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What does placental lactogen show during pregnancy?
What does placental lactogen show during pregnancy?

Waiting for birth is a time of joy and excitement at the same time. While the baby grows and develops day after day, the mother undergoes numerous examinations, according to which doctors try to guess what is happening with the baby inside and whether everything is in order. The results are not always accurate and reliable, so sometimes the interpretation can be a cause for serious anxiety. However, calm, only calm.

There is always an opportunity to retake the analysis or get its transcript from another specialist in order to compare the results. Today we will talk about what placental lactogen shows. This is a special peptide hormone that is produced only by the placenta. Accordingly, outside of pregnancy, it is not detected in the blood. Today we will tell you what and at what time placental lactogen can tell a specialist.

placental lactogen
placental lactogen

General Description

First of all, I would like to say a few words about what this hormone is. Doctors, of course, have an idea about this, buteducate the expectant mother in no hurry. So, placental lactogen is a chain of amino acids. In fact, the growth hormone of the pituitary gland and prolactin are very similar to it. However, at the same time they are very different from each other. Today we are talking about a hormone that simultaneously has somatotropic and prolactin-like properties. At the same time, placental lactogen shows a significantly higher lactogenic activity.

Main Functions

Our body will not do anything just like that. This is especially true of procreation, here everything must be clearly justified. The hormone placental lactogen plays a huge role in preparing the mammary glands for feeding. It is synthesized from the earliest stages of pregnancy. Gradually, the level of this hormone in the blood rises and reaches its maximum at the 37th week. Before childbirth, the indicators are noticeably reduced.

I would also like to say that placental lactogen during pregnancy is studied if the doctor in charge of the pregnancy has any suspicions about violations of the maturation of the fetus or the functioning of the placenta. At the same time, the concentration of the hormone in the blood is very variable. Therefore, it is very important to focus not on average indicators, but on an individual organism.

placental lactogen during pregnancy, which shows
placental lactogen during pregnancy, which shows

Average statistical norms

Numerous studies have made indicative tables that allow physicians to determine whether a pregnancy is proceeding normally or there is a suspicion of pathology. If ultrasound shows a lag in fetal development, thenit is recommended to take tests for placental lactogen. During pregnancy, the norm depends on the period at which the woman is now. A small table allows you to compare the results obtained in the laboratory with the average.



















However, remember that the figures shown are averages, so don't panic if your results differ. You can always get advice from a doctor who will dispel your doubts. Moreover, a specialist always uses several research methods to make a diagnosis.

placental lactogen during pregnancy is normal
placental lactogen during pregnancy is normal

What the hormone shows

This is one of the most important questions. Indeed, why measure placental lactogen during pregnancy? What does this hormone show? So, the placenta is the only organ that can produce it. Therefore, it is the amount of lactogen in the blood that characterizes the state of the placenta itself. At the same time, if a woman suffers from kidney pathologies, there is a serious increase in this hormone in the blood. Athypertension, on the contrary, the concentration in the blood is greatly reduced.

hormone placental lactogen
hormone placental lactogen

First trimester, the most important and difficult

Early pregnancy is considered the most dangerous. However, a number of studies say that if the body is trying to get rid of the fetus, then it is not necessary to save it, there are reasons for this. But this does not eliminate the need to see a doctor, since the most important thing is to save the life and he alth of the mother. So, in the first trimester, with the development of placental insufficiency, the level of PL is significantly reduced. Extremely low rates are detected on the eve of fetal death and three days before spontaneous miscarriage.

But even at later dates placental lactogen gives important information. The norm is given above, and if the indicators are very different downwards, then kidney failure and chronic fetal hypoxia can be suspected. At the same time, we must not forget that the content of the hormone in the blood can fluctuate over a fairly wide range, and in most pregnant women it is significantly below the norm. However, with fetal hypoxia, the indicators sharply decrease, about three times. A doctor observing such changes must be suspicious and take action.

placental lactogen analysis
placental lactogen analysis

Indications for an examination

In what cases can doctors send for analysis? Placental lactogen is checked in all pregnant women, but if the indicators are normal, then they usually do not retake it again. The exception is the worsening of the course of pregnancy and other alarming symptoms. let'swe will determine the main indications for which the doctor can send you to the laboratory. If you are already in late pregnancy or if there are complications. In the event that the doctor believes that the fetus is lagging behind in development, he can evaluate the condition of the placenta and fetus by examining a series of tests for PL.

Analysis of results

The amount of hormone released is proportional to the size of the placenta. Therefore, determining the level of PL is advisable in pregnant women who belong to the risk group. Therefore, if there is a history of diabetes mellitus or arterial hypertension, then most likely the doctor will prescribe samples after an equal period of time. An additional examination is performed if there is a suspicion of impaired function of the placenta. It is important to consider that the level of the hormone fluctuates significantly, especially in the second half of pregnancy. Therefore, to confirm the result, it is recommended to determine it several times.

placental lactogen normal
placental lactogen normal

Elevated hormone levels are observed in multiple pregnancies, Rhesus conflicts and trophoblastic tumors. In addition, women with diabetes also often have altered indicators.

And in some cases it is the other way around - indicators are declining. This often occurs with a mole. This is an ailment that is characterized by the pathological development of placental tissue. In most cases, the fetus dies with a mole.

Choriocarcinoma is another pathology in which there is a serious decrease in the level of the hormone. It is a malignant tumor of the uteruscan develop as a result of normal childbirth or abortion, and also be the result of a hydatidiform mole. It is characterized by uterine bleeding and metastases to the liver and brain.

Hypertensive toxemia is a decrease in the level of PL, which precedes spontaneous abortion. And after 30 weeks, when determining reduced rates, we can say that there is a risk to the fetus. This may be a sign of premature birth, as well as fetal hypoxia. In both cases, doctors must assess the situation and prescribe the necessary treatment, as well as refer to preterm birth.

placental lactogen during pregnancy
placental lactogen during pregnancy

Instead of a conclusion

The definition of "placental lactogen" can be completely unfamiliar to a woman who has already become a mother several times. This is easily explained by the fact that in the normal course of pregnancy, without serious fears for the development of the crumbs, the doctor will not prescribe additional studies. However, if the results obtained are slightly different from the norm, there is no reason to panic. Additionally, you will need to undergo an ultrasound scan, compare all previous examination results, and repeat the analysis in a week. Then it is already possible to draw complex conclusions.

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