The author presents a comprehensive story of reproduction, beginning with the simple processes exhibited in the lower animals and ending with the complicated processes in the higher apes and the human being. The physiology of menstruation, ovulation, fertilization and early implantation of the fertilized ovum are clearly described. The changes in the uterus and the endocrine glands as a result of pregnancy are discussed. Most of the chapters are devoted to the glands and the hormones which control reproduction. The discovery of the ovarian hormones, their isolation, their chemistry and their physiologic role are described by presenting many key experiments by numerous investigators. The story of progesterone, with which the author was closely identified, is particularly interesting.
This small monograph is the result of the Vanuxem Lectures which the author delivered at Princeton in February 1942. These lectures with many additions have been embodied in one of the most delightful