A woman's body goes through a lot of physiological changes during pregnancy in order to support the growth and development of the fetus.
These alterations, which can affect many bodily systems, are crucial for the mother's and the baby's well-being. Some of the physiological changes that take place during pregnancy are listed below.
Pregnancy causes considerable physiological changes in the reproductive system that support the fetus's growth and development. These modifications, which are predominantly brought on by hormone changes, are essential to maintaining pregnancy. Here are the main alterations to the reproductive system that take place during pregnancy:
Increased size and weight- The uterus expands to accommodate the growing fetus. By the end of pregnancy, it can be 20 times larger than its pre-pregnancy size.
Hypertrophy and hyperplasia- The muscular wall of the uterus undergoes hypertrophy which is increased cell size and hyperplasia which is increased cell number to support the growing fetus.
Braxton hicks contractions- These are irregular, painless contractions that can occur throughout the pregnancy but become more noticeable in the later stages. They are considered a normal part of pregnancy preparation.
Softening- As pregnancy progresses the cervix softens and becomes more pliable. This prepares the cervix for dilation and effacement during labor and delivery.
Increased Blood Flow- the vaginal walls receive increased blood supply, leading to a bluish tint known as the Chadwicks sign.
Increased secretions- hormonal changes can cause increased vaginal secretions known as leukorrhea, which help to prevent infections and maintain a healthy vagina.
The breast undergoes several physiological changes in preparation for breastfeeding. Increased levels of estrogen and progesterone stimulate the growth of mammary glands, ducts, and fatty tissue in the breasts.
This leads to breast enlargement and increased sensitivity. The nipples may become darker and small bumps called Montomery tubercles may appear on the areoles. These changes help prepare the breasts for milk production and nursing after childbirth.
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