Glandular problems in women

What are glandular problems?

Primary glands are involved in producing reproductive hormones in women.  Hormonal imbalances are sometimes traced back to glandular problems rather than a surgical procedure such as a tubal ligation or tubal reversal.

Primary glands include the hypothalamus, thyroid and pituitary glands.  These glands are constantly sending signals in order to maintain the balance of hormones in the body.  Having a problem with any one of these primary glands in a woman’s body could upset the natural balance of the reproductive hormones estrogen and progesterone.

Primary glands

  • Hypothalamus:  The hypothalamus is a small region at the bottom of the brain.  The hypothalamus is responsible for two major jobs.  The first are metabolic processes like controlling body temperature, hunger, thirst, fatigue, and circadian cycles. The second is control of the Autonomic Nervous System.  Hypothalamic-releasing hormones are also responsible for stimulating or inhibiting the secretion of pituitary hormones.  These Hypothalamic-releasing hormones can be affected by birth control pills, stress, and some disease or medications.
  • Thyroid:  The thyroid, one of the largest endocrine glands, is found in the neck inferior to the thyroid cartilage, i.e. just below the “Adam’s apple.” Hypothyroidism, in which an underactive thyroid gland can cause excessive levels of the hormone prolactin, can inhibit ovulation.

 

  • Pituitary:  The pituitary gland, or hypophysis, is about the size of a pea and weighs 0.5 g.  Its location is at the bottom of the hypothalamus at the base of the brain.  The pituitary fossa, in which the pituitary gland resides, is located in the sphenoid bone in the middle cranial fossa at the base of the brain.  The pituitary gland secretes hormones for homeostasis, including tropic hormones that stimulate other endocrine glands.  It is functionally connected to the hypothalamus by the median eminence, and rests in a small, bony cavity (sella turcica) covered by a dural fold (diaphragma sellae).  Microscopic tumors or prolactinomas on the pituitary gland can release the hormone prolactin, which may cause infertility by interfering with ovulation.

In some cases hypothyroidism is observed as a postoperative symptom of a surgical procedure on the brain, but not with minor procedures like a tubal ligation or a tubal reversal.  Tubal reversal (tubal reanastomosis) is a surgical procedure that restores the function of the fallopian tubes after a tubal ligation.

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