How Does the Endocrine System Affect Reproductive Development?
In fact, the job of the endocrine glands is more to interact with the body as a whole and to regulate body-wide functions than it is for the glands to interact with or coordinate any kind of predominant endocrine activity with each other. This is different from the activity of the urinary, nervous, respiratory or circulatory system organs and functions.
For example, sweat produced by sweat glands is released into ducts that carry sweat to the surface of the skin. The pancreas has both endocrine and exocrine functions because besides releasing hormones into the blood. It also produces digestive juices, which are carried by ducts into the small intestine. An endocrinologist is a medical doctor who specializes in treating endocrine disorders. An endocrine surgeon specializes in the surgical treatment of endocrine diseases and glands. Some of the diseases that are managed by endocrinologists include disorders of the pancreas (diabetes mellitus), disorders of the pituitary (gigantism, acromegaly, and pituitary dwarfism), disorders of the thyroid gland (goiter and Graves’ disease), and disorders of the adrenal glands (Cushing’s disease and Addison’s disease).
The hypothalamus monitors the need for the FSH and LH hormones made and released from the anterior pituitary. FSH and LH affect reproductive structures to cause the formation of sperm and the preparation of eggs for release and possible fertilization. In the male, FSH and LH stimulate Sertoli cells and interstitial cells of Leydig in the testes to facilitate sperm production. The Leydig cells produce testosterone, which also is responsible for the secondary sexual characteristics of males. In females, FSH and LH cause estrogen and progesterone to be produced. They regulate the female reproductive system which is divided into the ovarian cycle and the menstrual cycle. Menopause occurs when the ovaries lose their sensitivity to FSH and LH and the female reproductive cycles slow to a stop.
Constanti A, Bartke A, Khardori R. Basic Endocrinology for Students of Pharmacy and Allied Clinical Health Sciences. Amsterdam: Harwood Academic Publishers; 1998.
Wilson JD, Foster DW, Kronenberg HM, Larsen PR, editors. Williams Textbook of Endocrinology. 9th ed. Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders; 1998.
Gavaler JS, Van Thiel DH. The association between moderate alcoholic beverage consumption and serum estradiol and testosterone levels in normal postmenopausal women: Relationship to the literature. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research. 1992
Purohit V. Moderate alcohol consumption and estrogen levels in postmenopausal women: A review. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research. 1998
Reichman ME, Judd JT, Longcope C, Schatzkin A, Clevidence BA, Nair PP, Campbell WS, Taylor PR. Effects of alcohol consumption on plasma and urinary hormone concentrations in premenopausal women. Journal of the National Cancer Institute. 1993