A guide to pregnancy hormones

November 18, 2016

Trying to get pregnant but confused by all the vocabulary surrounding conception? Here's our simpe guide to understanding what's going on in your body when you're trying to concieve:

Follicle-stimulating hormone (FHS)

Secreted by the pituitary gland, this hormone causes an egg to mature in the ovary and stimulates the body to start producing oestrogen.

Oestrogen

Oestrogen stops FSH from being produced so that only one egg matures. It also stimulates the pituitary gland to release LH (see below).

Luteinizing Hormone (LH)

If you've been trying to concieve and are using an ovulation kit you might already be familiar with this hormone. LH is released by the pituary gland around the mid-point of your menstrual cycle. It's a surge in this hormone that causes a mature egg to be released from the ovaries ready to be fertilised. Your ovulation kit will test your urine for signs of a surge in LH so that you can make sure to  try to concieve during this fertility window.

Progesterone

Your ovaries releases progesterone during the second half of your menstrual cycle to prepare your body for the possibility of birth. It helps to thicken the lining of the uterus so that a fertilised egg can latch on. It also prevents your ovaries from releasing another egg, helps a foetus to develop and prepares the breasts for breastfeeding.

Human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG)

This hormone is produced by the placenta. It's presence in your urine is one of the first quantifiable signs that you're pregnant!

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