The mysteries of the placenta, the amazing companion of the fetus


DECRYPTION – Formed at the very beginning of pregnancy, this organ in its own right keeps a part of a mystery.

“For the placenta – and therefore for the fetus – everything is played out in the first trimester, underlines Thierry Fournier, director of the Inserm Physiopathology and human placental pharmacology unit. Any problem during the major stages of its development, before the 14e week of pregnancy, may have consequences later in the pregnancy. “ When this begins, the production of a functional placenta is therefore the first objective of the new intruder: its development begins barely 7 days after fertilization!

The task is major: it is necessary to create a network of exchanges with the maternal blood which will provide nutrients and oxygen, but also will form a barrier against the mother’s immune system or against the pathogenic or toxic agents that can circulate in her body. . An organ in its own right, sexed like the fetus it accompanies, the placenta also rapidly produces hormones in order to shape the maternal organism so that it provides all the elements.

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