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Encyclopedia > Pregnancy
A pregnant woman near the end of her term

Pregnancy (latin graviditas) is the carrying of one or more offspring, known as a fetus or embryo, inside the uterus of a female human. In a pregnancy, there can be multiple gestations, as in the case of twins or triplets. Human pregnancy is the most studied of all mammalian pregnancies. Obstetrics is the medical field that studies and treats pregnant patients. Gestation is the carrying of an embryo or fetus inside a female viviparous animal. ... This article is about pregnancy in male organisms. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (554x800, 60 KB)Glamour shot taken of my girlfriend at 8 months. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (554x800, 60 KB)Glamour shot taken of my girlfriend at 8 months. ... For other uses, see Latins and Latin (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Fetus (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Embryo (disambiguation). ... This article is about female reproductive anatomy. ... For other uses, see Female (disambiguation). ... This article is about modern humans. ... Gestation is the carrying of an embryo or fetus inside a female viviparous animal. ... For other uses, see Twin (disambiguation). ... Quadruplet, quintuplet, etc. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Obstetrics (from the Latin obstare, to stand by) is the surgical specialty dealing with the care of a woman and her offspring during pregnancy, childbirth and the puerperium (the period shortly after birth). ...


Childbirth usually occurs about 38 weeks from fertilization, i.e., approximately 40 weeks from the start of the last menstruation. Thus, pregnancy lasts about nine months, although the exact definition of the English word “pregnancy” is a subject of controversy. Parturition redirects here. ... Human fertilization is the union of a human egg and sperm, usually occurring in the ampulla of the fallopian tube. ... See also Mensuration, a term sometimes used to describe Measurement, particularly in the context of forestry. ... Controversy over the beginning of pregnancy usually occurs in the context of the abortion debate. ...

Contents

Terminology

One scientific term for the state of pregnancy is gravid, and a pregnant female is sometimes referred to as a gravida.[1] Both words are rarely used in common speech. Similarly, the term "parity" (abbreviated as "para") is used for the number of previous successful live births. Medically, women who have never been pregnant are referred to as "nulliparous" ("gravida 0, para 0"),[2], during a first pregnancy as a "primigravida" ("gravida 1, para 0") and in subsequent pregnancies as "multigravida" or "multiparous".[3] Hence during a second pregnancy a woman would be described as "gravida 2, para 1" and upon delivery as "gravida 2, para 2". Incomplete pregnancies of abortions, miscarriages or stillbirths account for parity values being less than the gravida number, whereas a multiple birth will increase the parity value. For other uses, see Female (disambiguation). ... In medicine, gravidity is a technical term that refers to the number of times a woman has been pregnant. ... In medicine, parity is a technical term that refers to the number of times a woman has given birth. ...


The term embryo is used to describe the developing offspring during the first eight weeks following conception, and the term foetus is used from about two months of development until birth.[4][5]


In many societies' medical and legal definitions, human pregnancy is somewhat arbitrarily divided into three trimester periods, as a means to simplify reference to the different stages of prenatal development. The first trimester carries the highest risk of miscarriage (natural death of embryo or foetus). During the second trimester, the development of the foetus can be more easily monitored and diagnosed. The beginning of the third trimester often approximates the point of viability, or the ability of the foetus to survive, with or without medical help, outside of the uterus.[6] The human gestation period of approximately 40 weeks between the time of the last menstrual cycle and delivery is traditionally divided into three periods of three months, or trimesters. ... This article is about prenatal development in humans. ... Miscarriage or spontaneous abortion is the natural or spontaneous end of a pregnancy at a stage where the embryo or the fetus is incapable of surviving, generally defined in humans at a gestation of prior to 20 weeks. ... For other uses, see Fetus (disambiguation). ... This article is about female reproductive anatomy. ...


Characteristics

Pregnancy occurs as the result of the female gamete or oocyte (egg) being penetrated by the male gamete spermatozoon in a process referred to, in medicine, as "fertilization", or more commonly known as "conception". The fusion of male and female gametes usually occurs through the act of sexual intercourse or, very rarely, other non-penetrative sexual activity. However, the advent of artificial insemination has also made achieving pregnancy possible in such cases where sexual intercourse is not potentially fertile (through choice or male/female infertility). An oocyte or ovocyte is a female gametocyte or germ cell involved in reproduction. ... A human ovum Sperm cells attempting to fertilize an ovum An ovum (plural ova) is a haploid female reproductive cell or gamete. ... A spermatozoon or spermatozoan ( spermatozoa), from the ancient Greek σπέρμα (seed) and (living being) and more commonly known as a sperm cell, is the haploid cell that is the male gamete. ... Categories: Biology stubs ... It has been suggested that Duration of sexual intercourse be merged into this article or section. ... AIH redirects here. ...


Though pregnancy begins at conception, it is more convenient to date from the first day of a woman's last menstrual period (acronym = LMP), or from the date of conception (if known). Starting from one of these dates, the expected date of delivery (acronym = EDD) can be calculated. Counting from the LMP, pregnancy usually lasts between 37 and 42 weeks, with the EDD at 40 weeks,[7] 38 weeks after conception. 40 weeks is a little more than nine months and six days, which forms the basis of Naegele's rule for estimating date of delivery. Naegeles Rule is a standard way of calculating the due date for a pregnancy. ...


Pregnancy is considered 'at term' when gestation attains 37 complete weeks but is less than 42 (between 259 and 294 days since LMP). Events before completion of 37 weeks (259 days) are considered pre-term; from week 42 (294 days) events are considered post-term.[8] When a pregnancy exceeds 42 weeks (294 days), the risk of complications for mother and fetus increases significantly.[7][9] As such, obstetricians usually prefer to induce labour, in an uncomplicated pregnancy, at some stage between 41 and 42 weeks.[10][11] In most systems of human pregnancy, the condition, premature birth (also known as a preterm birth), occurs when the baby is born within sooner than 36 weeks of completed gestation. ... A postmature birth occurs when a pregnancy lasts longer than 42 weeks. ...


