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Hormonal changes during Pregnancy

  • Most of the changes that occur in Pregnancy are due to the changing hormonal levels. During the first three months of pregnancy human chorionic gonadotropin (beta hcG) and the progesterone is secreted by the mother maintains the pregnancy. Later the placenta secretes the hormones required to maintain the pregnancy. The hormones cause marked changes in several organs and organ systems of the pregnant woman. Progesterone, a major hormone is responsible for maintaining pregnancy. The changes in your body and the way you feel is due to the effects of this hormone.

    Some of the effects you may feel are
    1. Nausea and Vomiting
    2. Breast changes - Pregnant women often notice enlargement of their breasts with a heavy sensation associated with tingling and soreness, due to beta hcG, estrogen and progesterone effects.
    3. Food cravings and aversions.
    4. Mood changes
    5. Abdominal bloating
    6. Constipation
    7. Heartburn
    8. Low back pain
    9. Nasal congestion, is related to hyperemia of the mucous membranes(Increased blood supply) Almost all pregnant women develop some degree of increased skin pigmentation and gum changes
    10. Uterine cramps similar to those felt before or during menses
    11. Fatigue - Fatigue is common in the first trimester, but becomes less prominent in the second trimester - progesterone
    12. Urinary frequency - progesterone
    13. Pregnancy related dyspnea is usually mild, of gradual onset, and not associated with other pulmonary signs or symptoms (e.g., no cough, wheezing, pleurisy) - due to hormone progesterone
    14. Lightheadedness (dizziness)is likely associated with the normal pregnancy related fall in vascular resistance( progesterone effect on blood vessels)
    15. The uterus becomes enlarged and globular till 4 weeks of pregnancy.
    16. The cervix and uterus soften appears at 6th week of pregnancy.

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