BioScience Dictionary

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Found Contraceptive 7 times.

Displaying results 1 to 10.

1. Birth control (contraception, family planning)
In general, birth control or contraception is anything that prevents a woman from becoming pregnant. The most basic and cheapest form of contraception is abstinence (not engaging in sexual intercourse at all). However, abstaining from sex can cause great stress and frustration in some, since the human sex drive can be quite powerful. A variation on abstinence is fertility awareness (also known as "natural family planning"). This method involves a couple avoiding intercourse during the times that the woman is most likely to be fertile. This method requires that the woman be very aware of her own body and her reproductive cycle; some estimate that this method has a 70%-98% rate of success, depending on the regularity of the woman's cycle and the specific monitoring technique used. Signs that a woman has ovulated (and is therefore fertile) include a sudden change in basal body temperature, changes in vaginal mucus, or a combination of the two. A woman is least likely to be fertile during her menstrual period and for a few days thereafter. Barrier methods of birth control work by preventing sperm from reaching the egg. Barrier methods work best in conjunction with spermicides (creams or jellies that contain chemicals that kill sperm and sometimes disease-causing microorganisms). Because barrier methods also prevent the exchange of body fluids to varying degrees, they are also useful in preventing the transmission of venereal disease s. Barrier methods include: * condom s * female condom s * diaphragm s * cervical cap s * contraceptive sponges Other birth control methods work by altering a woman's hormones so as to render her infertile (male hormonal birth control is being researched). Hormonal methods include: * Depo Provera * birth control pills * Norplant * "morning after" pills Other women may use intrauterine devices (IUDs), which work mainly by preventing the fertilized egg from implanting in the wall of the uterus. Other women use abortion (surgery to remove or drugs to induce the expulsion of an embryo or fetus) as a last-ditch effort at birth control. If a couple wants no children at all, they may undergo surgery to render themselves sterile. In women, this procedure is generally a tubal ligation (cutting or blocking the Fallopian tubes, which carry the eggs from the ovaries). In males it is a vasectomy (cutting or blocking the tubes that carry sperm from the testis). These procedures can sometimes be reversed.

2. Ectopic pregnancy
Ectopic pregnancy is a pregnancy implanted at a site which does not permit development of the embryo. 98 percent of ectopic pregnancies are implanted in one of the fallopian tubes. The incidence of ectopic pregnancy is increased in the following conditions: * pelvic inflammatory disease; * the use of an intrauterine device as birth control; * the use of progestin-only oral contraceptives. Aside from the fallopian tubes, ectopic pregnancies can occur in an ovary, the abdominal cavity, and in the broad ligament. Ectopic pregnancy is a medical emergency as a ruptured ectopic pregnancy can often result in severe hemorrhage leading to death. Other complications are: chronic salpingitis, sterility, intestinal obstruction and fistulae formation.

3. Papanicolaou smear (Pap smear)
This is the microscopic examination of the cell samples taken from the cervical canal and in the squamocolumnar junction for abnormal cells. This is a test for the early detection of cervical cancer. Positive results warrant further diagnostic procedures such as: cervical biopsy, conization of cervix, endometrial biopsy, or dilatation and curettage. The National Cancer Institute recommends that women who are or have been sexually active, or have reached age 18, should have a regular Pap smear and a physical examination. There is no upper age limit for Pap smears. A Pap smear is also indicated before a woman is to be prescribed an oral contraceptive for the first time. Reporting of Pap smear: Classifications: Class I: normal, Class II: slightly abnormal, repeat, ClassIII: abnormal, biopsy, Class IV: possible malignant: biopsy, Class V: malignant. Dysplasia classification according to the "Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia (CIN)" system: CIN I: mild dysplasia, CIN II: moderate dysplasia, CIN III: severe dysplasia and/or carcinoma in situ

4. Quinestrol
A synthetic form of estrogen used in oral contraceptives.

5. Spermicide
A spermicide is chemical that kills sperm (male reproductive cells). These chemicals are in contraceptive creams and jellies used to prevent pregnancy.

6. Tubal ligation
A contraceptive procedure in women in which the oviducts are cut, preventing the ova from reaching the uterus .

7. Vasectomy
A contraceptive procedure in men in which the vas deferens is cut and the cut ends are sealed to prevent the transportation of sperm. Surgical separation of the vas deferens so that sperm, while still produced, do not leave the body.