When a woman becomes pregnant or undergoes hormonal treatments, her body begins to undergo major changes.
These changes can sometimes cause discomfort, but it should be kept in mind that in pregnancy hormones play a fundamental role in helping to prepare the body for a new life, for the delivery to be carried out in the best way, and to nourish the baby.
What do hormones consist of?
Hormones consist of chemicals, and are produced by glands in your body. In addition, they travel through the blood and are responsible for controlling the functions of various organs.
When the gestation process begins, it is the hormones that take charge of preparing your whole organism to develop a proper pregnancy, and they continue working until the breastfeeding phase.
This preparation of your body involves changes generated by hormones that are produced during pregnancy, and others that are part of the body normally, but are modified during the gestation period or by various factors.
How hormones affect my body during pregnancy
As we mentioned earlier, your body’s hormones are responsible for making the necessary changes during pregnancy so that your baby develops, is born and nourished properly.
Likewise, there are some hormones that begin to work in advance, with the idea that conception will take place. These are the so-called pregnancy hormones, which are responsible for fertilization to take place.
Among the hormones that most influence your body we can mention the following:
Progesterone is one of the hormones produced by the ovaries, and it increases at the moment when the sperm and the egg unite, with the purpose of preparing the endometrium for embryo implantation to take place.
Once fertilization occurs, progesterone begins to increase from week ten until the period of pregnancy ends.
On the other hand, this hormone is also responsible for relaxing the uterus so that contractions can take place.
Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG)
HCG is produced by the placenta during gestation. Throughout the first few weeks it increases dramatically, and after week seven or eight it decreases to minimal levels.
Additionally, it eliminates menstruation and may cause side effects such as nausea and vomiting. This hormone is present in the blood and urine of the expectant mother and is used to corroborate or detect pregnancy.
These hormones are responsible for the growth of the inner layer of the endometrium or uterus. These are the other hormones produced by the ovaries.
Its quantity increases proportionally to the development of the pregnancy and continues to grow until the moment of delivery.
They are also the main players when it comes to changes in the mammary glands, which are responsible for producing milk. On the other hand, estrogens establish the effective exchange between the circulation of the pregnant woman and the fetus.
They are also responsible for promoting the growth of the uterus. They can also cause changes in both skin and hair.
Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH)
FSH influences the ovaries by generating egg growth. This occurs from the initial phase of the female hormonal cycle.
Luteinizing Hormone (LH)
LH acts once the egg is grown and inside the ovarian follicle. Its intervention produces ovulation, and fertilization takes place.
Placental lactogen (HPL)
LPL is only produced during pregnancy and is a product of the placenta. It is responsible for stimulating and regulating the development of the fetus, as well as the evolution of the pregnancy.
On the other hand, in combination with estrogen, it prepares the mammary glands to produce milk.
This hormone is responsible for initiating contractions of the uterus at the time of delivery.
This is produced by the placenta and is intended to prepare the mother’s breasts for lactation.
Other bodily changes caused by hormones
In addition to pregnancy, there are other factors that can cause changes in hormones and therefore, changes in your body. Some of these factors may be ovarian stimulation, the use of birth control pills, different contraceptive methods or health treatments.
Here are some of these changes:
This gland can be affected by pregnancy or natural gland deficiency. Irregularity in the functioning of this gland may increase the heart rate, cause palpitations, weight gain or excessive sweating.
It can also occur during pregnancy, because placental hormones have the ability to cause the female’s body to raise blood sugar levels, and she begins to suffer from insulin resistance.
A high generation of cortisol, a stress hormone, can lead to the appearance of a flabby belly.
This hormone is usually manifested when dangerous situations arise, or when the body demands large amounts of energy. But when the body does not require all the energy, excess energy is converted into glucose and fat and stored in the abdomen.
Decreased sexual appetite
Low estrogen levels cause sexual appetite to be reduced throughout gestation. This can also affect sleep and rest.
Acne or hormonal pimples
They usually appear during the first months of pregnancy or for very different reasons.
The increase in androgens causes a high level of body sebum, which in turn obstructs the breathing of the pores, generating the appearance of acne.
Also caused by low estrogen levels. These changes usually occur in middle-aged women, when the walls of the vagina change and become less lubricated.
Weight gain is mainly due to an increase in thyroid hormones, TSH and T3.
On the other hand, the irregular increase of substances generated by the thyroid gland may be caused by leptin resistance.
In the presence of any abnormality in your body, it is best to see your doctor.