Physiology of Pregnacy

Posted by e-Medical PPT Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Pregnancy causes physiologic changes in all maternal organ systems; most return to normal after delivery. In general, the changes are more dramatic in multifetal than in single pregnancies.The increase in CO during pregnancy is due mainly to demands of the uteroplacental circulation.Total blood volume increases proportionally with CO, but the increase in plasma volume is greater than that in RBC mass.Changes in renal function roughly parallel those in cardiac function. GFR increases 30 to 50%, peaks between 16 and 24 wk gestation.As pregnancy progresses, pressure from the enlarging uterus on the rectum and lower portion of the colon may cause constipation. GI motility decreases because elevated progesterone levels relax smooth muscle. Heartburn and belching are common.  Pregnancy alters the function of most endocrine glands, partly because the placenta produces hormones and partly because most hormones circulate in protein-bound forms and protein binding increases during pregnancy.

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