Having a baby is an exciting moment in the lives of parents. There is so much preparation in the nine months of pregnancy that the months may seem to fly by and the baby will be here before the parents are truly ready. A crib, stroller, clothes, and diapers are just a few of the necessary preparations. There is more to the about pregnancy hormones week by week than just the external baby preparations though.  There is still lot to be known of when do pregnancy hormones start? how to deal with pregnancy hormones and quotes? when do they peak? . You can know by searching online or by visiting a doctor which might be expensive. Internal preparations in the body are also necessary over the next nine months. There are many important hormones in the body that play a huge part in the pregnancy. It is easy for women to blame multiple problems on these hormones such as the emotions that cause women to burst into tears and have blemishes such as acne that might make them think that the nine months are also taking forever. However, there may be some truth behind their accusations. There are good things that these hormones do for the female body as well. Let’s discover the role of seven key hormones: Human chorionic gonadotropin, follicle stimulating hormone, progesterone, estrogen, oxytocin, prolactin, and relaxin and look into both the positives and negatives during the pregnancy.

Pregnancy Hormones

Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG)

Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (also known as HCG) is probably the top hormone during pregnancy. This is the hormone that is going to get the pregnancy started. HCG forms the placenta and helps the woman’s body realize that there is a baby in the womb and to start building a little nest for it. In a non-pregnant woman, HCG levels are usually less than five milli-international units per milliliter (mlU/ml). Levels more than that indicate pregnancy. That makes pregnancy tests bought at the store fairy accurate. The hormone can be found in both urine or blood. This is what doctors use to determine pregnancy. However, higher levels of HCG can be found in some cancers.

The levels of HCG also begin to increase over the next eight to eleven weeks before beginning to drop after that. The levels of HCG by week can be found in an organized chart online. Just because HCG levels may be lower or higher that what is found on the chart does not always mean that something is wrong. The levels are just a guide because no two women’s levels are going to be exactly the same. HCG levels can be used to test for Down Syndrome, to determine due date, and the number of babies that will soon be born. Low numbers can possibly mean a miscarriage, an ectopic pregnancy (egg attaches itself somewhere other than the uterus) or a miscalculation of due date. High levels also do not necessary mean that anything is wrong. It could mean that there are multiple babies, a molar pregnancy (abnormal tissue growth where there is a no baby), or another miscalculation of due date.

HCG is also unfortunately thought to cause morning sickness and frequent urination through the first several weeks of pregnancy. Women with higher HCG usually experience more nausea and vomiting than women with lower HCG.

Follicle stimulating hormone (FSH)

Follicle stimulating hormone, or FHS, stimulates the ovary’s egg follicles which then will help make the hormone estrogen. Women that have higher levels of FSH (usually common in older women over the age of thirty-five) are more likely to use more than one egg. That of course leads to the joy of having twins.


Progesterone is made early in the pregnancy that is why it is called early pregnancy hormones. It is formed by a cyst that is found on the ovary called the corpus luteum. Progesterone is usually produced at an increasing rate for about ten weeks, plateaus, and then the placenta takes the job over. Progesterone keeps the uterus muscle relaxed and helps the immune system so that the body will not reject what it considers foreign DNA but is actually the developing baby.

Progesterone helps with breast tissue growth. Later, it will help soften ligaments and cartilage to help with the labor process.

Even though progesterone is very important, it can also have some undesired side effects. Because it helps relax muscles, this can lead to low blood pressure, dizziness, heartburn, nausea, and gas. Plus, it can increase unwanted hair on the body. Just remember that it is a needed hormone to help with a healthy baby.


Like progesterone, estrogen is also produced by the corpus luteum until the placenta does it. Estrogen is needed in the development of the baby for several different organs and body systems. The hormone has an extremely important role. It helps stimulate hormone production in the baby’s adrenal gland as well as with the growth of it. It also enhances the mother’s uterus and helps it respond to another hormone (oxytocin). It is this that stops the FSH (mentioned above) and stops a woman from ovulating while pregnant. After the first trimester, the female body will have high levels of estrogen and then it will plateau.

Estrogen get also cause changes in the skin pigment as well as spider veins. Estrogen can also lead to nausea and an increased appetite. For lucky women though, estrogen may cause the pregnancy glow that people are always raving about.


It is thought that oxytocin is the post pregnancy hormone that is behind the beginning of labor. It is present throughout the entire pregnancy though. There is a drug that can be given to induce labor that also contains a form of oxytocin. The hormone level does not rise as labor begins though. The uterus just becomes very sensitive as well as responsive to oxytocin towards the end of pregnancy. The oxytocin hormone is needed to stretch the cervix and also help the nipples to begin to produce milk. This is what helps start labor contractions.


Prolactin is the milk-producing hormone. This increases ten to twenty times during pregnancy. It also helps breast tissue prepare by increasing in size for lactation and the release of the milk.


Relaxin is probably responsible for loosening ligaments that hold the pelvic bones together and relaxing muscles necessary for the delivery of a baby through natural birth. With the relaxation and loosening of muscles though can come pain, inflammation, and clumsy actions in the shoulders, knees, hips and ankles. This pregnancy hormone is the reason for anxiety and stress during pregnancy.

Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG), follicle stimulating hormone FSH), progesterone, estrogen, oxytocin, prolactin, and relaxin are seven of the important hormones needed during pregnancy to help with the development and health of the baby as well as help the mother through the birth of her baby. Though there may be many undesired side effects to these pregnancy hormones like diarrhea , they are necessary to ensure that the baby is healthy.  And all these undesired hormonal affects will all be worth it once the baby is held for the first time! You might be knowing the pregnancy hormones meme’s that are ought to be. If you had a abortion then the pregnancy hormones after abortion that will be present is HCG even thought you have taken pregnancy hormone test. After abortion every women feels anger and pain. These emotions are hard to control. Sometimes she will find hard to explain pregnancy hormone effects to her husband. Feel happy and comment queries after reading this article.


Hochwald, L. (n.d.). A Cheat Sheet to Pregnancy Hormones. Retrieved November 03, 2016, from http://www.parents.com/pregnancy/my-life/emotions/understanding-pregnancy-hormones/

Week, B. (n.d.). What to expect. Retrieved November 03, 2016, from http://www.whattoexpect.com/pregnancy/pregnancy-health/pregnancy-hormones.aspx