Why is uterus removed? How is it done?

Uterus can be removed for various purposes. Some women remove uterus from family planning point of view, while sometimes it is recommended by doctors as a preventive measure against cancer or other diseases. Before we move ahead in the topic, let us understand the basic anatomy of uterus and other aspects related to it.

What is uterus?

Uterus is a complex organ which is a part of reproductive system of female anatomy. It is also referred as womb. It is roughly the size of a pear and is located in the pelvic region beneath navel or belly button. It holds fetus and expands numerical times its original size. 

Uterus comprises three layers of tissue- perimetrium, myometrium and endometrium.
  • Perimetrium: It is the outermost layer of uterus.
  • Myometrium: It is the middle layer of uterus that consists of soft muscles.
  • Endometrium: This is the innermost lining of uterus which is formed over course of a month. It is this lining that is shed during menstruation period. If pregnancy occurs, endometrium layer plays an important role in supporting placenta and supplying nutrients to the fertilized egg.

How does uterus function?

Ovary releases egg into fallopian tubes and through fallopian tubes, it reaches into the lining of uterus. Fertilization is union of female gamete (egg) and male gamete (sperm). If fertilization doesn't occur in this stage, uterus lining that has been formed over course of weeks will slowly begin to slough away and pass out from female body through menstruation. If fertilization occurs, zygote will be formed and will stick to the inner lining of uterus. This zygote will slowly develop into a baby over gestation period of nine months.

During natural childbirth, fetus is pushed out of the womb by contraction action of uterus. Even after the baby is born, uterus contracts further to regain its original size and help in restricting blood flow that happens during childbirth

Why is uterus removed?

Uterus can be removed for multiple purposes. Hysterectomy is a surgical procedure used to remove uterus. Let us see the reasons for which uterus can be removed. 

  • Treat chronic pelvic pain
  • In case of uterus cancer, cervical cancer or ovarian cancer
  • Infection in uterus lining
  • Benign tumors (fibroids) formed in uterus
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease- disease of reproductive organs
  • Uterine prolapse- Condition wherein uterus slips from its original position into vagina or birth canal
  • Adenomyosis- Thickening of uterine walls when endometrial tissue encroaches muscles of uterus. It causes pain and heavy flow of blood during menstrual cycle.
  • Endometriosis- Condition wherein endometrium layer grows outside the uterine cavity.

How is hysterectomy performed?

To perform hysterectomy, you will be administered either local anesthesia or general anesthesia. Local anesthesia will only make the part which is to be operated numb whereas general anesthesia will make your whole body numb and you will sleep throughout the operation. You may be required to stay in the hospital for few days after the surgery. Let us see different ways in which hysterectomy is performed:

  • Abdominal hysterectomy: Vertical or horizontal incision is made on the patients abdomen. Uterus is removed through this incision. The marks are healed in short period of time and scars are not visible.
  • Vaginal hysterectomy: A small incision is made inside the vagina through which uterus is removed. Since, there are no external cuts, this procedure doesn't leave any visible marks.
  • Laparoscopic hysterectomy: This procedure makes use of laparoscope- a long, thin instrument to which high resolution camera and high intensity light are attached in the front section. Instead of one large incision, three or four small incisions are made on the abdomen. Laparoscope is inserted through these incisions to remove the uterus.

What are the risks of hysterectomy?

Though hysterectomy is uber safe, it does have some minor and rarely occurring risks associated with it. Here are some risks associated with hysterectomy:
  • Chances of infection around incisions
  • Heavy bleeding
  • Injury to tissues and blood vessels
  • Injury to surrounding organs like intestines, bladder etc.

Post hysterectomy recovery tips:

Recovery time depends upon the type of hysterectomy performed. If you have had abdominal hysterectomy, then recovery time is more as compared to other types of hysterectomies. There are few recovery tips that you must follow in order to accelerate healing process.
  • Try walking as soon as possible as it will reduce chances of blood clots in lower body
  • Avoid lifting heavy objects
  • Bending exercises should be refrained
  • Sexual intercourse should be avoided for at least few weeks after hysterectomy

Laparoscopic hysterectomy cost and hospitals in India:

If you search on the Internet, you will come across many websites that provide information about laparoscopic hysterectomy treatment. Many hospitals in India offer cost-effective laparoscopic hysterectomy treatment. Cost of treatments count upon which type of hysterectomy you are recommended by doctor. For more information about hospitals and cost, click here.

