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FAQ049, February 2019

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.


FAQ170, February 2019

Why is smoking dangerous during pregnancy? When a woman smokes cigarettes during pregnancy, her fetus is exposed to many harmful chemicals. Nicotine is only one of 4,000 toxic chemicals that can pass from a pregnant woman to her fetus. Nicotine causes blood vessels to narrow, so less oxygen and fewer nutrients reach the fetus. Nicotine also damages a fetus’s brain and lungs. This damage is permanent.


FAQ071, February 2019

What is a sexually transmitted infection? A sexually transmitted infection (STI) is an infection spread by sexual contact. There are many STIs. This FAQ focuses on chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis. These STIs can cause long-term health problems and problems during pregnancy. Having an STI also increases the risk of getting human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) if you are exposed to it.


24.
February 2019

FAQ050, February 2019

How do urinary tract infections develop? Most urinary tract infections (UTIs) start in the lower urinary tract, which is made up of the urethra and bladder. Bacteria can enter through the urethra and spread upward to the bladder. This causes cystitis, a bladder infection.


25.
February 2019

FAQ097, February 2019

What is endometrial cancer? Endometrial cancer is cancer of the endometrium, which is the lining of the uterus. It is the most common type of cancer that affects the female reproductive organs. The most common type of endometrial cancer (type 1) grows slowly. It most often is found only inside the uterus. Type 2 is less common. It grows more rapidly and tends to spread to other parts of the body. Malignant tumors can invade and destroy nearby healthy tissues and organs. Cancer cells also can spread (or metastasize) to other parts of the body and form new tumors.


26.
January 2019

FAQ087, January 2019

What is preterm labor? Preterm labor is defined as regular contractions of the uterus resulting in changes in the cervix that start before 37 weeks of pregnancy. Changes in the cervix include effacement (the cervix thins out) and dilation (the cervix opens so that the fetus can enter the birth canal). In some cases preterm labor can lead to a baby being born too soon.


FAQ164, January 2019

What is prenatal genetic testing? Prenatal genetic testing gives parents-to-be information about whether their fetus has certain genetic disorders.


28.
January 2019

FAQ013, January 2019

What is endometriosis? Endometriosis is a condition in which the type of tissue that forms the lining of the uterus (the endometrium) is found outside the uterus.


FAQ024, January 2019

What is fertility awareness? Fertility awareness is knowing and recognizing when the fertile time (when a woman can get pregnant) occurs in the menstrual cycle. If you are practicing fertility awareness as a birth control method to prevent pregnancy, you need to avoid having sexual intercourse or use a barrier method of birth control, such as a condom, during the fertile period. If you are trying to get pregnant, you should have sexual intercourse on your fertile days, ideally every day or every other day.


30.
January 2019

FAQ079, January 2019

What does it mean when a fetus is breech? In the last weeks of pregnancy, a fetus usually moves so his or her head is positioned to come out of the vagina first during birth. This is called a vertex presentation. A breech presentation occurs when the fetus’s buttocks, feet, or both are in place to come out first during birth. This happens in 3–4% of full-term births.


American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
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Mailing Address: PO Box 96920, Washington, DC 20024-9998