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Chapter 27: The Reproductive System (Study Modules 27.07-27.09)

Terms in this set (29)

You are a columnist for a popular website that deals with women's health issues. Visitors to the site can submit their stories and questions through an "Ask the Expert" link on the site. In this scenario, a 26-year-old woman has posted her story and some questions regarding reproductive health.
My name is Angela. I am a 26-year-old married woman with no children. My husband, Doug, and I have been trying to get pregnant for over two years now and my doctor has suggested that I consider fertility drug treatments. The irony of our situation is that I have been taking a birth control pill for five years to prevent getting pregnant, and now my doctor suggests that I take another drug to help me get pregnant. When I went off birth control about a year ago, my menstrual cycle became very irregular. I had been taking a birth control drug called Ortho Tri-Cyclen. To be perfectly honest, I don't understand how it works because my periods were more regular when I was on the pill than when I went off of it. My doctor told me that the pill works because it tricks your body into thinking that it is pregnant. That just confused me even more. When I looked back on my decision to take birth control pills, I realized that I did not really understand how they work. I just do not want to make that mistake again. Before I consider taking any more drugs, I want to understand more about how they work. The drug we're looking into is called Clomid. I asked my doctor a bunch of questions, but I still feel confused. I looked up some stuff online when I got home. Here is some information that I learned from a website about how Ortho Tri-Cyclen works: Estrogen and progestin work in combination to suppress the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis. This suppression leads to a decrease in the release of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) from the hypothalamus and luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) from the anterior pituitary. Maturation of the dominant follicle is inhibited under the decreasing levels of FSH and LH. Hormonal contraceptive use also leads to an an increase in the viscosity of the cervical mucus, which inhibits sperm penetration and movement through the cervical canal. I am hoping that you would be able to help me understand how these drugs actually work.