Estrous Cycle

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estrous cycle

[′es·trəs ‚sī·kəl]
The physiological changes that take place between periods of estrus in the female mammal.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Estrous Cycle


the aggregate of regularly-recurring changes in the reproductive system of female mammals. Characteristic synchronous changes in the entire female body and especially in the fallopian tubes, uterus, and vagina are governed by the rhythmic processes occurring in the ovaries (the development of the follicles, ovulation, and the formation of the corpus luteum). Each phase of the estrous cycle corresponds to certain changes in the mucous membrane of the vagina and in the cellular composition of the vagina.

The estrous cycle lasts 4–5 days in rats and mice, 16–17 days in guinea pigs, 21 days in cows, and 19–23 days in horses. The estrous cycle in rodents is conventionally divided into four stages—diestrus (the quiescent period), proestrus (preparation for estrus), estrus (heat), and metestrus (the luteal phase following estrus). During diestrus, which accounts for approximately one-half of the length of the entire estrous cycle, a smear shows a predominance of mucus and leukocytes. During proestrus, which lasts approximately 12 hours, the smear consists almost entirely of epithelial cells sloughed from the vaginal wall. During estrus, which lasts approximately 27 hours, the smear contains only squamous epithelial cells (anuclear, cornified cells). Animals normally mate only at the beginning of estrus. Metestrus lasts approximately six hours; during this stage the smear shows some leukocytes among the mass of squamous cells. Primates have a menstrual cycle.

The estrous cycle is observed only in animals with normally functioning ovaries. After neutering, diestrus sets in, and the other stages of the estrous cycle do not occur.


Eskin, I. A. Osnovy fiziologii endokrinnykh zhelez, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1975.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
"A young female's chance of becoming pregnant early is greater if she has reached puberty in time to have two or three estrus cycles before the start of the breeding season."
The aim of Experiment 1 was to examine whether female rats tested in the proestrus phase (i.e., with high levels of estradiol, Group Proestrus) performed in the pool differently than females that were in a phase of the estrus cycle of low hormonal levels (specifically, either in the estrus, metaestrus or diestrus phase, all rats included under the name Group Others); this experiment also contained a third group of male rats.
Plasma estradiol concentrations decreased on about day 6 of the estrus cycle and remained low from days 7-15 compared with the pre-luteal (Figure 3, left panel) and follicular phases (Figure 3, middle panel).
When the sex ratio is female biased, the mating period may extend over 2 - 3 estrus cycles and the calving period is delayed.
A: The estrus cycle of a doe is triggered by the amount of light in the day.
Progesterone administration shortens estrus cycle in goats [21] and the administration of progesterone alone or in combination with estradiol, increases PGFM levels in ovariectomized goats [4].
True or False: If does are not bred during their first estrus cycle, or during the primary rut, they will go into heat again 28 days later.
If a doe conceives just one estrus cycle late the fawn(s) of course will wean a month later than intended.
It appear that IC device can be use to monitory uterine temperature during estrus cycle and probably in some other reproductive physiology processes in cows.
It is unlikely that many does are going to go through an estrus cycle without getting bred.