Recent medical literature prefers the terminology pre-term and post-term to premature and post-mature. Pre-term and post-term are unambiguously defined as above, whereas premature and postmature have historical meaning and relate more to the infant's size and state of development rather than to the stage of pregnancy.[12][13]


Though these are the averages, the actual length of pregnancy depends on various factors. For example, the first pregnancy tends to last longer than subsequent pregnancies. Fewer than 10% of births occur on the due date; 50% of births are within a week of the due date, and almost 90% within two weeks.[14]


Accurate dating of pregnancy is important, because it is used in calculating the results of various prenatal tests (for example, in the triple test). A decision may be made to induce labour if a fetus is perceived to be overdue. Due dates are only a rough estimate, and the process of accurately dating a pregnancy using the LMP method is complicated by the fact that not all women have 28 day menstrual cycles, nor ovulate on the 14th day following their last menstrual period. Prenatal diagnosis is the diagnosis of disease or condition in a fetus or embryo before it is born. ... The triple test, also called triple screen or the Barts test, is an investigation performed during pregnancy (usually the second trimester) for fetal trisomy 21 (Down syndrome). ... Induction is a way of artificially bringing on labour in a woman. ...


A number of medical signs are associated with pregnancy.[15][16] These signs typically appear, if at all, within the first few weeks after conception. Although not all of these signs are universally present, nor are all of them diagnostic by themselves, taken together they make a presumptive diagnosis of pregnancy. These signs include the presence of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in the blood and urine, missed menstrual period, implantation bleeding that occurs at implantation of the embryo in the uterus during the third or fourth week after last menstrual period, increased basal body temperature sustained for over two weeks after ovulation, Chadwick's sign (darkening of the cervix, vagina, and vulva), Goodell's sign (softening of the vaginal portion of the cervix), Hegar's sign (softening of the Vaginal fornix), and Linea nigra, (darkening of the skin in a vertical line on the abdomen, caused by hyperpigmentation resulting from hormonal changes; it usually appears around the middle of pregnancy).[15][16] In medicine, a sign is a feature of disease as detected by the doctor during physical examination of a patient. ... In general, diagnosis (plural diagnoses) has two distinct dictionary definitions. ... Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) is a peptide hormone produced in pregnancy, that is made by the embryo soon after conception and later by the syncytiotrophoblast (part of the placenta). ... For other uses, see Blood (disambiguation). ... This article is about the urine of animals generally. ... Menstrual cycle In the female reproductive system, the menstrual cycle is a recurring cycle of physiologic changes that occurs in reproductive-age females. ... Implantation is a phenomenon in prenatal development, i. ... Basal body temperature is the body temperature measured immediately after awakening and before any physical activity has been undertaken. ... Chadwicks sign is a bluish discoloration of the cervix, vagina and vulva caused by venous congestion. ... The cervix (from Latin neck) is the lower, narrow portion of the uterus where it joins with the top end of the vagina. ... The vagina, (from Latin, literally sheath or scabbard ) is the tubular tract leading from the uterus to the exterior of the body in female placental mammals and marsupials, or to the cloaca in female birds, monotremes, and some reptiles. ... The vulva (from Latin, vulva, plural vulvae or vulvas; see etymology) is the region of the external genital organs of the female, including the labia majora, mons pubis, labia minora, clitoris, bulb of the vestibule, vestibule of the vagina, greater and lesser vestibular glands, and vaginal orifice. ... In medicine, Goodells sign is an indication of pregnancy. ... Hegars sign is an indication of pregnancy in a human female, specifically the compressibility and softening of the cervical isthmus (the portion of the cervix between the uterus and the vaginal portion of the cervix) and the uterine cervix appearing bluish and engorged. ... The fornices of the vagina are the deepest portions of the vagina, extending into the recesses created by the extension of the cervix into the vaginal space. ... Linea Nigra from pubis to navel. ... In dermatology, hyperpigmentation is the darkening of an area of skin or nails caused by increased melanin. ...


Diagnosis

Main article: Obstetrics

The beginning of pregnancy may be detected in a number of ways, including various pregnancy tests which detect hormones generated by the newly-formed placenta. Clinical blood and urine tests can detect pregnancy soon after implantation, which is as early as 6-8 days after fertilization. Home pregnancy tests are personal urine tests, which normally cannot detect a pregnancy until at least 12-15 days after fertilization. Both clinical and home tests can only detect the state of pregnancy, and cannot detect its age. Obstetrics (from the Latin obstare, to stand by) is the surgical specialty dealing with the care of a woman and her offspring during pregnancy, childbirth and the puerperium (the period shortly after birth). ... The placenta (Latin for cake, referencing its appearance in humans) is an ephemeral organ present in placental vertebrates, such as eutherial mammals and sharks during gestation (pregnancy). ... A modern pregnancy test A pregnancy test is a test to determine whether or not a woman is pregnant. ... This article is about the urine of animals generally. ...


In the post-implantation phase, the blastocyst secretes a hormone named human chorionic gonadotropin which in turn, stimulates the corpus luteum in the woman's ovary to continue producing progesterone. This acts to maintain the lining of the uterus so that the embryo will continue to be nourished. The glands in the lining of the uterus will swell in response to the blastocyst, and capillaries will be stimulated to grow in that region. This allows the blastocyst to receive vital nutrients from the woman. The blastocyst is an early stage of the human (or any other mammal) development early in pregnancy. ... Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) is a peptide hormone produced in pregnancy, that is made by the embryo soon after conception and later by the syncytiotrophoblast (part of the placenta). ... The corpus luteum (Latin for yellow body) is a small, temporary endocrine structure in animals. ... Progesterone is a C-21 steroid hormone involved in the female menstrual cycle, pregnancy (supports gestation) and embryogenesis of humans and other species. ...


An early sonograph can determine the age of the pregnancy fairly accurately. In practice, doctors typically express the age of a pregnancy (i.e. an "age" for an embryo) in terms of "menstrual date" based on the first day of a woman's last menstrual period, as the woman reports it. Unless a woman's recent sexual activity has been limited, or she has been charting her cycles, or the conception is as the result of some types of fertility treatment (such as IUI or IVF) the exact date of fertilization is unknown. Absent symptoms such as morning sickness, often the only visible sign of a pregnancy is an interruption of her normal monthly menstruation cycle, (i.e. a "late period"). Hence, the "menstrual date" is simply a common educated estimate for the age of a fetus, which is an average of two weeks later than the first day of the woman's last menstrual period. The term "conception date" may sometimes be used when that date is more certain, though even medical professionals can be imprecise with their use of the two distinct terms. The due date can be calculated by using Naegele's rule. The expected date of delivery may also be calculated from sonogram measurement of the fetus. This method is slightly more accurate than methods based on LMP.[17] The beginning of labour, which is variously called confinement or childbed, begins on the day predicted by LMP 3.6% of the time and on the day predicted by sonography 4.3% of the time.[18] Sonography redirects here. ... For other uses, see Embryo (disambiguation). ... This article is about sexual practices (i. ... AIH redirects here. ... In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a technique in which egg cells are fertilized outside the mothers body in cases where conception is difficult or impossible through normal intercourse. ... Morning sickness, also called nausea, vomiting of pregnancy (emesis gravidarum or NVP), or pregnancy sickness, affects between 50[1] and 95 percent of all pregnant women as well as some women who use hormonal contraception or hormone replacement therapy. ... Naegeles Rule is a standard way of calculating the due date for a pregnancy. ... A sonogram may refer to the following: A diagnostic medical image created using ultrasound echo equipment, see sonography. ...


