In pregnancy, the placenta plays a very important role in the formation of hormones. These hormones are human chorionic gonadotropin, estrogen, progesterone, and human chorionic somatomammotropin. The first three hormones are very important for a normal pregnancy. It is an amazing fact that the secretion of all these hormones along with the hormones secreted by the pituitary gland and others strongly relates the ancient Indian science of Garbh Sanskar. In India, every newlywed couple were used to subject to the course of Garbh sanskar. This the course is consisting of Ayurveda along with the divine Mantra and Yagya together all three can regulate the secretion of these hormones and their functioning. The recent studies in pharmacology also suggested that the regulation of these hormones can be managed using Herbal medicines. Thus Garbh Sanskar is the key factor for the proper and excellent development of the fetus in the womb.
1. Human chorionic gonadotropin
As we are aware of the fact that menstruation cycle occurs in nonpregnant women about 14 days after ovulation. During menstruation, most of the endometrium wall of the uterus sloughs away from the uterine wall and is expelled to the exterior. If this happens to a pregnant woman then the implantation along with the endometrium wall will be expelled to the exterior, which results in termination of the pregnancy. To prevent the miscarriage in a pregnant woman this human chorionic gonadotropin hormone is secreted by the newly developing embryonic tissue, with the development of trophoblast cells from the early fertilized ovum. The secretion of this hormone can be measured in blood after 8 to 9 days after ovulation; the rate of secretion becomes rapidly high at
10 to 12 weeks after fertilization then further reduced to a lower value by 16 to 20 weeks.
Characterization of human gonadotropin hormone – it is a glycoprotein with a molecular weight of about 39000.
• Persistence of the Corpus Leteum and prevents menstruation.
• It causes corpus Leteum to secrete more quantity of sex hormone which is progesterone and estrogens for the next few months.
• Promotes the growth of endometrium cell line so that a large quantity of food can be stored for the fetus.
• Under the influence of this hormone mother’s ovary grow about twice of its initial size.
• To involutes the corpus Leteum after the 13th to 17th week of pregnancy.
Role of human chorionic gonadotropin on the fetus
This hormone also exerts an interstitial cell stimulation effect which results in the production of testosterone in the male fetus. This small secretion of testosterone during gestation is what causes the fetus to grow to make sex organ instead of female organs.
2. Estrogen and progesterone
The placenta secretes both the estrogen and progesterone from syncytial trophoblast cells of the placenta. The secretion of estrogen is increased by 30 times from normal mother’s estrogen secretion at the end of the pregnancy. The estrogen secreted by the placenta is different from what secrets from the ovary. The estrogen in the placenta is formed by androgenic steroid compounds known as dehydroepiandrosterone and 16-hydroxy dehydroepiandrosterone.
Functions of estrogen and progesterone
• The main function of these hormones is towards the reproductive organ of the mother.
• Estrogen is responsible for the enlargement of the mother’s uterus, breast, and lactation.
• This hormone plays an important role in the enlargement of the mother’s female external genitalia.
• Estrogen relaxes the pelvic ligaments of the mother to allow easy passage to the fetus to go through the birth canal.
• Progesterone plays an important role in early nutrition of embryo by the development of the decidual cells.
• The major function of progesterone is to reduce the contractibility of the uterus to prevent spontaneous abortion.
• Estrogen and progesterone contribute to the reproduction of embryonic cells of the fetus.
3. Human chorionic somatomammotropin
This is the most recent discovered hormone of pregnancy. The human chorionic somatomammotropin is the highest secreted hormone by the placenta during the pregnancy period but its accurate functions are not known yet. The secretion of this hormone starts in the 5th week.
The function of human chorionic somatomammotropin
• It decreases the insulin sensitivity and glucose utilization in the mother and makes it available to the fetus for its proper growth.
• The structure of this hormone resembles the growth hormone but human chorionic somatomammotropin requires 100 times more for growth in comparison to the growth hormone.
• Provides the alternative source of energy by releasing free fatty acids from stored fatty acid in the mother’s body.