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Stress Puts Double Whammy on Reproductive System, Fertility

University of California - Berkeley,  June 15, 2009

University of California, Berkeley, researchers have found what they think is a critical and, until now, missing piece of the puzzle about how stress causes sexual dysfunction and infertility.

Scientists know that stress boosts levels of stress hormones - glucocorticoids such as cortisol - that inhibit the body's main sex hormone, gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH), and subsequently suppresses sperm count, ovulation and sexual activity.

The new research shows that stress also increases brain levels of a reproductive hormone named gonadotropin-inhibitory hormone, or GnIH, discovered nine years ago in birds and known to be present in humans and other mammals. This small protein hormone, a so-called RFamide-related peptide (RFRP), puts the brakes on reproduction by directly inhibiting GnRH.

You can read more about the research in this article:


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