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Hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian Axis (Nursing)

by Jacquelyn McMillian-Bohler

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      Slides Menstrual Cycle Nursing.pdf
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      Slides Menstrual Cycle Hypothalamic pituitary ovarian Axis Nursing.pdf
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    00:01 So first, we're going to talk about the HPO cycle.

    00:04 Not to be confused with the popular cable station.

    00:07 Again, HPO stands for hypothalamus, anterior pituitary, and the ovaries.

    00:15 Let's look at what's going on in the hypothalamus.

    00:18 The hypothalamus controls lots of things, not just reproduction.

    00:23 I want you to take a moment and jog your mind and see if you can think of all the things the hypothalamus controls.

    00:34 You got it.

    00:35 When we think about things like being hungry, and when we've had enough to eat, the hypothalamus lets us know.

    00:42 When we think about the fact that we might be cold or hot, the hypothalamus lets us know.

    00:47 But here today, we're going to talk about how the hypothalamus controls the menstrual cycle.

    00:53 Within the menstrual cycle, there is a neurotransmitter released about every 60 minutes, and that neurotransmitter is called GnRH.

    01:03 GnRH stands for Gonadotropin-releasing hormone.

    01:08 Try to say that three times fast.

    01:11 The GnRH acts on the anterior pituitary.

    01:14 Hopefully you remember that there are two parts of the pituitary.

    01:17 There's the anterior side, and the posterior side.

    01:22 The posterior pituitary is going to be important to us later, because it actually releases a hormone called oxytocin.

    01:29 And oxytocin is responsible for things like uterine contractions.

    01:33 But today we're focused on the anterior pituitary.

    01:36 So under the influence of GnRH, it actually releases two hormones known as FSH or Follicle-stimulating hormone, and LH, Luteinizing hormone.

    01:48 Those two neurotransmitter hormones are responsible for acting on the ovaries.

    01:53 And they help to build the follicle from which the egg emerges.

    01:58 Part of the function of the ovary is to release two hormones that should be well known to you.

    02:04 And those are estradiol and progesterone.

    02:07 An estradiol is just a type of estrogen.

    02:09 So, don't get confused by that at all.

    02:12 So, this is the HPO cycle.

    02:16 The next thing we want to talk about in this cycle is this idea of a feedback loop.

    02:20 So let's talk for a second about what a feedback loop actually is.

    02:25 A feedback loop can be positive or negative.

    02:28 When we have a positive feedback loop, what that means is when a substance is present, it elicits more of another substance to be produced.

    02:37 A negative feedback loop is exactly the opposite.

    02:41 When that substance is present, it sends a message to decrease production of another substance.

    02:47 So, estrogen and progesterone actually form positive and negative feedback loops with both the anterior pituitary, and the hypothalamus.

    02:57 Now, this is important, because as the follicle grows, and the egg ovum inside grows, we don't want to keep growing the egg, because that would be a really big egg.

    03:08 And that would be a problem. So, we don't want to do that.

    03:11 We want to send a message when there is enough when the egg is perfect in terms of size to stop the production.

    03:18 So that's what the feedback loop is about.

    03:20 Let's talk about what it looks like with the anterior pituitary and with the hypothalamus.

    03:26 So, in the beginning, FSH is stimulating the production of the follicle and the egg inside.

    03:33 So when we have enough FSH, and think about the word follicle-stimulating hormone, when we have sufficient stimulation from the anterior pituitary to the ovary, and estrogen is produced, it sends a message back to the anterior pituitary that there's enough FSH, so slow down.

    03:54 So the feedback loop goes from a positive feedback loop to a negative feedback loop, okay.

    04:02 The same thing happens with the hypothalamus.

    04:05 Initially, as the hypothalamus produces GnRH, and it stimulates the anterior pituitary to release FSH, that's great because the ovary needs to produce the follicle and the ovum, but once the egg is sufficient size, then it needs to convert to a negative feedback loop to slow down the stimulation of GnRH and FSH because our egg is ready.

    04:30 That's the feedback loop.


    About the Lecture

    The lecture Hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian Axis (Nursing) by Jacquelyn McMillian-Bohler is from the course Menstrual Cycle (Nursing).


    Included Quiz Questions

    1. The hypothalamus releases the hormone GnRH.
    2. The pituitary gland releases FSH and LH.
    3. The ovaries release estradiol and progesterone.
    4. The posterior pituitary gland releases hormones in response to GnRH.
    5. The hormone oxytocin stimulates follicle formation in the ovaries.
    1. Estradiol signals the pituitary gland to reduce the secretion of FSH and LH.
    2. GnRH signals the pituitary gland to increase the production of FSH and LH.
    3. FSH and LH secretion stimulate follicle formation in the ovaries.
    4. Follicle formation stimulates the release of progesterone and estradiol.

    Author of lecture Hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian Axis (Nursing)

     Jacquelyn McMillian-Bohler

    Jacquelyn McMillian-Bohler


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