Reproductive Case Study 5*


A 25-year-old woman stated that it had been six weeks since her last menses. Her pregnancy test was positive. By the sixth month of pregnancy, she felt irregular contractions of the uterus but no complications were present. After nine months, a healthy, 7 lb., 3 oz girl was delivered with no complications. Breast feeding was planned.



  1. Compare the hormonal controls of the male reproductive cycle with the hormonal controls of the female reproductive cycle.  How are they the same?  How are they different?

  2. What hormonal component is the basis of pregnancy tests?

  3. Following the positive pregnancy test, what hormonal mechanism prevented spontaneous abortion of the implanted embryo?

  4. What prevented the uterus from initiating labor before the designated delivery time?

  5. Describe the positive feedback systems that occur during labor and delivery.

  6. What maintains milk production after birth?

  7. Is it possible to get pregnant during the time of breast feeding? Explain your answer.


*Adapted from Case Histories in Human Physiology, 3rd edition, Donna Van Wynsberghe and Gregory M. Cooley, McGrawHill Publ. 2001