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FAQ086, May 2017

What types of medications for pain relief are used during labor and delivery? In general, there are two types of drugs for pain relief: 1) analgesics and 2) anesthetics. Analgesics lessen pain without loss of feeling or muscle movement. Anesthetics relieve pain by blocking most feeling, including pain. Pain relief medications can be either systemic, regional, or local. Systemic medications affect the entire body. Local medications affect only a small area of the body. Regional medications affect a region of the body, like the region below the waist.


2.
April 2017

FAQ075, April 2017

What is an ovarian cyst? An ovarian cyst is a sac or pouch filled with fluid or other tissue that forms in or on an ovary. Ovarian cysts are very common. They can occur during the childbearing years or after menopause. Most ovarian cysts are benign (not cancer) and go away on their own without treatment. Rarely, a cyst may be malignant (cancer) (see FAQ096 Ovarian Cancer).


FAQ121, June 2017

What are common signs and symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)? Common PCOS signs and symptoms include the following: Irregular menstrual periods—Menstrual disorders can include absent periods, periods that occur infrequently or too frequently, heavy periods, or unpredictable periods. Infertility —PCOS is one of the most common causes of female infertility. Obesity—Up to 80% of women with PCOS are obese. Excess hair growth on the face, chest, abdomen, or upper thighs—This condition, called hirsutism, affects more than 70% of women with PCOS. Severe acne or acne that occurs a...


FAQ195, January 2018

What is human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)? Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is the virus that causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).


5.
May 2015

FAQ043, May 2015

What is an induced abortion? When a procedure is done or medication is taken to end a pregnancy, it is called an induced abortion.


FAQ184, January 2018

What are long-acting reversible contraception methods? The intrauterine device (IUD) and the birth control implant are long-acting reversible contraception methods. Both are highly effective in preventing pregnancy. They last for several years and are easy to use. Both methods are reversible—if you want to get pregnant or if you want to stop using them, you can have them removed at any time.


FAQ193, June 2016

How common is heavy menstrual bleeding? Heavy menstrual bleeding is very common. About one third of women seek treatment for it. Heavy menstrual bleeding is not normal. It can disrupt your life and may be a sign of a more serious health problem. If you are worried that your menstrual bleeding is too heavy, tell your obstetrician–gynecologist (ob-gyn).


8.
August 2011

FAQ128, August 2011

What is thyroid disease? The thyroid gland is located at the base of your neck in front of your trachea (or windpipe). The thyroid gland makes, stores, and releases two hormones—T4 (thyroxine) and T3 (triiodothyronine). Certain disorders can cause the thyroid gland to make too much or too little hormone. Women at risk of thyroid disease include those who have or have had an autoimmune disease (such as diabetes).


9.
October 2017

FAQ137, October 2017

What is infertility? Infertility is defined as not having become pregnant after 1 year of having regular sexual intercourse without the use of birth control (see FAQ136 Evaluating Infertility). If you are older than 35 years, an evaluation and possible treatment are recommended after 6 months. If you are older than 40 years, an evaluation and possible treatment are recommended before you reach the 6-month mark.


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.


American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
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