Hormones during pregnancy
Hormones during pregnancy From the work of the hormonal or endocrine system, all the processes that occur in the human body depend. It is the hormones released by the glands that regulate the growth of cells, the skin condition, and mood of a person, his sexual desire and the function of reproduction.
Some biologically active substances affect the work of only one particular organ or tissue, others – on the whole body. The concentration of different hormones in the blood determines the possibility of a woman becoming pregnant and bearing a baby. That is why the hormonal background during pregnancy varies greatly, and it is necessary to closely monitor it.
The role of the glands of the endocrine system
All organs of the hormonal system are closely tied, and their work is controlled by substances released by the pituitary gland. At the same time, the course of processes in the human body depends on the hormones released by the glands in the endocrine system:
- Hormones of the thyroid gland control the metabolic processes and the rate of their course.
- Parathyroid glands regulate the absorption of phosphorus and calcium.
- Thymus secretes thymosin, which controls the formation of immune cells.
- The pancreas produces insulin, which controls the metabolism of carbohydrates.
- The adrenal glands produce substances that affect metabolism, as well as sex hormones.
- The epiphysis produces melatonin and regulates a person’s special biological clock.
- Ovary secretes hormones that stimulate the formation of secondary sexual characteristics and control the reproductive function of a person.
All endocrine organs are connected and operate as a whole system. Breaking the work of just one gland and changing the amount of one of the hormones leads to a violation of equilibrium throughout the body. A very close relationship is present between the endocrine and nervous systems. Together they realize the neuroendocrine regulation of absolutely all processes occurring in the body.
The lifespan of hormones is short, they decay very quickly. Therefore, for the normal functioning of the body, their constant flow into the blood is necessary. For example, hormones that regulate metabolism can stimulate, slow down or block the production of certain enzymes. As soon as their balance is disturbed, digestion and the functioning of different organs and systems change immediately.
Hormonal system during pregnancy and its changes
With the onset of pregnancy, the functioning of the endocrine system changes dramatically. This is due to the appearance in the body of a future mother of two new organs that produce hormones – the yellow body and the placenta. They work to support the pregnancy, but at the same time, they affect the work of the entire endocrine system, and hence the state of the whole organism.
Consider how the work of other glands varies:
The pituitary gland increases and starts to work more actively. For the first time weeks of pregnancy, the volume and number of cells responsible for the production of lutropin hormone increase, and after three months – prolactin.
These substances regulate the growth and work of the yellow body, which is also a gland of internal secretion and is responsible for the progression of pregnancy and the functioning of the placenta. Over time, the amount of prolactin
produced is constantly growing and can be 5-10 times more likely to give birth than in the pre-pregnancy state. This hormone regulates not only the development of pregnancy but also lactation.
Ovaries with the onset of pregnancy under the influence of hormones of the pituitary gland completely cease their cyclic work, and in one the growth of the yellow body begins. The fertilized egg immediately after implantation begins to release a special hormone into the woman’s blood – the chorionic gonadotropin. It also affects the functioning of the yellow body, which produces substances that support the embryo. Over time, the yellow body regresses, and its tasks shift to the developing placenta at about the 16th week.
- The placenta is a temporary organ in the body of a woman, formed only during pregnancy. It provides fetal nutrition and produces some hormones.
- The thyroid gland during pregnancy begins to work much more actively and can even increase in size. Especially important is her work until 16-17 weeks of development when the fetus starts to work its own thyroid.
- The parathyroid glands, when waiting for the baby, begin to work less actively, and this can lead to a violation of the absorption of calcium. Therefore, future mothers often suffer from seizures and brittle nails and hair. Compensate for it will help an additional reception of this element.
- Adrenal glands with the onset of pregnancy also intensify their work. The amount of progesterone, androgens, estrogens, and cortisol in the mother’s bloodstream is increasing. Metabolism in this period is accelerating.
Analyzes for hormones. What hormones are taken during pregnancy?
To future mummies, gynecologists are often offered to take tests for hormones. This is because even small changes in the level of these substances can potentiate serious malfunctions in the body. Timely detection of them will help correct the situation or know in advance about possible problems in the development of the fetus.
Most often biological material for research is blood. It defines such hormones:
Estradiol. This is the most significant hormone in the fairer sex. Usually, it is produced by the ovaries and adrenals, and after the placenta is formed and this organ. All 9 months of its concentration in the bloodstream of the mother grows, reaching its maximum before the very birth. Approximately 4 days after the birth of the baby, its number returns to pre-pregnancy levels. A decrease in the volume of this hormone causes an abortion.
Progesterone. This is one of the most important hormones of pregnant women. With a reduced level of progesterone, it is difficult to implant a fertilized cell and its subsequent development. Usually, it is excreted by the ovaries and bark of the adrenal glands, and then by the placenta. In the normal state, the concentration of progesterone in the blood changes in different phases of the female menstrual cycle. More of it at the end of the cycle, when implantation should take place. After fixing the fetal egg, the amount of the hormone constantly increases to 37-38 weeks. The level of progesterone helps determine how the placenta functions, and also suspect a threat of spontaneous abortion when it decreases.
Free Estriol (E3). The amount of this substance in a woman’s body outside pregnancy is negligible. Basically, it is produced by the placenta, so a sharp increase in its level is observed after the onset of organ ripening. This hormone regulates blood flow through uterine loans and takes part in the formation of ducts in the mammary glands. By the concentration of free estriol, one can estimate the intensity of blood flow in the umbilical cord, as well as the features of the placenta and the blood exchange in it. The change in the concentration of this substance allows you to suspect a violation of the development of the fetus and a pregnant pregnancy.
