Fat, Fertility, and the Brain: Understanding How Body Composition Controls Reproduction

There is relationship between women’s body composition and their fertility. When women are too thin they can stop menstruating and become infertile, and this is likely an evolutionary mechanism prevent mammals from becoming pregnant when food is scarce. However, with the rising obesity epidemic, too much body fat can be detrimental to fertility as well. At this Science on Tap, Dr. Cadence True, Staff Scientist at in the Division of Diabetes, Obesity, and Metabolism at OHSU, will talk about how hormonal signals to the brain help make sure that reproduction happens only during favorable metabolic conditions, and will describe the role the brain plays in the control of female reproductive cycling.