Location: Bowdoin / Mary Lou Zeeman / LH Surge

Mathematics

Modeling the LH surge in the human menstrual cycle

Viewed simply, the menstrual cycle is an attracting cycle of the feedback dynamics between hormones produced by the hypothalamus/pituitary (FSH and LH) and hormones produced by maturing follicles in the ovaries (estradiol, progesterone and inhibin). The post-menopausal steady state is another attractor of the system. The mathematical richness of the system comes from the competition between follicles in the ovary; the pulsatile release of hormones from the pituitary, and an apparent feedback "switch" from negative to positive that gives rise to the LH surge inducing ovulation. In this work we propose and investigate a model for the human LH surge as a transient resonance phenomenon between the hypothalamus and the pituitary.