A guide to your pregnancy hormones

A Guide to your Pregnancy HormonesNovember 2019

Blemishes, Mood Swings and Bloating? Yes, it’s a fact that the cocktail of pregnancy hormones churning in your body are all responsible!

There are 10 main hormones that cause the changes that take place in your body. They are FSH, LH, hCG, Estrogen, Progesterone, Relaxin, Placenta Growth Factor, HPL, Oxytocin, and Prolactin.

FSH or Follicle Stimulating Hormone is present in your body and is necessary to propel your pregnancy.

Luteinizing Hormone or LH and FSH work together to regulate your menstrual cycle. During pregnancy both of these hormones are inactive.

Human Chorionic Gonadotropin or hCG becomes active once the egg meets the sperm and hCG helps to increase the estrogen and progesterone in your system. hCG further represses your immune system to support your growing baby.

Estrogen is first stimulated by hCG and then by the placenta, which triggers the growth of the uterus and the development of your baby’s organs, and administrates key hormones, in your body.

Progesterone is stimulated in the same manner as Estrogen. Progesterone aids in the growth of breast tissue and softens the cartilage and ligaments in preparation for labor.

Relaxin – as the name suggests, this hormone helps relax the ligaments, the bones, the joints and muscles, preparatory to labor.

PCF or placenta growth factor promotes blood vessel growth so that there is increased volume of blood, which is necessary to nourish your growing baby.

Human Placental Lactogen helps your breasts get ready to breastfeed your baby. Both PCF and HPL are produced by the placenta and tailor your body’s metabolism to help feed your baby. In some women both HPL and PCF suppress insulin causing gestational diabetes.

Oxytocin is a muscle contracting hormone and stimulates labor contractions.

Prolactin increases the size of your breasts, which consequently leads to production of milk, to feed your baby.


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