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What is a pulsatile hormone?

Pulsatile hormones are crucial in reproductive health because they regulate the delicate processes of fertility, ovulation, and pregnancy. 🌿

A pulsatile hormone is a type of hormone that is released from glands in the body in intermittent bursts or pulses, rather than being continuously secreted at a steady rate. These bursts occur in a rhythmic and cyclical manner, with periods of increased secretion followed by periods of lower secretion or even temporary pauses.

In women, follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) are released in pulsatile patterns from the pituitary gland in the brain, orchestrating the menstrual cycle and ovulation. These hormonal pulses are finely tuned to stimulate the growth of ovarian follicles, the release of mature eggs, and the preparation of the uterine lining for potential pregnancy.

Prolactin, another pulsatile hormone, plays a significant role in lactation. However, elevated prolactin over time can result in reduced fertility in both men and women. In women, it can disrupt the delicate hormonal balance necessary for ovulation and implantation of a fertilized egg. It can cause disruptions in the menstrual cycle, leading to irregular periods or even amenorrhea (absence of menstruation).

The pulsatile nature of hormone release allows the body to respond dynamically to changing physiological needs and environmental cues.

This rhythmic pattern of hormone secretion is critical for regulating numerous functions in the body, including growth and development, reproduction, metabolism, sleep-wake cycles, and stress responses 💪🏼

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