Diagnostic criteria are: Women who have menstrual cycles and are sexually active, a period delayed by a few days or weeks is suggestive of pregnancy; elevated B-hcG to around 100,000 mIU/mL by 10 weeks of gestation.


Physiology

The term trimester redirects here. For the term trimester used in academic settings, see Academic term

Pregnancy is typically broken into three periods, or trimesters, each of about three months. While there are no hard and fast rules, these distinctions are useful in describing the changes that take place over time. An academic term is a division of an academic year, the time during which a school, college or university holds classes. ...


First trimester

Comparison of growth of the abdomen between 26 weeks and 40 weeks gestation.

Traditionally, doctors have measured pregnancy from a number of convenient points, including the day of last menstruation, ovulation, fertilization, implantation and chemical detection. In medicine, pregnancy is often defined as beginning when the developing embryo becomes implanted into the endometrial lining of a woman's uterus. In some cases where complications may have arisen, the fertilized egg might implant itself in the fallopian tubes or the cervix, causing an ectopic pregnancy. Most pregnant women do not have any specific signs or symptoms of implantation, although it is not uncommon to experience light bleeding at implantation. Some women will also experience cramping during their first trimester. This is usually of no concern unless there is spotting or bleeding as well. The outer layers of the embryo grow and form a placenta, for the purpose of receiving essential nutrients through the uterine wall, or endometrium. The umbilical cord in a newborn child consists of the remnants of the connection to the placenta. The developing embryo undergoes tremendous growth and changes during the process of foetal development. Image File history File links Pregnancy_comparison. ... Image File history File links Pregnancy_comparison. ... For other uses, see Embryo (disambiguation). ... Implantation is a phenomenon in prenatal development, i. ... The endometrium is the inner membrane of the mammalian uterus. ... This article is about female reproductive anatomy. ... Female internal reproductive anatomy The Fallopian tubes or oviducts are two very fine tubes leading from the ovaries of female mammals into the uterus. ... The cervix (from Latin neck) is the lower, narrow portion of the uterus where it joins with the top end of the vagina. ... The placenta (Latin for cake, referencing its appearance in humans) is an ephemeral organ present in placental vertebrates, such as eutherial mammals and sharks during gestation (pregnancy). ... Nutrients and the body A nutrient is any element or compound necessary for or contributing to an organisms metabolism, growth, or other functioning. ... Matrilineality is a system in which one belongs to ones mothers lineage; it may also involve the inheritance of property or titles through the female line. ... The endometrium is the inner membrane of the mammalian uterus. ... In placental mammals, the umbilical cord is a tube that connects a developing embryo or fetus to the placenta. ... Fetal (U.S. English; Foetal UK English) development is the process in which a fetus (U.S. English; Foetus UK English) develops during gestation, from the times of conception until birth. ...


Morning sickness can occur in about seventy percent of all pregnant women and typically improves after the first trimester.[19] Most miscarriages occur during this period. Morning sickness, also called nausea, vomiting of pregnancy (emesis gravidarum or NVP), or pregnancy sickness, affects between 50[1] and 95 percent of all pregnant women as well as some women who use hormonal contraception or hormone replacement therapy. ... Miscarriage or spontaneous abortion is the natural or spontaneous end of a pregnancy at a stage where the embryo or the fetus is incapable of surviving, generally defined in humans at a gestation of prior to 20 weeks. ...

A pregnant woman at 26 weeks

Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (1203x2048, 178 KB) Summary Dag boeleke! Pregnancy in the 26th week. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (1203x2048, 178 KB) Summary Dag boeleke! Pregnancy in the 26th week. ...

Second trimester

Months 4 through 6 of the pregnancy are called the second trimester. Most women feel more energized in this period, and begin to put on weight as the symptoms of morning sickness subside and eventually fade away. Although the fetus begins moving and takes a recognizable human shape during the first trimester, it is not until the second trimester that movement of the fetus, often referred to as "quickening", can be felt. This typically happens by the fourth month. The placenta is now fully functioning and the fetus is making insulin and urinating. The teeth are now formed inside the fetus's gums and the reproductive organs can be recognized, and can distinguish the fetus as male or female. For other uses, see Fetus (disambiguation). ... Quickening may refer to: Quickening, the transfer of an immortals life force in the Highlander universe. ...


Third trimester

Final weight gain takes place, and the fetus begins to move regularly. The woman's navel will sometimes become convex, "popping" out, due to her expanding abdomen. This period of her pregnancy can be uncomfortable, causing symptoms like weak bladder control and back-ache. Movement of the fetus becomes stronger and more frequent and via improved brain, eye, and muscle function the fetus is prepared for ex utero viability. The woman can feel the fetus "rolling" and it may cause pain or discomfort when it is near the woman's ribs and spine. For other uses, see Fetus (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Navel (disambiguation). ... The abdomen in a human and an ant. ...


It is during this time that a baby born prematurely may survive. The use of modern medical intensive care technology has greatly increased the probability of premature babies living, and has pushed back the boundary of viability to much earlier dates than would be possible without assistance.[20] In spite of these developments, premature birth remains a major threat to the fetus, and may result in ill-health in later life, even if the baby survives. In most systems of human pregnancy, the condition, premature birth (also known as a preterm birth), occurs when the baby is born within sooner than 36 weeks of completed gestation. ... Intensive care medicine or critical care medicine is concerned with providing greater than ordinary medical care and observation to people in a critical or unstable condition. ...


