Ovulation and Stress: Pathophysiology

  • A. R. Genazzani
  • F. Petraglia
  • A. Monzani
  • G. Fabbri
  • A. D. Genazzani
  • P. Di Domenica
  • A. Volpe


The stress-induced impairment of the hypothalamus-pimitary-gonadal (HPG) axis has been shown in humans. Hypogonadism or secondary amenorrhea, in men and women respectively, are the most frequent reproductive disturbances caused by chronic stress. The common endocrine findings in human patients and in experimental animals exposed to stress are the low plasma concentrations of pituitary gonadotropins and gonadal steroid hormones. The mechanisms responsible for the stress-induced impairment of the HPG axis are still unknown. There is much evidence to suggest that the primary defect occurs in the hypothalamus. Stress activates neuropeptides and neurotransmitters which suppress gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) activity. However, other authors suggest an impairment of the gonads as primary cause of HPG alteration.1


Gonadal Steroid Gonadotropin Secretion Luteinizing Hormone Secretion Endogenous Opioid Peptide Pituitary Gonadotropin 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. R. Genazzani
    • 1
  • F. Petraglia
    • 1
  • A. Monzani
    • 1
  • G. Fabbri
    • 1
  • A. D. Genazzani
    • 1
  • P. Di Domenica
    • 1
  • A. Volpe
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept. of Obstetrics and GynecologyUniv. of ModenaModenaItaly

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