Disturbances of Reproductive Function in Eating Disorders

  • M. M. Fichter
  • K. M. Pirke


According to the International Classification of Diseases (World Health Organisation 1987) and the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM III-R (American Psychiatric Association 1987) amenorrhea is an obligatory symptom for the diagnosis of anorexia nervosa. Disturbances in the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis are probably the most extensively studied area in anorexia nervosa (Pirke and Ploog 1986). Generally, the results point to the importance of body weight and especially to the importance of caloric intake. Amenorrhea has also been described in healthy women during times of famine. More recently disturbances in the menstrual cycle have been analysed and reported for normal weight patients with bulimia nervosa (Copeland and Herzog 1987; Pirke et al. 1987b, 1988b). In this chapter the disturbances of the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis (a) in healthy females during experimental starvation, (b) in patients with anorexia nervosa during different stages of the therapy, and (c) in normal weight bulimia nervosa are discussed.


Luteinizing Hormone Menstrual Cycle Anorexia Nervosa Eating Disorder Bulimia Nervosa 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. M. Fichter
    • 1
    • 2
  • K. M. Pirke
    • 3
  1. 1.Psychiatrische UniversitätsklinikMünchen 2Germany
  2. 2.Psychosomatische Klinik RoseneckPrienGermany
  3. 3.Max-Planck-Institut für PsychiatrieMünchen 40Germany

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