Karen H. Reed, MD
Specialty: Obstetrics & Gynecology
Location and Office HoursPartners In Women's Health
2355 Poplar Level
Louisville, KY 40217
- Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield Indiana
- Bluegrass Family Health
- CIGNA HealthCare
- Humana Health Plan
- United Healthcare
- Baptist Hospital East
- Norton Suburban Hospital
How do women feel pain?
Howard S. Smith, Pain Medicine, answeredResearchers believe that for women, pain is in the nerves. For instance, in a study in which men and women are subjected to the same irritant, women usually give it a higher pain rating. When pain is chronic or long-term, women usually report insomnia, daytime sleepiness, irritability, appetite loss, muscle weakness, and depression. All of these can make it difficult, if not impossible, to do your daily tasks, including caring for your family and working outside the home.
Is there a biological reason for female orgasm?
Michael Roizen, MD, Internal Medicine, answeredThe purpose of an orgasm isn't solely to make you feel good. The biological purpose is to better the odds that this union between sperm and egg takes place.
On the woman's side, the mucous membranes that line the vaginal walls release fluids during intercourse so that the penis can slide with just the right amount of friction. As intensity and sensations build, the woman's brain tells the vagina and nearby muscles to contract. That contraction brings the penis in deeper and increases the chance of his sperm getting closer to the target. During an orgasm, the cervix, located at the top of the vagina, dips down like an anteater, and sucks semen in the cervix (the bottom of the uterus). The sperm is trapped in the cervical mucus until the release of the egg, and a signal then lets the sperm start the competitive swim up into the uterus.
Find out more about this book:YOU: Having a Baby: The Owner's Manual to a Happy and Healthy Pregnancy
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What changes can I experience from menarche to menopause?
Boston Women's Health Book Collective, answered
Girls experience first periods in a variety of ways, as do women experiencing last menstrual cycles. Biology contributes to these variations, but so do the place, time, and culture in which we live. During puberty, we make the transition from childhood to physical maturity. In women, puberty is characterized by growth of the breasts and the pubic and armpit (axillary) hair, and a growth spurt that results in increased height and weight. Bone size and strength stop increasing around puberty, but bone mass continues to grow through the twenties. The reproductive process is regulated by hormones, which are chemicals in the bloodstream and brain that relay messages from one part of the body to another.
The levels of sex hormones are low during childhood, increase tremendously during the reproductive years, and then become lower and balance differently after menopause. The changes women experience around menarche and menopause (and during their entire menstrual lives) are thought to be caused primarily by the changing levels of hormones. Ovulation and menstruation start near the end of puberty, on average at about twelve and a half, though any age from nine to eighteen is normal. The age of menarche varies depending on many factors. (Menarche, pronounced men-ar-kee, is when girls get their first period.) Some factors are biological; for instance, a girl needs her body fat to be about one quarter of her total weight to menstruate. To sustain regular cycles, women also need to eat a balance of fat, carbohydrates (sugars and starches), and protein. Some factors are due to our environments. Women in different cultures may enter puberty at different times.
Girls living in the same country may have different average ages of menarche depending on factors such as diet, weight, race, environment, and family history. During the reproductive years, cycles of hormone rhythms determine the timing of ovulation and menstruation. This cycle, the menstrual cycle, regulates our fertility, allowing for the possibility of pregnancy a number of days every month. Many women also experience more outward signs of this rhythm—changing emotions, changes in their breasts, variation in foods they enjoy eating at different times over a month. Menstruation and ovulation continue until age fifty (on average), but anytime between forty and fifty-five is normal. When periods stop, menopause has occurred.
Find out more about this book:Our Bodies, Ourselves: A New Edition for a New Era
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