Gynaecology - Diseases and dysfunctions of the female reproductive system
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DISEASES AND DYSFUNCTIONS OF THE FEMALE REPRODUCTIVE SYSTEM What are advantages and disadvantages of taking oral contraceptives? Key words: gynaecology, obstetrics, gynaecologist, obstetrician, midwife, intercourse, conception, breast-self examination, foetus, gestation, pregnancy, parturition, labour, childbirth, uterus, vagina, menstruation, menopause, climacterium. Gynaecologyis a medical branch devoted to the administration of health care to women, especially the diagnosis and treatment of disorders affecting the female reproductive organs. Obstetrics is a medical branch dealing with pregnancy and childbirth. Frequently, a physician is specialized in both obstetrics and gynaecology. The reproductive organs of the male and female are divided into two parts: the external and internal genitals, and the gonads. The gonads are represented in the male by the testes and in the female by the ovaries. It is during puberty that the gonads begin to grow and become active, under the influence of the gonadotropic hormones, which are produced in the pituitary gland. The external female genitals are the clitoris and the labia, which together are known as the vulva. The vagina is the channel, which leads to the uterus. The vagina plays an important role during intercourse and childbirth. The hymen, also known as the maidenhead, is named after the Greek god of marriage, Hymen. The hymen has no known physiological function, but has achieved a great importance in nearly all cultures as an insignia of virginity. In an adult woman the uterus is a hollow organ approximately the size and shape of small pear, and lies inside the girdle of pelvic bones. The two Fallopian tubes carry monthly the egg released from one of the pair of ovaries. The ovaries are the parts of the female reproductive system, which are designed to make and release mature ova, or eggs. When the ovum is fertilized by a sperm from a man it marks the start of a new human life. The Fallopian tubes leads to the womb. One diagnostic procedure that should be routinely performed by a woman isbreast self-examination(BSE). The importance of a BSE is not to prevent diseases of the breast but to detect any problems before they become serious. A BSE should be performed monthly, one week after the cessation of menstruation so that the breasts will not be swollen or especially tender. Another important diagnostic procedure is a smear. It permits microscopic examination of cells covering the tip of cervix. Women should have these smears on a regular basis for the early detection of cervical cancer. Infertility, or the inability to conceive, is a clinical problem that can involve either male or female reproductive system, or both. Generally, when a male is infertile, it is because of inadequate sperm counts. Female infertility is frequently caused by an obstruction of the uterine tubes or by abnormal ovulation. Sterilityis also the inability to conceive but generally refers to surgical alterations of the reproductive tract.Tubal ligationis a common birth-control technique that produces female sterility. Likewise, surgical removal of the uterus in a procedure called ahysterectomyproduces female sterility. Cancer of the uterusis the most common malignancy of the female reproductive tract. The most common site of uterine cancer is the cervix. Cervical cancer, which is second only to breast cancer in frequency of occurrence, generally strikes women between the ages of 30 and 50. The treatment of cervical cancer depends on the stage of the malignancy and the age and general health of the woman. CONCEPTIONis the union of a sperm and egg. If intercourse takes place around the time of ovulation, conception is very likely. The egg and sperm fuse together to form a single nucleus, which begins to divide into two cells. The fertilized egg travels down to the uterus within approximately seven days. PRENATAL DEVELOPMENT The period of prenatal development is referred to asgestation. Normal gestation for humans is 9 months. Knowing this and the pattern of menstruation makes it possible to determine the delivery date of a baby. In a typical reproductive cycle, a woman ovulates 14 days prior to the onset of the next menstruation and is fertile for approximately 20 to 24 hours following ovulation. Adding 9 months or 38 weeks to the time of ovulation gives the estimated delivery date. The foetus is the name given to the unborn child from the time it is recognizable as a developing human being (from about two months after the egg has been fertilized). FOETAL MONITORING Major structural abnormalities, which may not be predictable from genetic analysis, can often be detected byultrasonography.Ultrasonography is so sensitive that it can detect a foetal heartbeat several weeks before it can be heard with a stethoscope .It can also be used to determine fetal weight, length, and position, as well as to identify multiple foetuses. Amniocentesisis a technique used to obtain a small sample of amniotic fluid with a syringe, so that the fluid can be checked. This technique is most often performed to determine foetal maturity, but it can also help to predict serious disorders likeDown syndrome. Fetoscopy allows direct examination of the foetus. Using foetoscopy, physicians scan the uterus with pulse sound waves to locate and observe foetal structures and take tissue samples. Foetoscopy is also used to diagnose several diseases, including haemophilia. Gestationis frequently divided intothree phases, or trimesters, each lasting three calendar months. By the end of the first trimester, all of the major body systems are formed, the fetal heart can be detected, and the external genitalia are developed. The fetus is about the width of the palm of an adult’s hand. During the second trimester, fetal quickening can be detected, epidermal features are formed, and although the vital body systems are functioning, the fetus would be unlikely to survive if birth were to occur. At the end of the s