Excretion system in pregnancy
The excretion system is the body’s natural way to get rid of harmful toxins in the body. In general, five organs are responsible for undergoing the excretion process.
Every food, drink, and medicine that we consume will leave waste substances after being digested by the body. Waste substances are also produced every time the metabolism works to produce energy and repair damaged cells in the body. If not discarded, all the waste will accumulate in the blood and potentially cause several health problems. The entire excretion process is needed to maintain fluid balance and other chemical compounds in the body to remain stable.
There are several steps of the urine formation process:
It is defined as the process of screening cells in the blood. The result of this filtration process is primary urine. This still contains water, glucose, and amino acids, but it does not contain protein and blood.
Explained as the process of re-absorption of substances. These are still needed by the body and the result of this reabsorption process is secondary urine.
Augmentation is the process of collecting fluids from the previous process. The result of this process is real urine.
- Heart (liver)
The functions of the kidneys are to remove dirt. Initially, the blood will be filtered first by the liver to be separated from the waste. Then, waste from the blood will be broken down by the liver into a substance. This later is called by urea. After that, urea will be taken to the kidneys by flowing in the bloodstream. Soon, it will be converted into urine that we remove. While breaking down waste from the blood, the liver will also produce a product in the form of bile. This bile will then be drifted to the intestine to break down fat during digestion. Also, it helps dispose of the remaining waste in the form of stool during defecating.
- The digestive system
The main function of the digestive system is to break down food and absorb important nutrients to be absorbed by the body. However, the main digestive organs such as the stomach and intestines also have “side work” as an excretion system.
As mentioned above, humans sweat to excrete waste from the body. Sweat is produced to maintain the body cool when the temperature is getting hot or after having physical activity. Sweat is released by sweat glands in the dermis layer of the skin. Apart from water, sweat also contains oil, sugar and salt, and metabolic waste such as ammonia and urea. Ammonia and urea are waste products produced by the liver and kidneys especially when the body breaks down protein.
The lungs are important organs to regulate the process of breathing. However, people tend to not know that the lung is also an important part of the excretion system. Initially, humans breathe air through their noses or mouth and enter into the back of the throat or trachea. Then the air will continue to flow into the bronchial tubes. After passing through the bronchial or bronchial tubes, air will pass through two branches of the lung channel (right and left). Usually, we call it as bronchioles. Air entering through the bronchioles will then gather in the alveoli.
Adaptation of the excretory system in pregnancy
- Kidney System Structure
It is a system for regulating fluid and electrolyte, controlling arterial pressure, removing metabolic waste, regulating vitamin D activity, and erythrocyte production and gluconeogenesis (Blackburn and Loper, 1992). Adaptation to pregnancy includes sodium retention and increased volume of extracellular fluid. This is needed to maintain homeostasis by increasing intravascular and extravascular fluid volume. Also, it is beneficial for increasing excretion of metabolic waste, and interacting with changes in the cardiovascular system to meet the oxygen needs of the mother and fetus.
The kidneys increase in length by about 1-2 cm and are the biggest result of increased renal blood flow and vascular volume. Dilatation of the renal calyx and pelvis begins in the first trimester and becomes more apparent in the middle of pregnancy. Hydronephrosis occurs in 80% -90% of women. It is probably due to a kidney response to progesterone and an increase in superior intraurethral pressure to the pelvic edge. It is more common in the right kidney, and most likely caused by increased distention of the right urethra
In pregnant women, physiological changes occur not only related to changes in shape and weight, but also in biochemical, physiological, even emotional changes. This occurs as a consequence of fetal growth in the uterus. As the fetus grows and pushes the diaphragm upward, the shape and size of the chest cavity changes. However, it does not make it smaller.
The lung capacity for air remains the same as before pregnant or might change. Respiratory speed and vital capacity do not change. Tidal volume, ventilator volume per minute, and oxygen uptake increase. Since the shape of the thoracic cavity changes so it breathes faster. During pregnancy, hormonal changes and mechanical factors also occur.
These changes are needed to sufficiently increase metabolic and circulating needs for the growth of the fetus, placenta, and uterus. From mechanical factors, an increase in the diaphragm, especially after the second trimester of pregnancy due to an enlarged fetus, causes a decrease in functional residual capacity. This is a volume of not used air in the lungs of about 20%. During pregnancy, normal airway resistance decreases by 50%.
The excretion system in the skin of pregnant women has the function for removing excess dryness than usual. This might be due to:
- Increased blood flow and metabolism
The blood volume of pregnant women will increase by around 40% or more to suit the needs of the fetus. The increased amount of blood in the entire body of pregnant women can increase body temperature.
- Weight gain
On average, pregnant women experience an increase in body weight of around 11-15 kg. This extra burden can make the body sweat more.
- Factors of hormonal changes
Hormone increase is referred to as a causative factor in many cases of complaints of discomfort during pregnancy, including excessive sweating.
- Increasing growth of babies
- Conditions for hyperthyroidism or infection
Both of these conditions can make pregnant women sweat a lot, although it is less common than other factors above. Check with your doctor if sweat disturbs your comfort. Get the right treatment if you have symptoms such as fever, rapid heartbeat, or other changes that interfere with daily activities.