The reproductive system or genital system is a system of sex organs within an organism which work together for the purpose of reproduction. Many non-living substances such as fluids, hormones, and pheromones are also important accessories to the reproductive system.[dead link] Unlike most organ systems, the sexes of differentiated species often have significant differences. These differences allow for a combination of genetic material between two individuals, which allows for the possibility of greater genetic fitness of the offspring.
Cervical dilation (or cervical dilatation) is the opening of the cervix, the entrance to the uterus, during childbirth, miscarriage, induced abortion, or gynecological surgery. Cervical dilation may occur naturally, or may be induced by surgical or medical means.
In the later stages of pregnancy, the cervix may already have opened up to 1–3 cm (or more in rarer circumstances), but during labor, repeated uterine contractions lead to further widening of the cervix to about 6 centimeters. From that point, pressure from the presenting part (head in vertex births or bottom in breech births), along with uterine contractions, will dilate the cervix to 10 centimeters, which is "complete." Cervical dilation is accompanied by effacement, the thinning of the cervix.
Cervical cerclage (tracheloplasty), also known as a cervical stitch, is used for the treatment of cervical incompetence (or insufficiency), a condition where the cervix has become slightly open and there is a risk of miscarriage because it may not remain closed throughout pregnancy. Usually this treatment would be done, in the second trimester of pregnancy, for a woman who had either suffered from one or more miscarriages in the past, or is carrying multiples.
The treatment consists of a strong suture being inserted into and around the cervix early in the pregnancy, usually between weeks 12 to 14, and then removed towards the end of the pregnancy when the greatest risk of miscarriage has passed.
Human reproduction is any form of sexual reproduction resulting in the conception of a child, typically involving sexual intercourse between a man and a woman. During sexual intercourse, the interaction between the male and female reproductive systems results in fertilization of the woman's ovum by the man's sperm, which after a gestation period is followed by childbirth. The fertilization of the ovum may nowadays be achieved by artificial insemination methods, which do not involve sexual intercourse.