are produced from arachidonic acid by the enzymatic action of cyclooxygenase and other enzymes. Part of the broader class of paracoids and autacoids, biological agents that function as local hormones, have a short half-life, and act very near the point of synthesis; these molecules play important roles in both physiology and pathology. Prostaglandins mediate inflammatory and anaphylactic reactions, the prostacyclins are active in clotting and the resolution phase of inflammation, and the thromboxanes are mediators of vasoconstriction. In the uterus, prostaglandins are critical to vascular tone, normal blood clotting, and orchestrating labor and parturition.


Prostaglandin F2a Prostaglandin E2 Cyclooxygenase Physiology Synthesis Thromboxane A2 Prostacyclin Endoperoxide Arachidonic acid Regulation 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roger P. Smith
    • 1
  1. 1.Florida Atlantic UniversityBoca RatonUSA

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