- The mechanism for signaling pregnancy recognition is highly variable among species, and the signaling molecule itself varies between estrogens in pigs to chorionic gonadotrophin in primates. This chapter provides insight into the menstrual cycle of women and estrous cycles of rodents, dog, cat, pigs, sheep, rabbits, and marsupials, as well as the hormones required for pregnancy recognition. Pregnancy recognition involves specific hormones such as prolactin in rodents or interferons in ruminants and estrogens in pigs that in their own way ensure the maintenance of the corpus luteum and its secretion of progesterone which is the hormone of pregnancy. However, these pregnancy recognition signals may also modify gene expression in a cell-specific and temporal manner to ensure the growth and development of the conceptus. This chapter provides some historical aspects of the development of understanding of mechanisms for the establishment and maintenance of pregnancy in several species of mammals.