Pregnancy hormones : what are the effects?

Hormones during pregnancy all have a very important role! HCG is the best-known pregnancy hormone but it is not the only one to play an important role. They must transmit messages to our organs to maintain the proper functioning of our body! They are therefore essential to our balance and their role during pregnancy is even more important. Indeed, from fertilization, and before you even know that you are pregnant, your hormones do everything they can to ensure that this little embryo becomes your baby!

To help you better understand the role of hormones during pregnancy , we have put together a short blog article that details what each of them does.

We also explain to you what the effects of hormones can be during pregnancy . (Spoiler alert: they can make your life difficult!)

Finally, we present to you our 1st Stretch Mark Treatment Cream and our Generous Soothing Oil , both treatments to protect your skin and thus prevent the appearance of stretch marks during your pregnancy.


  • What hormones are involved during pregnancy ?
  • What are the effects of pregnancy hormones ?
  • The link between stretch marks and hormonal variations

What hormones are involved during pregnancy?

The main role of the different pregnancy hormones during the nine months following fertilization will be to bring this wonderful adventure to fruition. It is partly thanks to them that women give birth to healthy babies! From the first days of pregnancy until delivery, hormones help you create life and then give birth. Sometimes, they even give up their apron after several years if the mother decides to breastfeed!

HCG: the first pregnancy hormone to hit the scene

The first hormone to intervene in pregnancy is the HCG hormone : “chorionic gonadotropin hormone” by its scientific name. It is she who lets you know that the woman is expecting a happy event! It is detectable in urine, with traditional pregnancy tests, and in blood, with laboratory blood tests.

It is this hormone that will allow the implantation of the egg into the uterine lining ! To do this, it will stimulate the activity of the corpus luteum so that it continues to produce estrogen and progesterone. Thus, the implantation and development of the embryo are facilitated. The pregnancy hormone HCG ensures the role of the placenta (called trophoblast during the 1st trimester) during the first three months. Then, she gives him room!

Beta-hcg secretion spikes during the first trimester and declines around the second trimester when the placenta takes over.

Progesterone: the hormone necessary for egg implantation

Progesterone is produced every month by the corpus luteum, thanks to the mature follicle which emits the egg into the tubes. This corpus luteum visible on the ovaries after each ovulation secretes estrogen and progesterone. These hormones are essential for the implantation of the embryo.

The role of progesterone is to prepare the uterine lining (endometrium) to accommodate a pregnancy. To do this, it ensures that the endometrium becomes thicker than usual. If there is a pregnancy, the fertilized egg can implant and develop in a favorable environment. If there is no pregnancy, the endometrium will slough off and be evacuated during the next menstruation!

Estrogens: essential for the growth of the embryo

Estrogens are also produced by the corpus luteum at the start of pregnancy, then the placenta which takes over. These hormones will stimulate the production of new cells in the placenta, the chest but also the uterus. It is they, for example, which allow the uterus to stretch to make room for the future baby to grow!

They are also the ones who will increase the blood volume so that the embryo does not lack anything because nutrients and oxygen are transported by the blood.

During pregnancy, estrogen levels can increase by 1000 !

Oxytocin: the childbirth hormone

Oxytocin , or the “attachment hormone”, is the hormone that helps create a bond between future parents and their children. It is also this hormone that gives us pleasure and gets us high during sex and during orgasm. But then, what is the role of oxytocin during childbirth ? Well at the end of the pregnancy, if the delivery occurs naturally, it is she who will trigger the contractions and therefore the start of labor ! It is also possible to be given oxytocin intravenously to induce labor.

Oxytocin, secreted by the pituitary gland, also plays a role during breastfeeding because it promotes the ejection of milk .

Prolactin: preparation for breastfeeding

In the days following childbirth, the secretion of the hormone called prolactin increases. It is this which allows the mammary glands to secrete colostrum , a thick orange-yellow liquid that is very nutritious for the baby. Then, about three days after giving birth, your milk starts to come in!

It is also estimated that during the first three months of life, when the baby breastfeeds regularly, prolactin could block ovulation. However, be careful, it is not 100% safe!

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What are the effects of pregnancy hormones?

The hormones mentioned above can have several effects on the body of the mother-to-be:

  • Beta-HCG can cause fatigue , dizziness , nausea , breast pain , etc. From the 3rd month of pregnancy, its rate decreases and so do the symptoms it causes!
  • Progesterone often reduces the tone of muscles such as the stomach or intestine, which can cause digestion difficulties , acid reflux , or constipation … It also causes a slowdown in the blood vessels which can cause the feeling of heavy legs .
  • Estrogen stimulates the production of melanin . It is the hormone responsible for skin, hair and body color. It also plays a role in the appearance of the famous pregnancy mask if the future mother goes out without sunscreen.

Since they are the ones that make room for the baby by stretching the uterus, they also cause some kinds of uterine contractions and joint pain . Small positive point: they are what give the “ pregnant woman’s glow ”: shiny hair, hydrated and luminous skin. They don't only have negative sides!

  • Mood changes can be observed during pregnancy . It's not uncommon for the mother-to-be to go from moments of fullness to major moments of blues in the space of a day, or even an hour! These changes in mood should be welcomed philosophically, don't worry, it will pass!

The link between stretch marks and hormonal variations

Pregnancy hormones also cause changes to the skin . It can become drier, more fragile and irritated at the slightest… Not to mention that the skin will stretch to make room for the future baby. But also that you could gain and lose weight quickly during and after childbirth. Elastin and collagen are really put to the test by all these hormonal disruptions! The skin deteriorates and loses its quality: this is one of the main causes of the appearance of stretch marks.

As you have understood, the addition of hormone and pregnancy variations doubles the risk of stretch marks appearing. It is therefore important to use specific products to support them in order to avoid stretch marks and itching.

To help you, we have developed two products: the First Treatment Stretch Mark Cream and the Generous Soothing Oil which are offered in the Stretch Mark Prevention Program . These products are important to support the skin through the upheavals of pregnancy hormones that it experiences. The First Care Stretch Mark Cream acts on disturbances caused by hormonal variations. It protects elastin fibers and participates in the production of collagen. Generous Soothing Oil improves the elasticity of the skin and deeply nourishes it. It also relieves feelings of tightness and itching.

You now know everything about pregnancy hormones and the changes they cause in the body of the mother-to-be.

Source :
Your pregnancy day by day, under the guidance of Dr. M. Blott. Larousse.

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