Reproduction and Endocrine Disorders

The endocrine system is vital for reproduction. We talk about the endocrine system when discussing healthy fertility, but do most of us know what the endocrine system is, or what it does for the body in relation to fertility?

The main function of the endocrine system is to serve as our body’s message center. It is made up of endocrine glands that secrete hormones into our blood or the fluid that surrounds our cells. Hormones deliver messages, and the endocrine system coordinates hormones. Hormones vary in their chemical structure, depending on the endocrine gland they are secreted from.

Our endocrine system works closely with our nervous system to maintain proper function. Most body organs are influenced by the nervous system and the endocrine system. The nervous system sends messages through impulses; the endocrine system sends hormones as messages. For example, a muscle contracts in response to a nerve impulse. The secretion of epinephrine (adrenalin) helps to make the contraction stronger and more forceful to help sustain it.

Without proper endocrine function, our bodies cannot maintain proper hormonal balance, and our cells are genetically programmed to only receive and respond to messages from certain hormones.

Hormone levels can be influenced by many things including:

·        stress

·        fluid changes in the body

·        minerals in the blood

·        infection

Because the endocrine glands secrete hormones, and the hormones are messengers for actions within the body, if a gland is not functioning properly, hormonal imbalance occurs and the ability to reproduce may be impaired.

Talk to Dr. Strebel or Dr. Grolle about endocrine health at your next appointment if you:

  • have been trying to get pregnant unsuccessfully for over a year or more
  • have a history of recurrent miscarriage
  • have a history of infertility
  • are over 35 and have never been pregnant, or have been trying unsuccessfully after 35 years of age
  • or your partner has been diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection
  • or your partner has a reproductive medical condition (PCOS, anatomical disorder, diagnosed hormonal imbalance, known problems with the reproductive organs, etc.)
  • have an irregular or absent menstrual cycle, especially long-term

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