Prenatal development and sonograph images

See also: Prenatal development

Prenatal development is divided into two primary biological stages. The first is the embryonic stage, which lasts for about two months. At this point, the fetal stage begins. At the beginning of the foetal stage, the risk of miscarriage decreases sharply,[21] all major structures including hands, feet, head, brain, and other organs are present, and they continue to grow and develop. When the fetal stage commences, a fetus is typically about 30 mm (1.2 inches) in length, and the heart can be seen beating via sonograph; the fetus bends the head, and also makes general movements and startles that involve the whole body.[22] Brain stem activity has been detected as early as 54 days after conception,[23] and the first measurable signs of EEG activity occur in the 12th week.[24] Some fingerprint formation occurs from the beginning of the fetal stage.[25] This article is about prenatal development in humans. ... For other uses, see Embryo (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Fetus (disambiguation). ... The brain stem is the lower part of the brain, adjoining and structurally continuous with the spinal cord. ... EEG redirects here. ...

One way to observe prenatal development is via ultrasound images. Modern 3D ultrasound images provide greater detail for prenatal diagnosis than the older 2D ultrasound technology.[30] Whilst 3D is popular with parents desiring a prenatal photograph as a keepsake,[31] both 2D and 3D are discouraged by the FDA for non-medical use,[32] but there are no definitive studies linking ultrasound to any adverse medical effects.[33] The following 3D ultrasound images were taken at different stages of pregnancy: FDA redirects here. ...

Physiological changes in pregnancy

The body must change its physiological and homeostatic mechanisms in pregnancy to ensure the fetus is provided for. Increases in blood sugar, breathing and cardiac output are all required.


Hormonal changes

Levels of progesterone and oestrogens rise continually throughout pregnancy, suppressing the hypothalamic axis and subsequently the menstrual cycle. The mother and the placenta also produces many hormones.


Prolactin levels increase due to maternal Pituitary gland enlargement by 50%. This mediates a change in the structure of the Mammary gland from ductal to lobular-alveolar. Parathyroid hormone is increased to increases calcium uptake in the gut and reabsorption by the kidney. Adrenal hormones such as cortisol and aldosterone also increase. Prolactin (PRL) is a peptide hormone primarily associated with lactation. ... | Latin = hypophysis, glandula pituitaria | GraySubject = 275 | GrayPage = 1275 | Image = Gray1180. ... Mammary glands are the organs that, in the female mammal, produce milk for the sustenance of the young. ... RNA expression pattern Orthologs Human Mouse Entrez Ensembl Uniprot na Refseq Location Pubmed search Parathyroid hormone (PTH), or parathormone, is secreted by the parathyroid glands as a polypeptide containing 84 amino acids. ... Cortisol is a corticosteroid hormone produced by the Zona fasciculata of the adrenal cortex (in the adrenal gland). ... Aldosterone, is a steroid hormone (mineralocorticoid family) produced by the outer-section (zona glomerulosa) of the adrenal cortex in the adrenal gland, and acts on the kidney nephron to conserve sodium, secrete potassium,increase water retention, and increase blood pressure. ...


Placental lactogen is produced by the placenta and stimulates lipolysis and fatty acid metabolism by the mother, conserving blood glucose for use by the fetus. It also decreases maternal tissue sensitivity to insulin, resulting in gestational diabetes. Human placental lactogen (HPL), also called human chorionic somatomammotropin, is a polypeptide placental hormone. ... Gestational diabetes is a form of diabetes found in pregnant women. ...


Physical changes

12-15kgs (26-33lbs) are gained during pregnancy due to fat deposition, growth of the reproductive organs and fetal tissues.


Cardiovascular changes

Blood volume increases by 40% in the first two trimesters. This is due to an increase in plasma volume through increased aldosterone. Progesterone may also interact with the aldosterone receptor, thus leading to increased levels. Red blood cell numbers increase due to increased erythropoietin levels. Erythropoietin (IPA pronunciation: , alternative pronunciations: ) or EPO is a glycoprotein hormone that is a cytokine for erythrocyte (red blood cell) precursors in the bone marrow. ...


Cardiac function is also modified, with increase heart rate and increased stroke volume. A decrease in vagal tone and increase in sympathetic tone is the cause. Blood volume increases act to increase stroke volume of the heart via Starling's law. After pregnancy the change in stroke volume is not reversed. Cardiac output rises from 4 to 7 litres in the 2nd trimester


Blood pressure also fluctuates. In the first trimester it falls. Initially this is due to decreased sensitivity to angiotensin and vasodilation provoked by increased blood volume. Later however, it is caused by decresed resistence to the growing uteroplacental bed. Angiotensin is an oligopeptide in the blood that causes vasoconstriction, increased blood pressure, and release of aldosterone from the adrenal cortex. ...


Respiratory changes

Decreased functional residual capacity is seen, typically falling from 1.7 to 1.35 litres, due to the compression of the diaphragm by the uterus. Tidal volume increases, from 0.45 to 0.65 litres, giving an increase in pulmonary ventilation. This is necessaary to meet the increased oxygen requirement of the body, which reaches 50ml/min - 20ml of which goes to reproductive tissues.


Progesterone may act centrally on chemoreceptors to reset the set point to a lower partial pressure of carbon dioxide. This maintains an increased respiration rate even at a decreased level of carbon dioxide. Set point might mean one of: Set point (tennis), a tennis term meaning one player is one point away from winning a set Set point (electronics), a term which refers to the point at which an electrical circuit is either activated or de-activated Set point (medicine), a term referring...


Metabolic changes

An increased requirement for nutrients is given by fetal growth and fat deposition. Changes are caused by steroid hormones, lactogen and cortisol.


Maternal insulin resistance can lead to gestational diabetes. Increase liver metabolism is also seen, with increased gluconeogenesis to increase maternal glucose levels.


Renal changes

Renal plasma flow increases, as does aldosterone and erthropoietin production as discussed. The tubular maximum for glucose is reduced, which may precipitate gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes is a form of diabetes found in pregnant women. ...


Management

Prenatal medical care is of recognized value throughout the developed world. Periconceptional Folic acid supplementation is the only type of supplementation of proven efficacy. Prenatal means before birth (is widely used in biology). ... Folic acid and folate (the anion form) are forms of the water-soluble Vitamin B9. ...


