Reproductive Anatomy

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According to American Pregnancy, ovulation itself lasts only one day while an egg is detached from the ovary follicle. However, the entire ovulation cycle is composed of two longer phases called the follicular and luteal phases.

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  • What is a fetal pole?

    Q: What is a fetal pole?

    A: A fetal pole is a collection of fetal cells that can be detected via vaginal ultrasound around the sixth week of pregnancy. Separate from the yolk sac, it is considered the somite stage of the fetus.
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  • What happens to an unfertilized egg?

    Q: What happens to an unfertilized egg?

    A: A human egg that is not fertilized breaks apart and is expelled from the body during menstruation. According to Women's Health, hormone levels start to drop after the egg breaks apart, triggering the onset of menstruation.
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  • What is the difference between fecundity and fertility?

    Q: What is the difference between fecundity and fertility?

    A: Fertility is the natural capacity to produce offspring, whereas fecundity is the potential capacity for reproduction, according to Biology Online. Although the terms are often used interchangeably in common language, the Geneva Foundation for Medical Education and Research explains how they take on very distinct meanings when discussing matters of demographics and human population trends.
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  • How many days does ovulation last?

    Q: How many days does ovulation last?

    A: According to American Pregnancy, ovulation itself lasts only one day while an egg is detached from the ovary follicle. However, the entire ovulation cycle is composed of two longer phases called the follicular and luteal phases.
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  • How much does a uterus weigh?

    Q: How much does a uterus weigh?

    A: According to ob-gyn Dr. Deborah Wilson, the size of the human uterus varies. However, she does stipulate that the organ generally weighs between 0.06 and 0.22 pounds. Dr. Wilson adds that the uteruses in women who have not given birth are generally smaller in size than in those who have.
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  • How often do men produce sperm?

    Q: How often do men produce sperm?

    A: Men produce sperm on a continuous basis. An average man produces over one million sperm a day, according to MSN Health; however, this may vary in men with a sperm count that is considered low.
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  • How do humans mate?

    Q: How do humans mate?

    A: According to David M. Buss of the University of Texas at Austin, humans depend on several successful strategies for mating, which they inherited from their ancestors. These strategies include: long-term, short-term and extra-pair mating. However, each sex has different mating strategies including the type of mate preferred, the desire for short-term versus long-term mating and the ways in which jealousy results.
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  • Q: What are some tips for finding a reputable gynecologist?

    A: To find a reputable gynecologist, get a referral from a primary care provider, family member or trusted friend if possible, recommends WebMD. Many important OB/GYN screening procedures can be performed by a gynecologist, and she can provide a referral if additional care is required.
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  • Q: What are the most common symptoms of ovarian cancer?

    A: The most common symptoms of ovarian cancer include changes in bowel habits, abdominal bloating, weight loss, pelvic discomfort and frequent urination, explains Mayo Clinic. Symptoms are often vague and usually do not occur until the cancer is advanced.
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  • Where can pictures of uterine fibroids be accessed online?

    Q: Where can pictures of uterine fibroids be accessed online?

    A: It is possible to find pictures, illustrations and photos of uterine fibroids on WebMD. The website offers a slideshow entitled “A Visual Guide to Uterine Fibroids,” which includes both artists’ illustrations and actual photos of uterine fibroids. Up to 80 percent of women develop fibroids by age 50, notes WebMD.
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  • Q: How do you prevent a yeast infection during pregnancy?

    A: According to WebMD, yeast infections are common during pregnancy due to elevated estrogen levels. To prevent yeast infections, women should practice good hygiene by keeping vaginal areas clean, wiping from front to back after using the bathroom, wearing cotton underwear, avoiding tight clothing including tight jeans and pantyhose, changing out of a swimsuit immediately after swimming, changing pads and tampons often, and avoiding the use of douches or scented tampons.
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  • What is the normal thickness of the endometrial lining?

    Q: What is the normal thickness of the endometrial lining?

    A: According to the Advanced Fertility Center of Chicago, the endometrial lining of the uterus is normally around 11.2 millimeters in thickness. An ultrasound measures and evaluates the uterus and the endometrial lining.
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  • Q: How does a thermal endometrial ablation work?

    A: A thermal endometrial ablation works by using heat to destroy the lining of the uterus, or endometrium, explains WebMD. The heat can be generated either by radiofrequency, through normal heated saline, or through a balloon filled with heated saline. The scar tissue left by the procedure stops or at least reduces the abnormal bleeding of the endometrium.
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  • Q: What is vaginitis?

    A: Vaginitis is an inflammation of the vagina that causes itching, pain and discharge, explains Mayo Clinic. An infection, changes in the vaginal bacteria balance and reduced estrogen levels are typical causes of vaginitis.
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  • Q: What is a medical doctor who specializes in female anatomy?

    A: Medical doctors who specializing in women's reproductive health are known as gynecologists or obstetrician-gynecologists; frequently abbreviated as "OB-GYNs." To become an OB-GYN, a doctor must complete a specialized four-year residency focused on women's primary and reproductive health care, according to the American College of Surgeons.
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  • Q: How can I help thin my cervix, and how do I know if it is already thinning?

    A: There are various natural methods used to help thin the cervix and prepare for childbirth, including relaxation, visualization, nipple stimulation, sex, homeopathy, walking and certain foods, according to OBGYN North. While there is little scientific evidence to support any of these methods, they are all widely used by women to help bring on labor and begin the process of thinning the cervix in preparation for delivery. See the doctor to check on progress.
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  • Q: What does it mean if your cervix is high, soft and bleeding a lot?

    A: There are several possible causes of cervical bleeding, some of which are quite serious. The NIH recommends that patients with unexplained vaginal bleeding see a doctor, who can examine the cervix in order to determine the cause of the bleeding. The position and texture may have benign hormonal causes and are less worrying.
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  • Q: What is a vaginal pessary?

    A: A vaginal pessary is a device that fits inside the vagina to support regions with pelvic organ prolapse, according to WebMD. Pessaries are removable and come in plastic, rubber or silicone materials. Doctors must fit pessaries carefully to obtain positioning that supports pelvic organs without causing discomfort.
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  • What are the side effects of having an ovary removed?

    Q: What are the side effects of having an ovary removed?

    A: Risks immediately following ovary removal include the development of painful scar tissue and infection related to the surgical procedure itself, according to Breastcancer.org. Removal of an ovary places a woman in perimenopause into menopause, making it impossible to conceive children, and may result in intense menopausal symptoms.
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  • What are the symptoms of uterine cysts?

    Q: What are the symptoms of uterine cysts?

    A: Heavy menstrual bleeding, pelvic pain, constipation, prolonged menstrual periods and frequent urination are some of the most common symptoms of uterine cysts, according to Mayo Clinic. Symptoms of uterine cysts may vary depending on the size and location of the cysts within the uterus, notes Healthline.
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  • Q: Why do ovarian dermoid cysts grow back after removal?

    A: Researchers hypothesize that ovarian dermoid cysts may recur in procedures where the surgeon does not have a clear enough view of the pelvis and is unaware that a second cyst exists, according to Women's Health Advice. Laparoscopies, while less intrusive than laparotomies, have an ovarian dermoid cyst recurrence rate of 7 percent within two years following surgery. Laparatomies have a recurrence rate of approximately 0 percent, although the length of hospitalization and associated blood loss are both higher.
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