When is relaxin released during pregnancy?

Relaxin is a hormone released by the ovary and the placenta. It has major effects on the female reproductive system and pregnancy. It relaxes pelvic ligaments and softens and opens the cervix in preparation for delivery.

To some degree, discomfort and pain are natural and to be expected throughout pregnancy. However, if you’re feeling especially sore and experiencing symptoms like heartburn, spiking levels of this hormone might be the cause.

Although it’s critical to the process of childbirth, relaxin may also cause uncomfortable symptoms during and after pregnancy. Fortunately, there are measures you may take to lessen the effect. We’ll cover all you need to know about relaxin, its function in your body, and when relaxin is released during pregnancy in the following blog article.

relaxin during pergnancy

What is the role of relaxin during pregnancy?

You might be wondering What’s the purpose of this hormone. As the name suggests, relaxin’s primary function is to relax your muscles and ligaments, making room for the development of your baby and making it easier for the hips body to expand enough to deliver. Relaxin isn’t the only hormone in a woman’s reproductive system that has this role, however.

Here are some of the effects are attributed to relaxin:

  • Helps in the implantation of the fetus in the uterus;
  • Helps in placenta growth;
  • Prevents premature labour by stopping contractions;
  • Allows the uterus to expand to accommodate the growing placenta and fetus by relaxing intrauterine ligaments.
  • Relaxes arteries to accommodate a 30-50% increase in blood volume so the blood pressure does not spike.

Relaxin During The Menstrual Cycle

As far as many women are concerned, their menstrual cycle begins and ends with their monthly period. However, the menstrual cycle is actually composed of two phases: Follicular (proliferative) and Luteal (secretory). Your hormones are busy working during both of them to prepare for a baby.

  • The Follicular Phase
    The follicular phase is the initial part of the menstrual cycle. This stage begins on the first day of your cycle and continues until ovulation. Ovulation usually happens around day 14, although it varies depending on the duration of a woman’s cycle.
    When your body produces hormones that encourage egg growth and development in the ovaries, you are in the follicular period. When an egg matures, it is released by the ovary in the expectation of being fertilized, a step referred to as ovulation.
    Relaxin plays a small role throughout the follicular phase. Throughout this half of your menstrual cycle, the primary hormones are gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), estrogen, and luteinizing hormone (LH). What happens after the egg is released affects the role relaxin plays in the following stage of your cycle.
  • The Luteal Phase
    This phase starts on the day after ovulation and lasts until your next period arrives. The luteal phase lasts 12-16 days in most women. Your hormones cooperate throughout this period to prepare your body for a probable pregnancy.
    The egg that the ovary releases remains behind an empty follicle known as the corpus luteum. The corpus luteum starts to release progesterone, which combines with relaxin to thicken your uterine lining and aid in the implanting of the fertilized egg.
    If the sperm fertilizes the egg, your progesterone and relaxin levels will surge. Progesterone will help keep the pregnancy going until the placenta takes control, which is usually about 10 weeks gestation. Relaxin is produced by the corpus luteum at the same time as it is released by the placenta.  If pregnancy does not happen, relaxin and progesterone levels will progressively decrease. Your body will prepare to remove the uterine lining during your next period since these hormones are no longer maintaining it.

When is relaxin released during pregnancy?

Relaxin levels in a woman’s blood increase after ovulation, during the second part of her menstrual cycle. It is believed that at this point it relaxes the uterine wall by reducing contractions and also prepares the uterine lining for pregnancy. Relaxin levels fall again if pregnancy does not happen.

Relaxin, like estrogen and progesterone, is a hormone that occurs in your body prior to pregnancy, but at extremely low, practically undetectable amounts. When you get pregnant, your relaxin levels rise.

Early pregnancy symptoms when relaxin in released:

Some women may experience relaxin-related symptoms relatively early in pregnancy, while others may suffer from a lack of relaxin. Both are frustrating challenges, with the golden quantity falling somewhere between too much and too little.

Sadly, relaxin does not discriminate between the ligaments it loosens, thus it affects all of your joints and ligaments. This slackening might result in lower back and hip discomfort, which is prevalent during pregnancy.

When does relaxin increase in pregnancy?

Relaxin levels will be greatest in early pregnancy, particularly towards the end of your first trimester. After then, your relaxin levels will begin to fall and stay low for the remainder of your pregnancy, with the exception of a surge before childbirth. It relaxes pelvic ligaments and softens and opens the cervix in preparation for delivery.

How long does relaxin stay in body after pregnancy?

Pregnancy hormones remain in the body for around three months after birth, continuing to relax joints, muscles, tendons, and ligaments as they did before delivery. Hormones may have a relaxing impact on breastfeeding mothers even months after they stop nursing.

According to experts, the effects of relaxin on the body last from five months after delivery to 12 months after you stop nursing. This explains the continuous low back discomfort you experienced during pregnancy.

Furthermore, relaxin causes your joints and ligaments to stay unusually flexible and loose long after your pregnancy is over. This implies you may be more prone to injuries since your musculoskeletal system is less stable. As a consequence, you’ll want to take care while exercising after having birth. While you may be interested in postpartum yoga or pilates as a mild post-pregnancy training routine, you should avoid overstretching.

Final words:

During pregnancy, your body undergoes significant changes. While you may be aware of the consequences of your rising estrogen and progesterone levels, not all women are adequately informed about how relaxin affects bodily changes in early pregnancy and beyond, all the way through postpartum and nursing.

Although this hormone is rarely discussed, it serves an important function in assisting your body to adapt and birth your baby, but it may also cause some instability, discomfort, and pain. Exercising, keeping proper posture, and utilizing a band to support your core are all strategies to counteract relaxin’s negative effects.

Relaxin, like anything else, has advantages and disadvantages, particularly during pregnancy. It may make your body feel a little looser, but as long as you are informed about what to anticipate, and which complicated exercises to avoid or be more cautious about, you should be able to have a healthy, comfortable pregnancy.

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