KNOW MEDICAL WORDS

 

Cervix:                  The cervix is the lower, narrow part of the uterus (womb). The uterus, a hollow, pear-shaped organ, is   located in a woman's lower abdomen, between the bladder and the rectum. The cervix forms a canal that opens into the vagina, which leads to the outside of the body.

 

The word "cervix" comes straight from Latin for "neck".

Uterus:                  The uterus (womb) is a hollow, pear-shaped organ located in a woman's lower abdomen between the bladder and the rectum. The narrow, lower portion of the uterus is the cervix; the broader, upper part is the corpus. The corpus is made up of two layers of tissue.

In women of childbearing age, the inner layer of the uterus (endometrium) goes through a series of monthly changes known as the menstrual cycle. Each month, endometrial tissue grows and thickens in preparation to receive a fertilized egg. Menstruation occurs when this tissue is not used, disintegrates, and passes out through the vagina. The outer layer of the corpus (myometrium) is muscular tissue that expands during pregnancy to hold the growing fetus and contracts during labor to deliver the child.

Ovum:                   An egg in the ovary of the female. This egg is called the female "gamete" or sex cell. It combines with the male gamete, called a sperm, to form a zygote. This formation process is called "fertilization."

Fallopian tube:    One of the two Fallopian tubes that transport the egg from the ovary to the uterus (the womb). In the diagram, the Fallopian tubes are not labeled but are well shown running between the uterus and ovaries.

The Fallopian tubes have small hair-like projections called cilia on the cells of the lining. These tubal cilia are essential to the movement of the egg through the tube into the uterus. If the tubal cilia are damaged by infection, the egg may not get 'pushed along' normally but may stay in the tube.

Infection can also cause partial or complete blockage of the tube with scar tissue, physically preventing the egg from getting to the uterus.

Any process (such as infection, endometriosis, tumors, or scar tissue in the pelvis (pelvic adhesions) that cause twisting or chinking of the tube) that damages the Fallopian tube or narrows its diameter increases the chance of an ectopic pregnancy: a pregnancy developing in the Fallopian tube or another abnormal location outside the uterus.

These tubes bear the name of Gabriele Falloppio (also spelled Falloppia), a 16th-century (c. 1523-62) Italian physician and surgeon who was expert in anatomy, physiology and pharmacology. He was an early expert on syphilis and one of the great surgeons of the age. Of the various works by Falloppio only the "Observationes anatomicae", a work of great originality, was published during his lifetime. In it he made a number of contributions to the knowledge of centers of ossification, to the detailed account of muscles, and to the understanding of the vascular system and the kidneys. His description of the uterine tubes was sufficiently accurate that they bear his name. With Vesalius and Eustachi, Fallopio is often seen as one of the three heroes of anatomy.

 

 

Vulva:   The female external genital organs including the labia majora, labia minora, clitoris, tiny glands called Bartolin's glands, and the entrance to the vagina.

Vagina: The muscular canal extending from the cervix to the outside of the body. It is usually six to seven inches in length, and its walls are lined with mucus membrane. It includes two vaultlike structures, the anterior (front) vaginal fornix and the posterior (rear) vaginal fornix. The cervix protrudes slightly into the vagina, and it is through a tiny hole in the cervix (the os) that sperm make their way toward the internal reproductive organs. The vagina also includes numerous tiny glands that make vaginal secretions.

The word "vagina" is a Latin word meaning "a sheath or scabbard", a scabbard into which one might slide and sheath a sword. The "sword" in the case of the anatomic vagina was the penis. Love and war, it would seem, have been connected in the minds of people for millennia.

 

 

What is infertility?

Most experts define infertility as not being able to get pregnant after at least one year of trying. Women who are able to get pregnant but then have repeat miscarriages are also said to be infertile.

Pregnancy is the result of a complex chain of events. In order to get pregnant:

·         A woman must release an egg from one of her ovaries (ovulation).

·         The egg must go through a fallopian tube toward the uterus (womb).

·         A man's sperm must join with (fertilize) the egg along the way.

·         The fertilized egg must attach to the inside of the uterus (implantation).

Infertility can result from problems that interfere with any of these steps.

Is infertility a common problem?

About 12 percent of women (7.3 million) in the United States aged 15-44 had difficulty getting pregnant or carrying a baby to term in 2002, according to the National Center for Health Statistics of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Is infertility just a woman's problem?

No, infertility is not always a woman's problem. In only about one-third of cases is infertility due to the woman (female factors). In another one third of cases, infertility is due to the man (male factors). The remaining cases are caused by a mixture of male and female factors or by unknown cause.

What causes infertility in men?

Infertility in men is most often caused by:

·         problems making sperm -- producing too few sperm or none at all

·         problems with the sperm's ability to reach the egg and fertilize it -- abnormal sperm shape or structure prevent it from moving correctly

Sometimes a man is born with the problems that affect his sperm. Other times problems start later in life due to illness or injury. For example, cystic fibrosis often causes infertility in men.

 

What increases a man's risk of infertility?

The number and quality of a man's sperm can be affected by his overall health and lifestyle. Some things that may reduce sperm number and/or quality include:

·         alcohol

·         drugs

·         environmental toxins, including pesticides and lead

·         smoking cigarettes

·         health problems

·         medicines

·         radiation treatment and chemotherapy for cancer

·         age

What causes infertility in women?

·         Problems with ovulation account for most cases of infertility in women. Without ovulation, there are no eggs to be fertilized. Some signs that a woman is not ovulating normally include irregular or absent menstrual periods.

