Author(s): Reinecke I, Deuflhard P
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Abstract Despite the fact that more than 100 million women worldwide use birth control pills and that half of the world's population is concerned, the menstrual cycle has so far received comparatively little attention in the field of mathematical modeling. The term menstrual cycle comprises the processes of the control system in the female body that, under healthy circumstances, lead to ovulation at regular intervals, thus making reproduction possible. If this is not the case or ovulation is not desired, the question arises how this control system can be influenced, for example, by hormonal treatments. In order to be able to cover a vast range of external manipulations, the mathematical model must comprise the main components where the processes belonging to the menstrual cycle occur, as well as their interrelations. A system of differential equations serves as the mathematical model, describing the dynamics of hormones, enzymes, receptors, and follicular phases. Since the processes take place in different parts of the body and influence each other with a certain delay, passing over to delay differential equations is deemed a reasonable step. The pulsatile release of the gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) is controlled by a complex neural network. We choose to model the pulse time points of this GnRH pulse generator by a stochastic process. Focus in this paper is on the model development. This rather elaborate mathematical model is the basis for a detailed analysis and could be helpful for possible drug design.
This article was published in J Theor Biol
and referenced in Journal of Fertilization: In Vitro - IVF-Worldwide, Reproductive Medicine, Genetics & Stem Cell Biology