Understanding the Menstrual Cycle, Pregnancy, and Reproduction

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Menstrual Cycle

Pre-menstrual phase: the lining of the uterus begins to break down, progesterone decreases. Menstruation: the endometrium is detached, loss of blood and it is caused by progesterone. Usually it lasts 4 days. Repair phase: the lining of the uterus starts to thicken and becomes more stable. Increase in the concentration of estrogen. Ovulation: occurs around day 14, the ovum is released, there is a peak of estrogen and they are the most fertilized days. Receptive phase: the lining of the uterus is well developed if the ovum has been fertilized it implants itself in the tissue. Hormones: FSH: stimulates the follicle (brain) LH: produces ovulation (brain). Estrogen: creates new endometrium (ovary). Progesterone: makes the endometrium grow (ovary).

Pregnancy Concepts

Fertilization: union of ovum and sperm. It only occurs in the fallopian tubes. It occurs during ovulation around day 14. Zygote: union of two gametes. Embryo: zygote implanted in the uterus. Fetus: embryo of 8 weeks.

Amnion: a membrane that forms the amniotic cavity in which the embryo is suspended. Placenta: an organ that connects the embryo to the wall of the mother's uterus via the umbilical cord. Umbilical cord: connect the fetus with the vagina. Cesarean section: is an operation in which the mother's abdomen and the uterus are cut and the baby is removed. This happens when the fetus cannot be born normally.

Methods of Contraception

Barrier methods: condom and diaphragm. Mechanical methods: IUD. Hormonal methods: contraceptive pill. Chemical methods: spermicides. Surgical methods: ligation of fallopian tubes vasectomy.

Assisted Reproduction

Artificial insemination: sperm is deposited into the uterus of the mother. IVF: ovum and sperm are extracted, placed together to favor fertilization and introduced in the uterus. Sperm microinjection: sperm is introduced into the ovum with a micro...

Surrogacy or surrogacy mother: a woman that is not the mother carries the embryo. It's not legal in Spain.

Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Aids, hepatitis b, syphilis, gonorrhea, genital herpes and human papillomavirus.


Nutrient: is a substance used by an organism to survive, grow and reproduce. They are essential for life and health. Difference between food and nutrients: food is any nutritious substance that people eat or drink to maintain life and growth and a nutrient is a substance that provides essential nourishment for the maintenance of life and growth.

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