The effects of HIV infection on pregnancy hormones within 28 weeks of pregnancy


Okeke chukwubike UDOKA 1, Okolonkwo Benjamin NNAMDI 2, Brown HOLY 2, Ajuru GOSPEL 3

1 Department of Prosthesis and Orthopaedic Technology, School of Health Technology, Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Imo State, 2 Department of Medical Laboratory Science, Faculty of Science, Rivers State University of Science and Technology, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, 3 Department of Morbid Anatomy, University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria



Introduction: Pregnancy in HIV-positive women might be associated with at least small increases in risk of adverse maternal outcomes that include spontaneous abortion, stillbirth, foetal abnormality, perinatal mortality, low birth weight and pre-term delivery. These adverse effects might be the result of endocrine abnormalities in HIV patients. This study was carried out to investigate the possible changes in pregnancy hormones of HIV-positive women within the few weeks of pregnancy prior to antiretroviral therapy. Materials and Methods: A total of 120 pregnant women with 28 weeks of pregnancy participated in the study. Sixty were HIV sero-positive and the remaining 60 were HIV sero-positive. None of the sero-positive subjects had been commenced anti-retroviral therapy before the sample collection. Serum prolactin, oestrodiol, progesterone and beta-human chorionic gonadotropin were measured using the Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) method. Result: It was observed that the serum prolactin and oestradiol levels of HIV sero-negative pregnant women were significantly higher (p<0.05) than their sero-positive counterparts. Serum human chorionic gonadotropin and progesterone of the two groups showed no significant difference (p>0.05). Conclusion: HIV infection has no effect on the serum human chorionic gonadotropin and progesterone levels but has reducing effect on serum oestradiol and prolactin production/metabolism in infected pregnant women. This effect may affect development of the foetus or breast milk production in these women if commencement of antiretroviral therapy is delayed.  


Keywords: Hormones, Human immune deficiency virus, pregnancy, endocrine 


Correspondence: Okeke C UDOKA. Department of Prosthesis & Orthopaedic Technology, School of Health Technology,

Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria. Tel: +2348037353551.

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Brunei Int Med J. 2015; 11 (2): 88-92