Nutrition

A balanced, nutritious diet is an important aspect of a healthy pregnancy. If the woman is healthy, balancing carbohydrates, fat, and proteins, and eating a variety of fruits and vegetables usually ensure good nutrition. Those whose diets are affected by health issues, religious requirements, or ethical beliefs may choose to consult a health professional for specific advice. Nutrition and pregnancy refers to the nutrient intake, and dietary planning that is undertook before, during and after pregnancy. ... Carbohydrates (literally hydrates of carbon) are chemical compounds that act as the primary biological means of storing or consuming energy, other forms being fat and protein. ... For other uses, see FAT. Fats consist of a wide group of compounds that are generally soluble in organic solvents and largely insoluble in water. ... A representation of the 3D structure of myoglobin, showing coloured alpha helices. ... Popular Japanese fashion magazine throughout the 1990s; the photography of which has recently been reissued in two collections from Phaidon press. ... Vegetables on a market Vegetable is a nutritional and culinary term denoting any part of a plant that is commonly consumed by humans as food, but is not regarded as a culinary fruit, nut, herb, spice, or grain. ...


Adequate periconceptional folic acid (also called folate or Vitamin B9) intake has been proven to limit fetal neural tube defects, preventing spina bifida, a very serious birth defect. The neural tube develops during the first 28 days of pregnancy and this explains the necessity to guarantee adequate periconceptional folate intake.[34][35] Folates (from folia, leaf) are abundant in spinach (fresh, frozen or canned), and are also found in green vegetables, salads, melon, hummus, and eggs. In the United States and Canada, most wheat products (flour, noodles) are fortified with folic acid.[36] Folic acid and folate (the anion form) are forms of the water-soluble Vitamin B9. ... A congenital disorder is a medical condition or defect that is present at or before birth (for example, congenital heart disease). ... Binomial name Spinacia oleracea L. Percentages are relative to US recommendations for adults. ... Fresh Swiss chard Fresh water spinach Creamed spinach Steamed kale Leaf vegetables, also called potherbs, greens, or leafy greens, are plant leaves eaten as a vegetable, sometimes accompanied by tender petioles and shoots. ... Hummus or hummus bi tahini (Arabic: ; ‎; Armenian համոս) also spelled hamos, houmous, hommos, hommus, hummos, hummous or humus) is a dip or spread made of ground chickpeas, sesame tahini, lemon juice, and garlic. ... Chicken egg (left) and quail eggs (right), the types of egg commonly used as food An egg is a body consisting of an ovum surrounded by layers of membranes and an outer casing of some type, which acts to nourish and protect a developing embryo. ...


Several micronutrients are important for the health of the developing fetus, especially in areas of the world where insufficient nutrition is prevalent.[37] In developed areas, such as Western Europe and the United States, certain nutrients such as Vitamin D and calcium, required for bone development, may require supplementation.[38][39][40] Micronutrients are essential nutrients only needed by the human body in small quantities for it to fuction normally. ... A current understanding of Western Europe. ... Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin that contributes to the maintenance of normal levels of calcium and phosphorus in the bloodstream. ... For other uses, see Calcium (disambiguation). ...


There is some evidence that long-chain omega-3 (n-3) fatty acids have an effect on the developing fetus, but further research is required.[41] At this time, supplementing the diet with foods rich in these fatty acids is not recommended, but is not harmful.[42] For an explanation of n and numerical nomenclature (such as n−3 or 18:3), see Nomenclature of fatty acids. ...


Dangerous bacteria or parasites may contaminate foods, particularly listeria and toxoplasma, toxoplasmosis agent. Careful washing of fruits and raw vegetables may remove these pathogens, as may thoroughly cooking leftovers, meat, or processed meat. Soft cheeses may contain listeria, if milk is raw the risk may increase. Cat feces pose a particular risk of toxoplasmosis. Pregnant women are also more prone to catching salmonella infection from eggs and poultry, which should be thoroughly cooked. Practicing good hygiene in the kitchen can reduce these risks.[43] Species Listeria monocytogenes Listeria ivanovii Listeria innocua Listeria welshimeri Listeria seegligeri Listeria grayi Listeria innocua Listeria is a bacterial genus containing six species. ... Species S. bongori S. enterica This article is about the bacteria. ...


Weight gain

Caloric intake must be increased, to ensure proper development of the fetus. The amount of weight gained during pregnancy varies between women. The National Health Service recommends that overall weight gain during the 9 month period for women who start pregnancy with normal weight be 10 to 12 kilograms (22–26 lb).[44] During pregnancy, insufficient weight gain can compromise the health of the fetus. Women with fears of weight gain or with eating disorders may choose to work with a health professional, to ensure that pregnancy does not trigger disordered eating. Likewise, excessive weight gain can pose risks to the woman and the fetus. Women who are prone to being overweight may choose to plan a healthy diet and exercise plan to help moderate the amount of weight gained. NHS redirects here. ... Look up pound in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... This article is about the medical term. ...


Immunological tolerance

Main article: Pre-eclampsia

Research on the immunological basis for pre-eclampsia has indicated that continued exposure to a partner's semen has a strong protective effect against pre-eclampsia, largely due to the absorption of several immune modulating factors present in seminal fluid.[45] Studies also showed that long periods of sexual cohabitation with the same partner fathering a woman's child significantly decreased her chances of suffering pre-eclampsia.[46] Several other studies have since investigated the strongly decreased incidence of pre-eclampsia in women who had received blood transfusions from their partner, those with long, preceding histories of sex without barrier contraceptives, and in women who had been regularly performing oral sex,[47] with one study concluding that "induction of allogeneic tolerance to the paternal HLA molecules of the fetus may be crucial. Data collected strongly suggests that exposure, and especially oral exposure to soluble HLA from semen can lead to transplantation tolerance."[47] Pre-eclampsia (US: preeclampsia) is a medical condition where hypertension arises in pregnancy (pregnancy-induced hypertension) in association with significant amounts of protein in the urine. ... The initialism HLA can stand for: Hapag Lloyd Airlines,a German charter airline Harvey L. Atwater, a U.S. politician Henry Louis Aaron, a baseball player High Level Architecture, a distributed computer simulation standard House of Lords Act, a U.K. constitutional reform Human Leukocyte Antigen, a key part of... The initialism HLA can stand for: Hapag Lloyd Airlines,a German charter airline Harvey L. Atwater, a U.S. politician Henry Louis Aaron, a baseball player High Level Architecture, a distributed computer simulation standard House of Lords Act, a U.K. constitutional reform Human Leukocyte Antigen, a key part of...


