Understanding the Relation between Pregnancy and HCG
The hormones that are present during pregnancy can account for a large part of the physical and emotional symptoms that pregnant women experience. From morning sickness, nausea, crabbiness to weird cravings, physical challenges and inability to manage emotions there is a hormone that lies behind them all. All is not lost though, if you take the time to understand fully what is happening to your body you can conquer the hormones to some extent and gain the upper hand.
Expectant fathers also need to be fully aware of the changes too since they might be witness to their formerly sane women becoming unpredictable and moody. Once they understand that hormones are the culprits behind the altered behavior they will be better able to adjust to the changes.
The Link Between Pregnancy and HCG
HCG or the human chorionic gonadotropin hormone is the first hormone to make itself present after conception. As such it is commonly referred to as the announcer of pregnancy. It is this hormone that is identified in home pregnancy kits and lab tests to determine pregnancy. In some special cases the increased levels of hCG can be detected as early as 8 days after conception has occurred. Generally though, it is most present and detectable after eleven days.
If the pregnancy is progressing without any major health complications the levels of hCG in the body of a pregnant woman will almost double every two days for the first 10 weeks of the pregnancy. The major role of hCG in pregnancy is to regulate the production of the other hormones, estrogen and progesterone, until the placenta has developed sufficiently to take over this very important role.
Pregnant women experience the side effects of an increased hCG level very early in the pregnancy. One such side effect is a very sensitive bladder that comes about due to an increased flow of blood to the pelvic region. The increased blood supply to this region prompts the bladder to want to rid itself of even the smallest amount of urine. After the first trimester women do experience some relief from the sensitivity in the bladder but it will return later in the pregnancy as the baby crowds the womb and pushes against the bladder.
Other unpleasant side effects of hCG include nausea and vomiting that is so often present in early pregnancy. These symptoms are commonly labeled with the term “morning sickness” although this term is very misleading since the symptoms can appear any time of the day or night. The nausea, vomiting and queasiness usually make themselves known around week eight to ten when the hCG levels are at their peak. The symptoms will however ease up when the second trimester rolls around.
The levels of hCG in pregnancy will increase and decrease during the course of the pregnancy. It peaks at week nine or ten and decreases slightly around the sixteenth week and thereafter remains constant until birth.