Female reproductive system and pregnancy

Female reproductive system and pregnancy

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  • Created on: 15-11-09 13:03
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GCSE Applied Science ­ Life care ­ Scientific Knowledge
Female reproductive system and pregnancy
Ovary Produces the egg cells, one
every month
Fallopian tube Egg travels down this on its
(oviduct) way to the uterus,
fertilisation takes place here
Uterus The foetus develops here
Cervix The opening of the uterus, a
thick ring of muscle that
keeps the foetus in
Vagina Sperm is deposited here
Egg Cell The female sex cell, contains
(ovum) 50% of the mothers DNA
The menstrual cycle
Four hormones working together control the
menstrual cycle.
The key events in the cycle are:
ripening of an egg in the ovaries - stimulated by the
hormone FSH
build-up of womb lining - stimulated by high levels of
release of egg (ovulation) on or about day 14 - stimulated
by the hormone LH
maintenance of uterus lining - stimulated by high levels of progesterone
breakdown of uterus lining - triggered by low levels of oestrogen and progesterone
loss of blood and tissue (menstruation, a period)
Changes to a womans' body during pregnancy
Breasts engorge (areola [area around the nipples] darkens)
Uterus enlarges
Change in the sense of taste
Monitoring in pregnancy
What? Why? How?
Womans' blood pressure High blood pressure can be very dangerous for the Sphingonemeter and cuff
woman (can cause heart attack) and can cause gives a reading like
premature labour. 130/80 mmHg
Womans' weight To check the woman is putting on enough but not too Scales
much weight. Too much weight gain can put the woman
at risk of gestational diabetes (temporary diabetes in
pregnancy), too little could leave the foetus
Womans' kidney function To check a womans' kidneys are getting rid of hers Urine test
and the babies' waste products. A build up of waste
products can cause the baby to die.
Growth of foetus To check the foetus is growing properly, if the baby Ultrasound scan
doesn't grow well it could indicate a problem. Small
babies are at risk of lots of different diseases and
other problems like learning difficulties.
Ultrasound scans

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What can they show? How well the baby is growing, the sex of the baby (18+ weeks), the heartbeat of the
Why are they used instead of X-Rays? X-rays can damage the foetus as the radioactivity can affect the
DNA. They show soft tissues very well and cause no damage.
How are they done? A gel is spread on the womans' abdomen so no air gets between the probe and the foetus
(air can disrupt the signal).…read more

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The blood pressure when all the parts of the heart muscle are relaxed and the heart is filling with
blood diastolic
A disease where there is an excessive excretion of urine. Diabetes
Blood cells containing haemoglobin. Red
Cell fragments found in blood. Platelets
A muscle sample of this is taken with a biopsy needle
This contains red and white cells and platelets. Blood
A condition of the body when the number of red blood cells is lower than normal.…read more


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