Other studies have investigated the roles of semen in the female reproductive tracts of mice, showing that "insemination elicits inflammatory changes in female reproductive tissues,"[48] concluding that the changes "likely lead to immunological priming to paternal antigens or influence pregnancy outcomes." A similar series of studies confirmed the importance of immune modulation in female mice through the absorption of specific immune factors in semen, including TGF-Beta, lack of which is also being investigated as a cause of miscarriage in women and infertility in men. Transforming Growth Factor beta (TGF beta) is a biological protein. ... Miscarriage or spontaneous abortion is the natural or spontaneous end of a pregnancy at a stage where the embryo or the fetus is incapable of surviving, generally defined in humans at a gestation of prior to 20 weeks. ... Infertility primarily refers to the biological inability of a man or a woman to contribute to conception. ...


According to the theory, pre-eclampsia is frequently caused by a failure of the mother's immune system to accept the fetus and placenta, which both contain "foreign" proteins from paternal genes. Regular exposure to the father's semen causes her immune system to develop tolerance to the paternal antigens, a process which is significantly supported by as many as 93 currently identified immune regulating factors in seminal fluid.[49][50] Having already noted the importance of a woman's immunological tolerance to her baby's paternal genes, several Dutch reproductive biologists decided to take their research a step further. Consistent with the fact that human immune systems tolerate things better when they enter the body via the mouth, the Dutch researchers conducted a series of studies that confirmed a surprisingly strong correlation between a diminished incidence of pre-eclampsia and a woman's practice of oral sex, and noted that the protective effects were strongest if she swallowed her partner's semen.[51] The researchers concluded that while any exposure to a partner's semen during sexual activity appears to decrease a woman's chances for the various immunological disorders that can occur during pregnancy, immunological tolerance could be most quickly established through oral introduction and gastrointestinal absorption of semen.[51] Recognizing that some of the studies potentially included the presence of confounding factors, such as the likelihood that women who regularly perform oral sex and swallow semen[citation needed] engage in more frequent vaginal intercourse, the researchers also noted that, either way, the data still overwhelmingly supports the main theory behind all their studies--that repeated exposure to semen establishes the maternal immunological tolerance necessary for a safe and successful pregnancy.[citation needed] An antigen is any molecule that is recognized by antibodies. ... This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ...


Sexuality during pregnancy

Most pregnant women can enjoy sexual intercourse throughout gravidity. Most research suggests that, during pregnancy, both sexual desire and frequency of sexual relations decrease.[52][53] In context of this overall decrease in desire, some studies indicate a second-trimester increase, preceding a decrease.[54] However, these decreases are not universal: a significant number of women report greater sexual satisfaction throughout their pregnancies.[55] It has been suggested that Duration of sexual intercourse be merged into this article or section. ...


In some places, until the mid 20th century, it was considered a socio-moral "taboo" action for pregnant women to engage in sexual activities[citation needed]. This is far from universal however, for example the Talmud recommends it for the health of the mother and child. Sex during pregnancy is a low-risk behaviour except when the physician advises that sexual intercourse be avoided, which may, in some pregnancies, lead to serious pregnancy complications or health issues such as a high-risk for premature labour or a ruptured uterus. Such a decision may be based upon a history of difficulties in a previous childbirth. The Talmud (Hebrew: ) is a record of rabbinic discussions pertaining to Jewish law, ethics, customs, and history. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...


Some psychological research studies in the 1980s and '90s contend that it is useful for pregnant women to continue to have sexual activity, specifically noting that overall sexual satisfaction was correlated with feeling happy about being pregnant, feeling more attractive in late pregnancy than before pregnancy and experiencing orgasm.[54] Sexual activity has also been suggested as a way to prepare for induced labour; some believe the natural prostaglandin content of seminal liquid can favour the maturation process of the cervix making it more flexible, allowing for easier and faster dilation and effacement of the cervix. However, the efficacy of using sexual intercourse as an induction agent "remains uncertain".[56]


During pregnancy, the baby is protected from penetrative thrusting by the amniotic fluid in the womb and by the woman's abdomen.[57]


Abortion

Main article: Abortion

An abortion is the removal or expulsion of an embryo or fetus from the uterus, resulting in or caused by its death. This can occur spontaneously or accidentally as with a miscarriage, or be artificially induced by medical, surgical or other means.


Progression

Complaints

See also: Complications of pregnancy

The following are complaints that may occur during pregnancy: // Routine Problems of Pregnancy Back Pain Common, particularly in the third trimester when the patients center of gravity has shifted. ...

  • Back pain. A particularly common complaint in the third trimester when the patient's center of gravity has shifted.
  • Constipation. A complaint that is caused by decreased bowel motility secondary to elevated progesterone (normal in pregnancy), which can lead to greater absorption of water.
  • Braxton Hicks contractions. Occasional, irregular, painless contractions that occur several times per day.
  • Edema. Common complaint in advancing pregnancy. Caused by compression of the inferior vena cava (IVC) and pelvic veins by the uterus leads to increased hydrostatic pressure in lower extremities.
  • Regurgitation, heartburn and nausea. Common complaints that may be caused by Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD); this is determined by relaxation of the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) and increased transit time in the stomach (normal in pregnancy)
  • Haemorrhoids. Complaint that is often noted in advancing pregnancy. Caused by increased venous stasis and IVC compression leading to congestion in venous system along with increased abdominal pressure secondary to the pregnant space-occupying uterus and constipation.
  • Pelvic girdle pain. A common complaint is pain, instability or dysfunction of the symphysis pubis and/or sacroiliac joints resulting from either excess strain or injury (such as Diastasis symphysis pubis) during the course of the pregnancy or birthing process.
  • Increased urinary frequency. A common complaint referred by the gravida that is caused by increased intravascular volume, elevated GFR (glomerular filtration rate), and compression of the bladder by the expanding uterus.
  • Varicose veins. Common complaint caused by relaxation of the venous smooth muscle and increased intravascular pressure.

