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August 15, 1980

Women currently reap main benefits of LH-RH research

JAMA. 1980;244(7):635-636. doi:10.1001/jama.1980.03310070005003

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Luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LH-RH) is no respecter of gender despite its name. The hormone stimulates release of the same gonadotropins in men as in women. This ultimately results in spermatogenesis and in the development and functioning of the interstitial testicular Leydig cells.

Thus, at the "basic science" level, further investigation of the hormone may yield knowledge pertinent to the reproductive functioning of both sexes. At present, however, the practical benefits of LH-RH research are being reaped primarily by women.

Not only is the hormone being studied in breast milk (but not in the breast secretions of men with galactorrhea, which may or may not contain the hormone) as a possible prelude to advising women about the respective values of breast- and bottle-feeding, but its discovery has also engendered a new contraceptive technology so far proved efficacious only in females.

In fact, many women worldwide have already inhaled a contraceptive predicated