Reproductive endocrinology is the study of how the endocrine system affects the reproductive system. The endocrine system is a network of glands that produce and release hormones to control certain body functions. The endocrine system has an effect on your heart, bones, and tissues, as well as the ability to reproduce. Any minimal change or alteration in the way the network of glands functions could cause a hormone imbalance that may lead to fertility issues.
What conditions do reproductive endocrinologists treat?
There are a number of endocrine conditions that affect the reproductive system and as a result, a woman’s ability to conceive. Below are some of the more common endocrine disorders we treat at Advanced Reproductive Center. This is not a complete list, therefore please contact our office to schedule an appointment to discuss your particular reproductive endocrinology condition.
- Amenorrhea- the complete absence or suppression of menstrual periods
- Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)- a hormonal imbalance that may result in chronic lack of ovulation, chronic high testosterone, ovaries containing small cysts
- Hirsutism- excessive facial hair or body hair on women
- Turner Syndrome- genetic condition in women lacking the usual two pair of X chromosomes
- Premature Ovarian Failure- when a women’s ovaries stop functioning before age 40
Symptoms of Endocrine Disorders
Symptoms of endocrine disorders can be difficult to identify as they may be mild or even non-existent. However, some symptoms of endocrine disorders can be quite serious and cause problems in many different areas of the body. Endocrine disorders can affect women in different ways and therefore a wide range of symptoms may be experienced, such as:
- Missed or irregular periods
- Early onset of menopause
- Excessive hair growth
- Growth delay
- Short stature
- Delayed sexual development
Causes of Endocrine Disorders
There are many different factors that are believed to cause endocrine disorders. However, most of the causes can be divided into a few groups. Some endocrine conditions occur because a gland produces too much or too little of a hormone, which causes an imbalance. Other endocrine disorders can be caused because of lesions, tumors or nodules that develop in the endocrine system. Also, in many cases endocrine disorders can be due to a genetic predisposition. The body has a defense system built in to the endocrine system that helps control the hormone balance in the body’s bloodstream. If an imbalance occurs, the defense system within the endocrine system signals the glands necessary to correct the imbalance. An endocrine disorder can occur if this system has difficulty keeping the hormone balance in check in the bloodstream. If you are trying to conceive and concerned that you may have an endocrine disorder, please contact Advanced Reproductive Center to schedule an appointment at our Rockford, IL office.
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