Back pain (also known dorsalgia) is pain felt in the back that may originate from the muscles, nerves, bones, joints or other structures in the spine. ... Constipation, costiveness, or irregularity, is a condition of the digestive system where a person (or animal) experiences hard feces that are difficult to egest. ... Progesterone is a C-21 steroid hormone involved in the female menstrual cycle, pregnancy (supports gestation) and embryogenesis of humans and other species. ... For the album Braxton Hicks by Jebediah see Braxton Hicks (album). ... This page is about the condition called edema. ... This article may be too technical for most readers to understand. ... This article is about female reproductive anatomy. ... Regurgitation is the passive flow of stomach contents back into the esophagus and mouth. ... For other uses, see Nausea (disambiguation). ... Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD or GORD using the British Å“sophageal) is defined as chronic symptoms or mucosal damage produced by the abnormal reflux in the esophagus[1]. This is commonly due to transient or permanent changes in the barrier between the esophagus and the stomach. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Cardia. ... Hemorrhoids (also haemorrhoids or piles) are varicosities or swelling and inflammation of veins in the rectum and anus. ... Pelvic Girdle Pain During Pregnancy Historical articles show that pregnancy-related pelvic girdle pain has been recognizes for centuries. ... Polyuria is the passage of a large volume of urine in a given period. ... Glomerular filtration rate (GFR) is the volume of fluid filtered from the renal (kidney) glomerular capillaries into the Bowmans capsule per unit time. ... This article is about the urinary bladder. ... Vein gymnastics in the barefoot park Dornstetten, Germany. ... Smooth muscle Layers of Esophageal Wall: 1. ...

Childbirth

Main article: Childbirth

Childbirth is the process whereby an infant is born. It is considered by many to be the beginning of a person's life, and age is defined relative to this event in most cultures. Parturition redirects here. ... Parturition redirects here. ...


A woman is considered to be in labour when she begins experiencing regular uterine contractions, accompanied by changes of her cervix — primarily effacement and dilation. While childbirth is widely experienced as painful, some women do report painless labours, while others find that concentrating on the birth helps to quicken labour and lessen the sensations. Most births are successful vaginal births, but sometimes complications arise and a woman may undergo a caesarean section. A caesarean section (AE cesarean section), or c-section, is a form of childbirth in which a surgical incision is made through a mothers abdomen (laparotomy) and uterus (hysterotomy) to deliver one or more babies. ...


During the time immediately after birth, both the mother and the baby are hormonally cued to bond, the mother through the release of oxytocin, a hormone also released during breastfeeding.-1... Oxytocin (Greek: quick birth) is a mammalian hormone that also acts as a neurotransmitter in the brain. ... Suckling redirects here. ...


Postnatal period

Main article: Postnatal

Postnatal (Latin for after birth) is the period beginning immediately after the birth of a child and extending for about six weeks. ...

Context

There are fine distinctions between the concepts of fertilization and the actual state of pregnancy, which starts with implantation. In a normal pregnancy, the fertilization of the egg usually will have occurred in the Fallopian tubes or in the uterus. (Often, an egg may become fertilized yet fail to become implanted in the uterus.) If the pregnancy is the result of in-vitro fertilization, the fertilization will have occurred in a Petri dish, after which pregnancy begins when one or more zygotes implant after being transferred by a physician into the woman's uterus. The Fallopian tubes, also known as oviducts, uterine tubes, and salpinges (singular salpinx) are two very fine tubes leading from the ovaries of female mammals into the uterus. ... This article is about female reproductive anatomy. ... In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a technique in which egg cells are fertilized outside the mothers body in cases where conception is difficult or impossible through normal intercourse. ... Man looking at fungus inside of petri dishes A Petri dish is a shallow glass or plastic cylindrical dish that biologists use to culture microbes. ... For other uses, see Doctor. ...


In the context of political debates regarding a proper definition of life, the terminology of pregnancy can be confusing. The medically and politically neutral term which remains is simply "pregnancy," though this can be problematic as it only refers indirectly to the embryo or fetus. De Crespigny observes that doctors' language has a powerful influence over the way patients think, and thus proposes that the best interests of patients are served by using language that both supports patient autonomy and is neutral.[58] Life is a multi-faceted concept. ...


See also

It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Anticoagulant. ... For other uses, see Birth control (disambiguation). ... An egg donor is a woman who provides usually several eggs (ova, oocytes) for another person or couple who want to have a child. ... Fertility is the natural capability of giving life. ... Fetal alcohol syndrome or FAS is a disorder of permanent birth defects that occurs in the offspring of women who drink alcohol during pregnancy. ... Maternal health care is a concept that encompasses preconception, prenatal, and postnatal care. ... A parent is a father or mother; one who begets or one who gives birth to or nurtures and raises a child; a relative who plays the role of guardian // Mother This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Postnatal Depression (also called Postpartum Depression and referred throughout this article by the acronym PPD) is a form of clinical depression which can affect women, and less frequently men, after childbirth. ... Pregnancy discrimination occurs when expectant women are fired, not hired, or otherwise discriminated against due to their pregnancy or intention to become pregnant. ... This does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... In the Bible, Sarah is said to have given birth to her son, Isaac, when she was 90 years old. ... Pregnant patients rights refers to pregnant womens rights regarding medical care during the pregnancy and childbirth. ... A doctor performs a prenatal exam. ... A simulated pregnancy is a deliberate attempt to create the false impression of pregnancy. ...

