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THE PLACENTA - fascinating details about what we know about the placenta 

Placental hormone synthesis:

The syncytiotrophoblast is an important endocrine organ for much of the pregnancy. It produces both protein and steroid hormones. The major placental hormones are listed below.

Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG): Synthesis of hCG begins before implantation, and is responsible for maintaining the maternal corpus luteum that secretes progesterone and estrogens. It is the basis for early pregnancy tests. Production peaks at eight weeks and then gradually declines. Structurally, this glycoprotein resembles LH.

Estrogens and progesterone: The placenta can produce progesterone independently from cholesterol precursors, and estrogen in concert with the fetal adrenal gland, as it does not contain all the necessary enzymes itself. By the end of the first trimester, the placenta produces enough of these steroids to maintain the pregnancy and the corpus luteum is no longer needed.

Human placental lactogen (hPL) or human chorionic somatomammotropin (hCS): This hormone is similar to growth hormone and influences growth, maternal mammary duct proliferation, and lipid and carbohydrate metabolism.

Human placental growth hormone: This hormone differs from pituitary GH by 13 amino acids. From 15 weeks until the end of pregnancy, this hormone gradually replaces maternal pituitary GH. Its major function is the regulation of maternal blood glucose levels so that the fetus is ensured of an adequate nutrient supply. Its secretion is stimulated by low maternal blood glucose levels; in turn, it stimulates gluconeogenesis in the maternal liver.

Human chorionic thyrotropin (hCT): Small amounts produced, functions similar to pituitary hormone.

Human chorionic adrenocorticotropin (hACTH): Small amounts produced, functions similar to pituitary hormone.

Insulin-like growth factors: Stimulates proliferation and differentiation of the cytotrophoblast.

Endothelial growth factor: First produced by 4 to 5-week-old placenta; stimulates proliferation of the trophoblast.

Relaxin: Produced by decidua cells; softens the cervix and pelvic ligaments in preparation for childbirth.

In addition, the placenta produces dozens of proteins that have been identified immunologically but whose function is poorly understood. - Detailed research about the placenta from the Largest, Oldest Placenta companies in America