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Reproductive Endocrinology: Methodologic Advances and Clinical Studies

MORTIMER B. LIPSETT, M.D.; CHARLES M. CARGILLE, M.D.; and GRIFF T. ROSS, Ph.D., M.D.
[+] Article and Author Information

▸Requests for reprints should be addressed to Mortimer B. Lipsett, M.D., Chief, Endocrinology Branch, National Cancer Institute, Bldg. 10, Rm 12-N-204, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Md. 20014


Bethesda, Maryland


Ann Intern Med. 1970;72(6):933-942. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-72-6-933
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The increased sensitivity of the radioimmunoassays for plasma gonadotrophins and saturation assays for plasma steroids has facilitated the analysis of the events of the menstrual cycle and the alterations of these in disease. The early follicular rise of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) is correlated with follicular development, the midcycle surge of luteinizing hormone with ovulation. Changes in plasma steroids indicate whether steroidogenesis by the developing follicle and corpus luteum are normal. Several clinical entities are examined using these methods. The functional life-span of the corpus luteum of pregnancy was 8 to 10 weeks with maximum function 4 weeks after ovulation. The conventional oral contraceptives containing an estrogen and progestin inhibit cyclic gonadotrophin secretion and thereby prevent ovulation. One of the conditions associated with infertility, the short luteal phase, is due to low FSH levels with consequent poor follicular development and inadequate corpus luteum function. Clomiphene citrate induces ovulation in some women with secondary amenorrhea by causing a release of FSH, thereby simulating the normal early follicular rise of FSH.

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