Amber's Secret

Topics: Pregnancy, Menstrual cycle, Human chorionic gonadotropin Pages: 5 (2269 words) Published: June 21, 2013
Amber’s Secret

Amber is an 18 year old woman who has found she is feeling sick and unusual. She comes to find out that she is pregnant and consults her doctor. Being concerned of her student status and what her parents might think are her biggest fears. The fetus growing inside her is almost 11 weeks and has her own story from the inside. Mentioning all of the growth that has occurred and the development milestones she has reached, the fetus is concerned of her own well being. The doctor offers Amber the options of abortion and adoption, and then the heart beat will be heard. It is unclear what Amber’s choice is in the end. 1. What are the hormonal and physical changes that occurred in Amber’s normal menstrual cycle before she became pregnant? Prior to Amber’s pregnancy she went through a normal ovarian cycle. It is stated throughout her story that she is very irregular with her cycle, most women do not have regular cycles until after three years since their first cycle (Marieb & Hoehn 2013) . During the ovarian cycle which she went through to produce an egg, hormones are released through each stage of interaction to regulate the cycle. Gonadotropins are released via the anterior pituitary gland and luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) are secreted. These affect the release of estrogen which through constant feedback with the hypothalamus and pituitary gland, a follicle matures waiting to be fertilized. During this process bursts of different hormones during the ovarian cycle can cause abdominal pain known as mittelschmerz, German for “middle pain” (Marieb & Hoehn 2013). If it is notfertilized it continues into the menstrual cycle, but since Amber became pregnant the fertilized embryo implanted itself into the uterine wall. 2. Apparently Amber did not use a birth control method. If she had, what options did she have and how do the various methods work.

Amber had many options of birth control. There is only one preventative measure with 100% fail proof ratings and this is abstinence. If two consenting individuals decide to engage in sexual activities, there are many options to prevent pregnancy. Barrier methods, such as female condoms and male condoms are probably the most cost effective for birth control (Women’s Health 2011). The rate of effectiveness relies on many conditions, whether the condom is still good because they do have an expiration date, if they have been damaged, if the correct lubricant is used or not. Oil based lubricants breakdown the materials causing damage to the condom (WebMD 2013). There is also hormonal birth control offered in the form of pills, patches, injections, and vaginal rings. These are hormone releasing agents that prevent the egg from releasing in the ovaries. Implantation devices can be used as well, but are more of a permanent fixture for about 2-5 years. Depending on the device depends on how it prevents pregnancy. Some or hormonal, making the mucus lining thicker in the cervix to prevent sperm from entering. There is a copper device that releases copper into the uterus and kills sperm. Those are both intrauterine devices, but there is another that is implanted under the skin in the arm. It is hormone releasing and prevents sperm from reaching the egg and also thickens the mucus in the cervix preventing sperm to enter. There are other options, but they include sterilization and are more of an invasive surgery (Women’s Health 2011). 3. What are the normal stages of development in a fetus during the first weeks after conception? The first weeks after conception are very busy for the embryo. It travels down the fallopian tubes and is very rapidly dividing mitotically. It implants into the uterine wall for further development. The embry goes through gastrulation, which is the forming of three layers that turn into the greater makeup of the fetus through development. A heart, neural tube which turns into the spinal cord, and the yolk...

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