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Influence of ovarian hormones on urogenital infection.
  1. C Sonnex
  1. Department of GU Medicine, Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge.


    Numerous studies have examined the influence of hormones on infectious diseases and there is now a wealth of data relating to the more specific effect of the sex hormones, oestrogen and progesterone, on urogenital infections. The interaction between these hormones and the immune system is complex and the variation of hormonal effect between species further complicates the true picture as related to humans. Although it is difficult therefore to draw general conclusions regarding predominant effects of specific hormones, there is the suggestion that oestrogen enhances the pathogenicity of many urogenital micro-organisms. Our understanding of the influential role played by sex hormones in disease pathogenesis is at an early stage and illustrates well the importance of drawing together and interpreting as a whole both epidemiological and molecular studies.

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