From an immunological point of view, pregnancy is a unique set of circumstances because a woman’s body has to ‘withstand something that is foreign to it’. The mother has to carry the embryo and, in order to do so, her immune system needs to accept co-existence with cells that are at least half foreign in origin. Using a […]
Hormones are messengers that are present in all multicellular organisms – be they animal or plant organisms – that coordinate the functions of each part of that organism.
The sex hormones par excellence are oestradiol in females and testosterone in males. However, the adrenal glands in men and women produce both hormones and they are both necessary for normal development of the two sexes. […]
Progesterone is one of the most important hormones in a woman’s metabolism and fertility. It is produced by the ovaries following ovulation during a normal menstrual cycle but when a woman is pregnant the placenta takes over responsibility for production. Its main roles consist of preparing the endometrium (internal layer of the uterus) for implanting a fertilised ovum and sustaining pregnancies. It also plays an important role when a woman is breastfeeding because it helps to prepare the mammary glands for milk production. […]
What is progesterone? Just a simple look at the word itself gives us an idea of what its functions are. PROGESTERONE: the hormone which facilitates pregnancy. This is a good point from which to start out.
Progesterone plays an essential role in pregnancy and it has many and varied effects. It is a natural substance which is secreted from the ovaries following ovulation and continues throughout the second half of the menstrual cycle. Progesterone ensures that a woman’s uterus is receptive and, when production is insufficient, the embryo does not implant correctly or runs a high risk of leading to a miscarriage. It also relaxes the muscles in the uterus, making it better suited for the early days of pregnancy. […]
Prolactin is a hormone that is produced by the pituitary gland and although it also forms part of the stress hormone circuit, it plays a vital role in breast development during pregnancy and the production of breast milk after giving birth.
Abnormally high levels of prolactin, which is referred to as hyperprolactinemia, causes disruptions in the normal menstrual cycle, anovulatory cycles, infertility and the production and spontaneous flow of breast milk in women who are not pregnant or breastfeeding a baby. […]
One of the most frequently asked questions among couples is how to calculate the most fertile days of the cycle and when ovulation will take place in order to make this coincide with sexual intercourse. Calculating it is simple in the case of regular, 28-day cycles. […]
The uterus, the organ where pregnancy takes place, has a cavity inside where implantation occurs. This cavity is covered by a soft tissue called endometrium, the “nest” that the uterus prepares every month for a possible embryo.
During the menstrual cycle the endometrium goes through 3 main phases: menstrual phase, when it is shed in order to grow again, follicular phase or preovulatory, when it grows, and luteal phase or postovulatory when it reaches the proper state in which to produce implantation. These phases of the cycle are easily seen in an ultrasound. […]