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Best Pract Res Clin Obstet Gynaecol. 2008 Apr;22(2):235-49. Epub 2007 Sep 5.

Hormone-dependent gynaecological disorders: a pathophysiological perspective for appropriate treatment.

Author information

1
Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Department of Paediatrics, Obstetrics and Reproductive Medicine, University of Siena Policlinico, S. Maria alle Scotte Viale Bracci, 53100 Siena, Italy. petraglia@unisi.it

Abstract

Hormonal changes are involved in several gynaecological disorders. Correct functioning of the hypothalamus-pituitary-ovarian (HPO) axis is critical for ovulatory function, as well as the growth and differentiation of uterine tissue (myometrium and endometrium). However, the correct functioning of other endocrine glands (thyroid, adrenal cortex, pancreas) is also crucial for correct reproductive function. Genes and environmental factors have an influence on women's fertility through their effect on hormonal function. Consequently, dysfunction of the HPO axis and/or other endocrine systems may cause infertility and gynaecological disorders. The pathogenetic basis can be used to help make the correct clinical decision for treating these diseases. Disturbances related to the menstrual cycle, i.e. amenorrhoea, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and premenstrual syndrome (PMS), have a close correlation with hypo- or hypersecretion of hormones of the HPO axis. The roles of hypothalamic neurohormones and neurotransmitters in the various forms of amenorrhoea and PMS are well established. PCOS has a complex endocrine/metabolic origin, so a variety of hormonal treatments have been proposed. Hormone derangement has also been proposed as the cause of endometriosis and uterine fibroids. These disorders do not have hyper- or hyposecretion of reproductive hormones, but hyperactivity of oestrogen receptors coupled with a genetic predisposition. The relevance of the endocrine changes is confirmed by the clinical effectiveness of hormonal treatments. In order to establish the correct treatment approach in gynaecological disorders, it is important to understand the endocrine pathophysiology.

PMID:
17804298
DOI:
10.1016/j.bpobgyn.2007.07.005
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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