Less common causes of fertility problems in women include:

·         blocked fallopian tubes due to pelvic inflammatory disease, endometriosis, or surgery for an ectopic pregnancy

·         physical problems with the uterus

·         uterine fibroids

 

 

What is assisted reproductive technology (ART)?

·         Assisted reproductive technology (ART) is a term that describes several different methods used to help infertile couples. ART involves removing eggs from a woman's body, mixing them with sperm in the laboratory and putting the embryos back into a woman's body.

What are the different types of assisted reproductive technology (ART)?

Common methods of ART include:

*    

*   (IVF) means fertilization outside of the body. IVF is the most effective ART. It is often used when a woman's fallopian tubes are blocked or when a man produces too few sperm. Doctors treat the woman with a drug that causes the ovaries to produce multiple eggs. Once mature, the eggs are removed from the woman. They are put in a dish in the lab along with the man's sperm for fertilization. After 3 to 5 days, healthy embryos are implanted in the woman's uterus.

In vitro fertilization, a laboratory procedure in which sperm are placed with an unfertilized egg in a Petri dish to achieve fertilization. The embryo is then transferred into the uterus to begin a pregnancy or cryopreserved (frozen) for future use. IVF was originally devised to permit women with damaged or absent Fallopian tubes to have a baby. Normally a mature egg is released from the ovary (ovulated), then enters the Fallopian tube, and waits in the neck of the tube for a sperm to fertilize it. With defective Fallopian tubes, this is not possible. The first IVF baby, Louise Joy Brown, was born in England in 1978.

In vitro fertilization literally means "fertilization in glass." A child born by in vitro fertilization is known as a "test tube baby."

·         Zygote intrafallopian transfer :

(ZIFT) or Tubal Embryo Transfer is similar to IVF. Fertilization occurs in the laboratory. Then the very young embryo is transferred to the fallopian tube instead of the uterus.

A technique in which a woman's egg is fertilized outside the body, then implanted in one of her fallopian tubes. This technique is one of the methods used to overcome infertility, the inability of couples to produce offspring on their own.

First, the egg and the male sperm needed to fertilize it are harvested. Then the egg and the sperm are united in a petri dish, a multi-purpose glass or plastic container with a lid. If all goes well, the sperm fertilizes the egg, and the physicians then implant it in a fallopian tube. From there, nature takes its course, and the egg eventually is deposited by the fallopian tube into the uterus (womb) for development.

A zygote is the combined cell resulting from the union of sperm and egg. A zygote develops into an embryo. An embryo, a mass of cells with no recognizable human features, begins formation of a human body. After about seven or eight weeks, the embryo exhibits recognizable features such as a mouth and ears. At this stage, the developing human becomes known as a fetus. The word "zygote" is derived from the Greek word "zygon" (yoke).

The term "intrafallopian" means "inside the fallopian tubes." ("Intra," a Latin word, means "within" or "inside.") Thus, the term "zygote intrafallopian transfer" refers to the transfer of a zygote into a fallopiantube.

·         Gamete intrafallopian transfer

(GIFT) involves transferring eggs and sperm into the woman's fallopian tube. So fertilization occurs in the woman's body. Few practices offer GIFT as an option.

A technique in which the male and female germ cells required to begin formation of a human embryo are injected into a woman's fallopian tubes of the female for fertilization. This technique is one of the methods doctors use to overcome infertility, the inability of couples to produce offspring on their own.

Gametes (germ cells) in males are the spermatozoa, or sperm, and those in females are ova, or eggs. After a sperm fertilizes an egg in the fallopian tubes, the egg implants itself in the uterus (womb), a hollow organ that lodges and nourishes the embryo during its development.

The term "intrafallopian" means "inside the fallopian tubes." ("Intra," a Latin word, means "within" or "inside.") Thus, in the GIFT technique, fertilization takes place inside the body of the female. By contrast, in the technique of in vitro fertilization (IVF), eggs are fertilized outside the body.

"Gamete" is derived from the Greek word "gamete" (wife) and "gamein" (to marry).

·         Intracytoplasmic sperm injection:

(ICSI) Stands for intracytoplasmic sperm injection, a test-tube fertilization procedure in which a sperm is   injected directly into an egg to achieve fertilization. ICSI is useful for male infertility. Babies conceived by ICSI have no more major birth defects or delays in development than children conceived by natural means.

It is often used for couples in which there are serious problems with the sperm. Sometimes it is also used for older couples or for those with failed IVF attempts. In ICSI, a single sperm is injected into a mature egg. Then the embryo is transferred to the uterus or fallopian tube.

ART procedures sometimes involve the use of donor eggs (eggs from another woman), donor sperm, or previously frozen embryos. Donor eggs are sometimes used for women who can not produce eggs. Also, donor eggs or donor sperm is sometimes used when the woman or man has a genetic disease that can be passed on to the baby.

 

How often is assisted reproductive technology (ART) successful?

Success rates vary and depend on many factors. Some things that affect the success rate of ART include:

·         age of the partners

·         reason for infertility

·         clinic

·         type of ART

·         if the egg is fresh or frozen

·         if the embryo is fresh or frozen

The U.S. Centers for Disease Prevention (CDC) collects success rates on ART for some fertility clinics. According to the 2003 CDC report on ART, the average percentage of ART cycles that led to a healthy baby were as follows:

·         37.3% in women under the age of 35

·         30.2% in women aged 35-37

·         20.2% in women aged 37-40

·         11.0% in women aged 41-42

ART can be expensive and time-consuming. But it has allowed many couples to have children that otherwise would not have been conceived. The most common complication of ART is multiple fetuses. But this is a problem that can be prevented or minimized in several different ways.