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    the __________ is the neck of the uterus and becomes dilated when a female is in labor.


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    Childbirth and its different phases

    Childbirth typically starts with contractions and consists of three stages of labour: the dilation stage, expulsion stage and placental stage. The time it takes to give birth varies from woman to woman.


    Childbirth typically starts with contractions and consists of three stages of labour: the dilation stage, expulsion stage and placental stage. The time it takes to give birth varies from woman to woman.

    Illustration: Doug Olson / Mostphotos

    Signs that labour has started

    The start of childbirth, labour and how women experience giving birth is very individual. No two births are the same, so having a second baby may be different to the first time.

    Most births start naturally (spontaneously) between gestational week 37 and 42. Labour typically starts when the uterus (womb) starts tightening to produce contractions, but you may also experience other signs that you are going into labour.


    Contractions are painful cramps that come more frequently than every 10 minutes or so and last for 45-60 seconds.

    Contractions usually come several minutes apart and last a short time at the start, and as labour progresses they increase in frequency, duration and intensity. Most women feel the pain in their lower belly and/or lower back.

    Time your contractions, and phone the hospital/unit when they are regular or about 5-6 minutes apart.

    If you are a long way from the hospital, have given birth very fast before, had complications in previous pregnancies or births, or if you are worried, phone the hospital when the contractions start.

    The stages of childbirth

    Once labour has started, the contractions change your cervix so it begins to slip away to the sides to make space for your baby to pass through the birth canal.

    The birth canal consists of:

    The pelvis – the bony part of the birth canal

    The muscles in the pelvis

    The vagina – the soft part of the birth canal

    The pelvis is funnel-shaped, so its size differs at the different levels of the pelvis. This means that the baby has to make some twists and turns during labour to adapt and pass through the pelvis.

    Three stages

    Labour is divided into three stages: the dilation stage, expulsion stage and placental stage. The dilation (opening) stage is the longest, while the expulsion (pushing out) stage lasts 30-60 minutes, and the placental stage takes from a few minutes to up to 60 minutes.

    Various factors influence how long it takes to give birth:

    Whether you've given birth before or not. Giving birth to a first baby usually takes the longest.

    The frequency and effectiveness of your contractions influence how long the labour lasts. Regular and effective contractions are all-important for good progress; the contractions push the baby down into the pelvis and the cervix (neck of the womb) opens.

    Labour in first-time mothers lasts 4 to 16 hours. For women who have given birth before, labour usually lasts 2 to 11 hours. This varies from woman to woman and from birth to birth.

    Dilation stage

    The first stage of labour is called the ‘dilation stage’. At this stage, the cervix (neck of the womb) has to pull to each side and open to let the baby pass down into the vagina and be delivered.

    The cervix changes from being closed to being 10 cm open (fully dilated). Not until the cervix is fully dilated, can the baby be delivered.

    As the cervix dilates, there will be some blood-tinged vaginal discharge, known as the ‘bloody show’. This is a sign that the cervix is dilating under the effects of the contractions and the pressure from the baby’s head. Your waters may break at any stage of labour, but usually this happens in the active phase of the dilation stage.

    Latent phase – first part of the dilation stage

    The first part of the dilation stage, the latent phase, is the longest phase of labour. This phase starts from when you have regular contractions less than 10 minutes apart. The contractions are spaced far apart to begin with, but they gradually increase in strength and come at shorter intervals.

    When the cervix is about 4-5 centimetres dilated, labour transitions to the active phase. The contractions become more effective and the cervix dilates (opens) faster.


    The midwife checks the progress of labour by examining your belly to assess your contractions. By an internal exam, the midwife can check how dilated the cervix is and how the baby’s head is positioned in the birth canal.

    It is not uncommon to have examinations several times during labour, and you will be informed of this before it is done. The midwife will also tell you how your labour is progressing.

    Activity and rest during labour 

    During the dilation stage, you should switch between activity and rest. The mother’s movement and activity help her baby to rotate and pass through the pelvis. Most women also find the contractions less painful if they are active than if they are lying still in bed. The midwife will help you switch between comfortable resting positions and being active.

    During the dilation stage, one of the main tasks of the midwife is to help you find positions that aid your baby’s passage down through the pelvis and birth canal. At this stage of labour, the midwife wants you to use the force of gravity and keep moving while still relaxing your body.

    Source : www.helsenorge.no

    Female Reproductive System (for Parents)

    Learning about the female reproductive system, what it does, and the problems that can affect it can help you better understand your daughter's reproductive health.

    Female Reproductive System

    Reviewed by: Larissa Hirsch, MD

    Print en español

    Sistema reproductor femenino

    What Is Reproduction?

    Reproduction is the process by which organisms make more organisms like themselves. But even though the reproductive system is essential to keeping a species alive, unlike other body systems, it's not essential to keeping an individual alive.

    In the human reproductive process, two kinds of sex cells, or gametes (GAH-meetz), are involved. The male gamete, or sperm, and the female gamete, the egg or ovum, meet in the female's reproductive system. When sperm fertilizes (meets) an egg, this fertilized egg is called a zygote (ZYE-goat). The zygote goes through a process of becoming an embryo and developing into a fetus.

