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Birth Control Learn about choosing the right birth control method for you. Some examples include the birth control pill, intrauterine device (IUD), patch, condom, or implant. Cancer Screening Learn more about breast cancer, colon cancer, or other types of cancer. Vaccinations Get vaccinations against the flu, human papillomavirus (HPV), and more. Health Screening Get screened for high blood pressure, diabetes, bone density for osteoporosis, and more. Depression Screening Depression is a common but serious illness. Depression can be mild, moderate, or severe. To diagnose depression,...


FAQ502, June 2018

What is human immunodeficiency virus? Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is the virus that causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Once HIV is in your body, it attacks the immune system. As the immune system weakens, it is less able to resist disease and infections. AIDS is diagnosed when a person with HIV develops diseases that the immune system normally would fight off, such as pneumonia, certain types of cancer, and harmful infections.


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June 2018

FAQ501, June 2018

What is Listeria? Listeria is a kind of bacteria that is found in soil, water, and some animals, including cattle and poultry. When eaten, Listeria causes a foodborne illness called listeriosis. Listeriosis is one of the most serious types of food poisoning.


FAQ006, May 2018

What is cesarean birth? Cesarean birth is the delivery of a baby through incisions made in the mother's abdomen and uterus.


FAQ196, May 2018

What is marijuana? Marijuana is a plant that contains a chemical called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC can cause relaxation and the typical “high” associated with marijuana use. Marijuana has other chemicals that affect different organs in the body, including the brain, lungs, blood vessels, heart, and liver.


If you use marijuana during pregnancy, you may be putting your health and your fetus’s health at risk.


FAQ034, May 2018

What is high blood pressure? Blood pressure is the pressure of the blood against the blood vessel walls each time the heart contracts (squeezes) to pump the blood through your body (see FAQ123 Managing High Blood Pressure). High blood pressure also is called hypertension. Hypertension can lead to health problems. During pregnancy, severe or uncontrolled hypertension can cause complications for you and your fetus.


FAQ156, April 2018

How does pregnancy begin? Fertilization, the union of an egg and a sperm into a single cell, is the first step in a complex series of events that leads to pregnancy. Fertilization takes place in the fallopian tube. Over the next few days, the single cell divides into multiple cells. At the same time, the small cluster of dividing cells moves through the fallopian tube to the lining of the uterus. There it implants and starts to grow. From implantation until the end of the eighth week of pregnancy, it is called an embryo. From the ninth week of pregnancy until birth, it is called a fetus.


FAQ186, March 2018

What is progestin? Progestin is a form of progesterone, a hormone that plays a role in the menstrual cycle and pregnancy. Progestin is used in combination with another hormone called estrogen in combined hormonal birth control pills, the vaginal ring, and the skin patch. It also can be used by itself in progestin-only pills and the birth control injection. The birth control implant and the hormonal intrauterine device also are progestin-only forms of birth control and are discussed in FAQ184 Long-Acting Reversible Contraception.


FAQ185, March 2018

Contraception What are combined hormonal birth control methods? How do combined hormonal methods prevent pregnancy? How effective are combined hormonal birth control methods? What are the benefits of combined hormonal methods? What are possible risks of combined hormonal methods? Can I use combined hormonal birth control methods while I am breastfeeding? How can I get combined hormonal pills? What are the different types of combined hormonal pills and how are they taken? What are possible side effects of using the combined hormonal birth control pill? ...


American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
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