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The Australian College of Midwives is the professional organisation representing midwives and midwifery policy in Australia. ... Mayo Clinic is a medical practice based in Rochester, Minnesota, USA, integrated with hospital facilities and a medical school. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... is the 234th day of the year (235th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2008 (MMVIII) is the current year, a leap year that started on Tuesday of the Anno Domini/Common Era, in accordance with the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 16th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... A digital object identifier (or DOI) is a standard for persistently identifying a piece of intellectual property on a digital network and associating it with related data, the metadata, in a structured extensible way. ... 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Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... is the 63rd day of the year (64th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... is the 205th day of the year (206th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... is the 20th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... is the 240th day of the year (241st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... is the 240th day of the year (241st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... is the 240th day of the year (241st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... is the 240th day of the year (241st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... A digital object identifier (or DOI) is a standard for persistently identifying a piece of intellectual property on a digital network and associating it with related data, the metadata, in a structured extensible way. ... Year 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 221st day of the year (222nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... A digital object identifier (or DOI) is a standard for persistently identifying a piece of intellectual property on a digital network and associating it with related data, the metadata, in a structured extensible way. ... A digital object identifier (or DOI) is a standard for persistently identifying a piece of intellectual property on a digital network and associating it with related data, the metadata, in a structured extensible way. ... A digital object identifier (or DOI) is a standard for persistently identifying a piece of intellectual property on a digital network and associating it with related data, the metadata, in a structured extensible way. ... A digital object identifier (or DOI) is a standard for persistently identifying a piece of intellectual property on a digital network and associating it with related data, the metadata, in a structured extensible way. ... A digital object identifier (or DOI) is a standard for persistently identifying a piece of intellectual property on a digital network and associating it with related data, the metadata, in a structured extensible way. ... A digital object identifier (or DOI) is a standard for persistently identifying a piece of intellectual property on a digital network and associating it with related data, the metadata, in a structured extensible way. ... A digital object identifier (or DOI) is a standard for persistently identifying a piece of intellectual property on a digital network and associating it with related data, the metadata, in a structured extensible way. ... A digital object identifier (or DOI) is a standard for persistently identifying a piece of intellectual property on a digital network and associating it with related data, the metadata, in a structured extensible way. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 30th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... is the 320th day of the year (321st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Also see: 2002 (number). ... is the 37th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... is the 323rd day of the year (324th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Also see: 2002 (number). ... is the 40th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... is the 168th day of the year (169th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... A digital object identifier (or DOI) is a standard for persistently identifying a piece of intellectual property on a digital network and associating it with related data, the metadata, in a structured extensible way. ... A digital object identifier (or DOI) is a standard for persistently identifying a piece of intellectual property on a digital network and associating it with related data, the metadata, in a structured extensible way. ... Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Wiktionary (a portmanteau of wiki and dictionary) is a multilingual, Web-based project to create a free content dictionary, available in over 151 languages. ... Human Physiology is the science of the mechanical, physical, and biochemical functions of humans in good health, their organs, and the cells of which they are composed. ... Endocrinology is a branch of medicine dealing with disorders of the endocrine system and its specific secretions called hormones. ... Sexual reproduction is characterized by processes that pass a combination of genetic material to offspring, resulting in diversity. ... -1... The male reproductive system is a series of organs located outside of the body and around the pelvic region of a male. ... The human females reproductive system. ... Menstrual cycle In the female reproductive system, the menstrual cycle is a recurring cycle of physiologic changes that occurs in reproductive-age females. ... The estrous cycle (also oestrous cycle; originally derived from Latin oestrus) comprises the recurring physiologic changes that are induced by reproductive hormones in most mammalian placental females. ... See also Mensuration, a term sometimes used to describe Measurement, particularly in the context of forestry. ... Menstrual cycle The follicular phase (or proliferative phase) is the phase of the estrous cycle, (or, in humans and great apes, the menstrual cycle) during which follicles in the ovary mature. ... Ovulation is the process in the menstrual cycle by which a mature ovarian follicle ruptures and discharges an ovum (also known as an oocyte, female gamete, or casually, an egg) that participates in reproduction. ... The luteal phase is the latter phase of the estrous cycle in animals. ... Gametogenesis is the creation of gametes by meiotic division of gametocytes into various gametes. ... Cross section of the epithelium of a seminiferous tubule showing various stages of spermatocyte development Spermatogenesis is the process by which male spermatogonia develop into mature spermatozoa. ... A Spermatogonium (plural: spermatogonia) is an intermediary male gametogonium (a kind of germ cell) in the production of spermatozoa. ... Spermatogenesis refers to the creation, or genesis, of sperm cells, which occurs in the male gonads or testes. ... The term spermatid refers to the haploid male germ cell that results from secondary spermatocyte division. ... For other uses, see Sperm (disambiguation). ... Oogenesis or rarely oögenesis is the creation of an ovum (egg cell). ... An oogonium is a female gametogonium. ... An oocyte or ovocyte is a female gametocyte or germ cell involved in reproduction. ... An ootid is a female gametid, as opposed to a male spermatid. ... A human ovum Sperm cells attempting to fertilize an ovum An ovum (plural ova) is a haploid female reproductive cell or gamete. ... A germ cell is part of the germline and is involved in the reproduction of organisms. ... A gamete (from Ancient Greek γαμετης; translated gamete = wife, gametes = husband) is a cell that fuses with another gamete during fertilization (conception) in organisms that reproduce sexually. ... This article is about sexual practices (i. ... It has been suggested that Duration of sexual intercourse be merged into this article or section. ... The erection of the penis, clitoris or a nipple is its enlarged and firm state. ... Ejaculation is the ejecting of semen from the penis, and is usually accompanied by orgasm. ... An orgasm (sexual climax) is the conclusion of the plateau phase of the sexual response cycle, and may be experienced by both males and females. ... Insemination is the introduction of semen into the genital tract of a female. ... This article is about fertilisation in animals and plants. ... Fertility is the natural capability of giving life. ... Masturbation is the manual excitation of the sexual organs, most often to the point of orgasm. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... This article is about prenatal development in humans. ... Female (left) and male Common Pheasant, illustrating the dramatic difference in both color and size, between the sexes Sexual dimorphism is the systematic difference in form between individuals of different sex in the same species. ... This article is about the development of sexual dimorphisms in humans. ... Puberty refers to the process of physical changes by which a childs body becomes an adult body capable of reproduction. ... Menarche (IPA: ) is the first menstrual period, or first menstrual bleeding in the females of human beings. ... Adrenarche refers to a stage of maturation of the cortex of the human adrenal glands. ... Graph showing increased risk of Down Syndrome over time The maternal age effect describes the exponentially increasing risks of chromosomal abnormalities as a prospective mother ages. ... The paternal age effect describes the influence that a fathers age has on the chances of conferring a genetic defect to his offspring. ... The word menopause literally means the permanent physiological, or natural, cessation of menstrual cycles, from the Greek roots meno (month) and pausis (a pause, a cessation). ... Andropause is a medical phenomenon, similar to the female menopause, that can affect men between the ages of 40 and 55. ... A human ovum Sperm cells attempting to fertilize an ovum An ovum (plural ova) is a haploid female reproductive cell or gamete. ... Oviparous animals are animals that lay eggs, with little or no other embryonic development within the mother. ... Ovoviviparous animals develop within eggs that remain within the mothers body up until they hatch or are about to hatch. ... Poa alpina, a grass which shows vivipary: the seeds germinate while still attached to the mother plant. ... Reproductive endocrinology (RE) is a medical subspecialty that addresses hormonal functioning as it pertains to reproduction. ... The hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis (also HPTA) is a way of referring to the combined effects of the hypothalamus, pituitary gland, and gonads as if these individual endocrine glands were a single entity. ... Andrology (from the Greek andros, man) is the medical specialty that deals with male health, particularly relating to the problems of the male reproductive system and urological problems that are unique to men. ... For other uses, see Hormone (disambiguation). ...

 
 

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