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Reproductive System - Terms<br />Menopause : the cessation of menstruation<br />Uterus : the organ in which the developing fetus resides<br />Dilation : 1st stage of labor<br />Expulsion : 2nd stage of labor<br />Placental (Afterbirth): 3rd stage of labor<br />
Menopause<br />Menopause is the permanent end of menstruation and fertility, defined as occurring 12 months after your last menstrual period. <br />Menopause is a natural biological process, not a medical illness. <br />Even so, the physical and emotional symptoms of menopause can disrupt your sleep, sap your energy and at least indirectly trigger feelings of sadness and loss. <br />Hormonal changes cause the physical symptoms of menopause, but mistaken beliefs about the menopausal transition are partly to blame for the emotional ones. <br />
Menopause cont’d<br />In the United States it happens about age 51, on average. <br />The signs and symptoms of menopause, often appear long before the one-year anniversary of your final period. They include: <br />Irregular periods <br />Decreased fertility <br />Vaginal dryness <br />Hot flashes <br />Sleep disturbances <br />Mood swings <br />Increased abdominal fat <br />Thinning hair <br />Loss of breast fullness <br />
Uterus<br />The uterus (womb) is a hollow, pear-shaped organ located in a woman's lower abdomen between the bladder and the rectum. The narrow, lower portion of the uterus is the cervix; the broader, upper part is the corpus. The corpus is made up of two layers of tissue.<br />In women of childbearing age, the inner layer of the uterus (endometrium) goes through a series of monthly changes known as the menstrual cycle. Each month, endometrial tissue grows and thickens in preparation to receive a fertilized egg. Menstruation occurs when this tissue is not used, disintegrates, and passes out through the vagina. The outer layer of the corpus (myometrium) is muscular tissue that expands during pregnancy to hold the growing fetus and contracts during labor to deliver the child.<br />
1st Stage of Labor : Dilation<br />The first stage begins with the onset of labor and ends when the cervix is fully opened. It is the longest stage of labor, usually lasting about 12 to 19 hours. <br />Doctors monitor the progress of labor by periodically checking your cervix, as well as the baby's position and station (location in the birth canal). Most babies' heads enter the pelvis facing to one side, and then rotate to face down. <br />As it nears the end of the first stage of labor, contractions become longer, stronger, and closer together. <br />
1st Stage of Labor : Dilation<br />The most difficult phase of this first stage is the transition. Contractions are very powerful, with very little time to relax in between, as the cervix stretches the last, few centimeters. Many women feel shaky or nauseated.<br />The cervix is fully dilated when it reaches 10 centimeters. <br />
2nd Stage of Labor : Expulsion<br />The second stage involves pushing and delivery of your baby. It usually lasts 20 minutes to two hours. <br />A woman can give birth in many positions, such as lying on her back, squatting, or kneeling. <br />Some studies suggest that upright positions, such as squatting, may shorten this stage of labor and help keep the tissue near the birth canal intact.<br />
2nd Stage of Labor : Expulsion<br />When the top of the baby's head fully appears it is called crowning. <br />After your baby is born, the umbilical cord is cut. <br />
3rd Stage of Labor: Placental<br />The third stage involves delivery of the placenta (afterbirth). <br />It is the shortest stage, lasting 5 to 30 minutes.<br />Contractions will begin 5 to 30 minutes after birth, signaling that it's time to deliver the placenta. <br />Labor is over once the placenta is delivered.<br />