Alpha-fetoprotein (AFP). The volume of this substance in the mother’s blood usually indicates the growth of the fetus. It produces its body embryo and the greatest concentrations are observed at 12-16 weeks of pregnancy. Before birth, his level in the blood of the baby is no different from an adult. The volumes of AFP in relation to other hormones allow one to suspect possible vices in the formation of the fetus.
HCG is a special hormone that appears in the blood of the expectant mother already 6-7 days after fertilization of the egg, and after another 1-2 days, it is easily detected in the urine. It is HCG that provokes darkening of the second band on all pregnancy tests that are common to all. It stimulates the production of other substances necessary for normal fetal growth. Up to 10-11 weeks of gestation, its concentration increases, and then gradually decreases. The amount of substance in the blood varies depending on how many fetuses the future mother has. AFP estradiol and hCG enter the screening triple test, which makes it possible to assess the probability of the fetus having various developmental disorders.
Testosterone. It is the sex hormone of men, which is relatively small amounts is present in the female blood. With the onset of pregnancy, its level increases. In the last trimester, testosterone levels exceed non-pregnant rates by about 3 times. The concentration of this substance is determined by the adrenogenital syndrome. Also, its amount varies with malnutrition of the future mother.
Prolactin. Its concentration depends on the period of the menstrual cycle. In pregnancy, the amount increases from the 8th to the 20-25th week then falls and again rises during lactation. By the amount of prolactin, it is possible to evaluate the work of the whole fetoplacental complex and to suspect a fetal repetition.
Hormones of the thyroid gland are responsible for the course of many processes in the body. Reducing their number can cause miscarriage or stillbirth.
In addition, future mothers are sometimes recommended to conduct other studies:
- Analysis of 17-ketosteroids. It requires urine. These substances are formed as a result of the metabolism of male sex
- hormones in the female body and may indicate adrenogenital syndrome.
- Blood test for DEA-SO4. It also allows you to estimate the amount of androgen produced by the adrenal glands. The
- the decrease in the amount of DEA-SO4 occurs with fetal hypotrophy.
- Blood test for SHBG. By its volume, adrenogenital syndrome and the probability of gestosis are determined.
Most future mothers never encounter all these analyzes. With a normally developing pregnancy and no complaints, they are not needed.
Additional tests for hormones are usually prescribed for suspected fetal pathologies or if the woman is at risk, for example, by age. The exception is the triple analysis. It is recommended to go through all future mothers as a screening for the early detection of abnormalities in the formation of the fetus.
Triple analysis during pregnancy
This study is conducted according to the rules at the 16-18 week gestation. It includes analyzes for the levels of hCG AFP and estriol. Deviations in the number and proportion of these hormones suggest a risk of fetal chromosomal abnormalities and other developmental disorders. But the results of the analysis are not a reason for the diagnosis.
This is only a screening that allows you to identify women in the “risk zone”. They are recommended to undergo the detailed ultrasound and/or study of amniotic fluid.
Abnormalities in the triple test may also indicate diabetes maternal, disruption of the placenta, too large a fruit and many other circumstances. Often also, deviations occur when the gestation period is incorrectly defined.
What hormones are taken during pregnancy planning?
From the level of many substances depends not only on the course of pregnancy but the very possibility of conception. If during a year of open and regular sex life a woman does not become pregnant, she needs to be examined for hormone levels. Also, this does not hurt those who have previously had violations of menstrual function and unsuccessful pregnancies.
At the planning stage, you may need to test for such hormones:
- Estradiol. If it is deficient, the endometrium does not expand in the uterus, and this prevents implantation.
- Progesterone. It is also necessary for normal implantation.
- FSH (Follicle-stimulating hormone). Stimulates the production of estrogens and the development of follicles.
- Without it, the egg will not ripen and ovulation will not occur, and hence the probability of conception will be zero.
- Luteinizing hormone. Together with FSH, he regulates the ovulatory function.
- Testosterone. Increasing its level can disrupt the growth and maturation of eggs, ovulation and provoke miscarriages.
- Prolactin. Its amount is associated with the production of estrogens and sexual function in women.
- Hormones are thyroid. They are necessary for the production of prolactin and other important substances. Disorders in the thyroid gland can adversely affect the maturation of the follicles and the formation of the yellow body.
- DHEA-S. This is one of the androgens, it triggers the production of estrogen by the placenta.
- AMG (Antimyuller’s hormone). Its amount allows you to estimate the ovarian reserve of the ovaries. Usually, this analysis is recommended for women older than 30-35 years to determine how likely the onset of normal ovulation and evaluate the possibility of early menopause.
All tests are recommended to be taken in the morning on an empty stomach. In addition, before surrender, it is necessary to clarify with the doctor how to behave correctly the day before. Before some tests, you must give up fatty foods, alcohol or smoking, sometimes it is necessary to limit sexual life and stress for a while. All of this can affect the level of hormones.
And more it is necessary to remember that the majority of results of analyzes on biologically active substances do not give a clear idea of the processes taking place in the body. They are informative, and a diagnosis is not made for one analysis. If something suddenly deviates from the norms, do not be in a hurry to despair, perhaps this is a result of stress, malnutrition or fatigue, and soon everything will be normalized