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PFS005, August 2015

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is the virus that causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). HIV can enter the bloodstream through contact with an infected person’s body fluids, such as blood or semen. This can happen during sex or by sharing needles used to inject drugs. An infected woman who is pregnant can pass the virus to her baby. Women with HIV who breastfeed also can pass the virus to their babies. Once in the blood, HIV attacks the immune system. As the immune system weakens, the body becomes less able to resist disease and other infections. AIDS is diagnosed when a perso...


102.
July 2015

FAQ061, July 2015

What is laparoscopy? Laparoscopy is a type of surgery. In “open” surgery, an incision is made in the skin. This means making an incision that can be several inches long in the abdomen. Laparoscopy is a way of doing surgery using small incisions (usually no more than 1/2 inch long). Laparoscopic surgery sometimes is called “minimally invasive surgery.”


103.
July 2015

FAQ188, July 2015

How does multiple pregnancy occur? A twin, triplet, or higher-order pregnancy (four or more babies) is called multiple pregnancy. If more than one egg is released during the menstrual cycle and each is fertilized by a sperm, more than one embryo may implant and grow in your uterus. This type of pregnancy results in fraternal twins (or more). When a single fertilized egg splits, it results in multiple identical embryos. This type of pregnancy results in identical twins (or more). Identical twins are less common than fraternal twins.


104.
June 2015

FAQ131, June 2015

What are some of the benefits of exercise for postpartum women? Exercise has the following benefits for postpartum women: It helps strengthen and tone abdominal muscles. It boosts energy. It may be useful in preventing postpartum depression. It promotes better sleep. It relieves stress.


FAQ156, June 2015

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, the baby is called an embryo. From the ninth week of pregnancy until birth, it is called a fe...


106.
May 2015

FAQ047, May 2015

What is menopause? Menopause is the time in your life when you naturally stop having menstrual periods. Menopause happens when the ovaries stop making estrogen. Estrogen is a hormone that helps control the menstrual cycle. Menopause marks the end of the reproductive years. The average age that women go through menopause is 51 years.


FAQ049, May 2015

What is puberty? Puberty is a time when your body begins to change to become more like an adult’s. Starting your menstrual period is one of these changes. What is a menstrual period? When puberty begins, your brain signals your body to produce hormones. Some of these hormones prepare your body each month for a possible pregnancy. This is called the menstrual cycle. Hormones cause the lining of the uterus to become thicker with extra blood and tissue. One of your ovaries then releases an egg. This is called ovulation. The egg moves down one of the two fallopian tubes toward the uterus. ...


108.
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.


FAQ050, May 2015

How do urinary tract infections (UTIs) develop? Most urinary tract infections start in the lower urinary tract, which is made up of the urethra and bladder. Bacteria from the bowel live on the skin near the anus or in the vagina. These bacteria can spread and enter the urinary tract through the urethra. If they move up the urethra, they may cause a bladder infection (called cystitis). Bacteria that have infected the bladder may travel to the upper urinary tract, the ureters and the kidneys. An infection of the kidneys is called pyelonephritis. An upper urinary tract infection may cause a mor...


FAQ057, May 2015

What is premenstrual syndrome (PMS)? Many women feel physical or mood changes during the days before menstruation. When these symptoms happen month after month, and they affect a woman's normal life, they are known as PMS.


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