Reproductive hormone concentrations in pregnancy and neonates: a systematic review

Reprod Biomed Online. 2013 Jul;27(1):33-63. doi: 10.1016/j.rbmo.2013.03.009. Epub 2013 Mar 25.


Although much research focuses on hormones during gestation, little is known about the actual hormone concentrations within the fetal surroundings. The aim of this study was to combine all available oestrogen, androgen, sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG), anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH), inhibin, gonadotrophin and dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate (DHEAS) concentrations during gestation and post partum into graphical representations reporting weighted mean hormone values. A systematic search was performed in Pubmed and Embase from inception to March 2012. Studies were evaluated by two reviewers; manuscripts were included if the actual hormone concentrations were reported together with the gestational age at time of sampling. A total of 97 articles were found eligible for this review. Maternal serum oestrogens, inhibin A, SHBG, androstenedione and testosterone rise during gestation, which is followed by a rapid decline in the post-partum period. For AMH and DHEAS, an inverse relationship is found, while gonadotrophin concentrations are negligible during gestation. For girls cord blood oestriol and post-partum FSH concentrations are higher, while for boys cord blood FSH and neonatal testosterone, inhibin B, LH and AMH concentrations are higher. In conclusion, longitudinally measured endocrine data during gestation and in the peri- and post-natal period are lacking, especially for twin pregnancies.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review
  • Twin Study

MeSH terms

  • Amniotic Fluid / chemistry
  • Androgens / blood*
  • Estrogens / blood*
  • Female
  • Fetal Blood / chemistry*
  • Fetus / drug effects*
  • Gestational Age
  • Hormones / blood*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn / blood
  • Inhibins / blood
  • Male
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy, Twin / drug effects


  • Androgens
  • Estrogens
  • Hormones
  • Inhibins