    The male reproductive system and the female reproductive system both are needed for reproduction.

    Humans, like other organisms, pass some characteristics of themselves to the next generation. We do this through our genes, the special carriers of human traits. The genes that parents pass along are what make their children similar to others in their family, but also what make each child unique. These genes come from the male's sperm and the female's egg.

    What Is the Female Reproductive System?

    The external part of the female reproductive organs is called the vulva, which means covering. Located between the legs, the vulva covers the opening to the vagina and other reproductive organs inside the body.

    The fleshy area located just above the top of the vaginal opening is called the mons pubis. Two pairs of skin flaps called the labia (which means lips) surround the vaginal opening. The clitoris, a small sensory organ, is located toward the front of the vulva where the folds of the labia join. Between the labia are openings to the urethra (the canal that carries pee from the bladder to the outside of the body) and vagina. When girls become sexually mature, the outer labia and the mons pubis are covered by pubic hair.

    A female's internal reproductive organs are the vagina, uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries.

    The vagina is a muscular, hollow tube that extends from the vaginal opening to the uterus. Because it has muscular walls, the vagina can expand and contract. This ability to become wider or narrower allows the vagina to accommodate something as slim as a tampon and as wide as a baby. The vagina's muscular walls are lined with mucous membranes, which keep it protected and moist.

    The vagina serves three purposes:

    It's where the penis is inserted during sexual intercourse.

    It's the pathway (the birth canal) through which a baby leaves a woman's body during childbirth.

    It's the route through which menstrual blood leaves the body during periods.

    A very thin piece of skin-like tissue called the hymen partly covers the opening of the vagina. Hymens are often different from female to female. Most women find their hymens have stretched or torn after their first sexual experience, and the hymen may bleed a little (this usually causes little, if any, pain). Some women who have had sex don't have much of a change in their hymens, though. And some women's hymens have already stretched even before they have sex.

    The vagina connects with the uterus, or womb, at the cervix (which means neck). The cervix has strong, thick walls. The opening of the cervix is very small (no wider than a straw), which is why a tampon can never get lost inside a girl's body. During childbirth, the cervix can expand to allow a baby to pass.

    The uterus is shaped like an upside-down pear, with a thick lining and muscular walls — in fact, the uterus contains some of the strongest muscles in the female body. These muscles are able to expand and contract to accommodate a growing fetus and then help push the baby out during labor. When a woman isn't pregnant, the uterus is only about 3 inches (7.5 centimeters) long and 2 inches (5 centimeters) wide.

    At the upper corners of the uterus, the fallopian tubes connect the uterus to the ovaries. The ovaries are two oval-shaped organs that lie to the upper right and left of the uterus. They produce, store, and release eggs into the fallopian tubes in the process called ovulation (av-yoo-LAY-shun).

    There are two fallopian (fuh-LO-pee-un) tubes, each attached to a side of the uterus. Within each tube is a tiny passageway no wider than a sewing needle. At the other end of each fallopian tube is a fringed area that looks like a funnel. This fringed area wraps around the ovary but doesn't completely attach to it. When an egg pops out of an ovary, it enters the fallopian tube. Once the egg is in the fallopian tube, tiny hairs in the tube's lining help push it down the narrow passageway toward the uterus.

    The ovaries (OH-vuh-reez) are also part of the endocrine system because they produce female sex hormones such as estrogen (ESS-truh-jun) and progesterone (pro-JESS-tuh-rone).

    How Does the Female Reproductive System Work?

    The female reproductive system enables a woman to:

    produce eggs (ova)

    have sexual intercourse

    protect and nourish a fertilized egg until it is fully developed

    give birth

    Source : kidshealth.org

    EMR ch 22 Flashcards

    Study with Quizlet and memorize flashcards terms like The __ is the organ that contains the developing fetus, The neck of the uterus, which leads into the vagina, is called the ___, which dilates during labor, The ___, a disk shaped organ on the inner lining of the uterus, provides nourishment to the fetus, absorbs waste from the fetus, and produces hormones and more.

    EMR ch 22

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    The __ is the organ that contains the developing fetus

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    The neck of the uterus, which leads into the vagina, is called the ___, which dilates during labor

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    Terms in this set (88)

    The __ is the organ that contains the developing fetus


    The neck of the uterus, which leads into the vagina, is called the ___, which dilates during labor


    The ___, a disk shaped organ on the inner lining of the uterus, provides nourishment to the fetus, absorbs waste from the fetus, and produces hormones


    The ___ ___ is filled with a fluid in which the fetus floats

    Amniotic sac

    A full term pregnancy last approximately ___ - __ weeks

    38 - 40

    ___ consists of contractions of the uterine wall, which force the baby and later the placenta into the outside world


    During the first stage of labor, the ___ becomes fully dilated


    During the ___ stage of labor, the baby moves through the birth canal and is born


    If contractions are more than ___ minutes or more apart, the mother usually has time to be transported to a hospital


    If the mother's contractions are __ minutes apart or less, prepare to help deliver the where you are


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