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Roles of estrogens during pregnancy

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

Many women have heard about estrogens many times but are not clear about what they are or what they do. Its definition is very simple: they are female sex hormones that are almost entirely produced by the ovaries. They are key hormones during pregnancy as they stimulate the growth of the uterus so that it can adapt to changes in the size of the fetus as the weeks go by.

But, even so, we talk about hormones without being very clear about what it means and how they act in our body. That is why in the following FastlyHealarticle we will talk about the functions of estrogens during pregnancy and how their levels affect the different stages of pregnancy.

What are estrogens

The estrogens induce cell reproduction of some organs of the body, so many women see how they increase the chest and begins to generate milk mother . They also increase blood flow, thanks to which the baby can receive the necessary nutrients to develop in a healthy way during the months of gestation. For all this, estrogens are essential since they perform many functions throughout pregnancy, such as softening the muscles of the abdomen so that when the time comes, your baby can pass through the birth canal without problems.

It is considered the most important hormone in pregnancy , and acts at the same time as gestagens, which are other hormones with effects similar to those of progesterone. Once you have already given birth, it will be the most important time for the hormone oxytocin. This is responsible for producing breast milk through the mammary glands, which increased in size during pregnancy thanks to estrogens to prepare for breastfeeding.

All pregnancy hormones have the function of regulating or stimulating certain basic processes for the proper functioning of the body, and are a guarantee that the pregnancy is developing as planned. During the months of gestation, the concentration of hormones is very high in any woman, and in the case of estrogens, their amount is multiplied by 1,000 compared to a woman who is not pregnant .

Hormones in pregnancy: mood disturbances

Although it sounds like a myth, it is totally true that hormones alter women during pregnancy , something normal considering all the changes they carry out. You have to be patient and know that when your little one is born your body will reestablish itself little by little.

This is especially relevant in the first and third trimesters of pregnancy, when sudden mood swings are common. Hormonal imbalance is at the base of these sudden changes, since during this time the release of hormones is much higher than normal. If we take into account that hormones also affect neurotransmitters, that is, those responsible for regulating moods, it is not surprising that this rise is manifested in the mood of the future mother.

Here’s how the main pregnancy hormones affect your mood :

  • Estrogen : it is a neurostimulant that, in excess, is capable of causing anxiety, nerves and tension.
  • Progesterone : the opposite happens as in the previous case, it acts as a relaxant, so that elevated levels can cause low moods or even depression.

Types of estrogens

These hormones act on the nucleus of cells and regulate protein synthesis, which explains their importance both in sexual development and reproduction, as well as in other physical and mental processes in the body. The three types of estrogens are:

  • Estradiol : Its synthesis is produced from testosterone and is the type of estrogen that is found in greater quantity in the female body during the years of fertility
  • Estriol : It is synthesized from androsterone and is produced in large quantities during pregnancy, increasing its levels in the urine up to a thousand times during pregnancy. The measurement of the levels of strioles is a very frequent test to check the status of the fetus and the placenta. Analyzing the production of this estrogen can detect problems and complications such as placental insufficiency, which can seriously compromise the life of the fetus.
  • Estrone : It is the least abundant of the estrogens. It is synthesized from progesterone and its production takes place in the ovary and in adipose tissue.

Estrogen excess and pregnancy

Throughout these articles we have been explaining the importance of estrogens during pregnancy, however, this increase in estrogens should not be at any type of level.

Pregnant women should be very careful with their estrogen levels, since levels that are too high , either due to conditions in their own body or due to the consumption of foods that contribute to it, can have a negative impact on pregnancy.

Some of the foods that can increase estrogens are:

  • Soy.
  • Almonds
  • Cherries
  • Plums
  • Celery.
  • Tomatoes.
  • Beetroot.
  • Avena.
  • Wheat.
  • Integral rice.

On the other hand, the foods that contribute to the inhibition of estrogens are:

  • Melons
  • Citrus
  • White rice.
  • Broccoli.
  • Pumpkin.
  • White flour.

The excess of estrogens in pregnancy does not have direct consequences on the health of the mother, however, it can affect the health of the baby . Beyond that, the latest studies that have been done in this regard show that an excess of estrogens increases the risk of developing breast cancer .

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Roles of estrogens during pregnancy , we recommend that you enter our Pregnancy and baby health category .

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