It is important to note that once you undergo hysterectomy, menstrual periods will stop and you won't get pregnant. Generally, women and their partners who do not wish to have children, undergo hysterectomy.

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How are oases formed in deserts?

Deserts are not ideal place for humans to inhabit. The harsh conditions are not suitable for any creature, let alone humans. Yet, there is something that could make the human habitat possible in the vast sea of sand. Those are the oases. In geological terms, an oasis is an isolated area of fertile land, a patch of vegetation. Would you believe that without oases, the world wouldn't have been like now? Many great journeys in human history have been through deserts and the travelers wouldn't have made to the other end of the desert if not for the oases.

An oasis is a green patch of land formed around a water source. This makes possible the growth of vegetation and the development of an ecosystem, albeit small, around it. If it is large enough, the environment also provides living conditions for humans, helping to evolve as a civilization.

There are a number of factors that contribute to the formation of oases that individually or in combination with other factors facilitate the formation. For an oasis to form there should be a water table beneath the land. Depending in the geographical features, the water source can be an underground river or an aquifer or an above ground river in the proximity of the desert. Lakes and seas lying near the deserts are also able to trigger the creation. The water can seep to the surface with enough pressure and form an oasis. Man-made wells are also utilized to access the water in many places.

The oasis formation is also helped by heavy rains and storms in the desert. Since the sand is porous, the rainwater would ooze down the pores and it might be trapped by the various layers of rocks and stones, thus creating a water source for the oasis. Powerful storms displace huge amount of sand which lowers the level of land and bring the waterbed closer to the surface and easily accessible.

The vegetation growth is often aided by the migratory birds who drop seeds which sprout in the presence of water. Date palms, figs, peaches and apricots are amongst the most common plants found in oases. These plants, particularly date palms, help to trap the water further and better the conditions for organic life.

Oases have played important role in the course of trading and cultural exchange between various civilizations, and the progress of human lives. The notable ones include Kharga in Egypt, Tutua in Algeria and Kufra in Libya.

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What was the Cold War? And why is it called Cold War?

Despite the phrase, the cold war was not actually a continuous armed conflict. Rather, it was a tense political situation created by the aggressive policies of both the United States of America and the Soviet Union (USSR). It virtually ended with the dissolution of the USSR.

After the second World War, the USA and Soviet Union emerged as the two superpower nations in the world. They were powerful and influential economically and militarily but polar in ideologies, one an avid practitioner of capitalism and the other a staunch supporter of communism. Even though they fought the war on same side, their relation was filled with mutual distrust and suspicion. The two powers gradually began to extend their spheres of influence and and the world began to split into two blocs, the Eastern Bloc, led by Soviet Union and the Western Bloc, headed by the US. The USA formed military alliances such as NATO and SEATO. At the same time the Soviet Union began to practice their expansionist propaganda, leaving both the powers in a race for domination.

The term cold war was first used by renowned writer George Orwell in in his essay You and the Atomic Bomb in 1945. The first specific use of the term to denote post-war confrontation between the USSR and the United States was in a speech by Bernard Baruch on 16 April 1947. The term got wide popularity with the book The Cold War by newspaper columnist Walter Lippmann.

The Berlin Blockade (1948–49) was the first major crisis of the Cold War. It expanded with the Chinese Civil War and the Korean War (1950–53). The USSR and USA tried to assert their domination and bring the countries of Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and Southeast Asia to their respective blocs.

Major crises, such as the Suez Crisis (1956), the Berlin Crisis (1961), and the Cuban Missile Crisis (1962) followed. The Cuban crisis was particularly noted for escalating the tension almost to a direct confrontation between the two powers. Later, the USSR crushed the Prague Spring liberalization program in Czechoslovakia in 1968, and the US suffered a defeat in the Vietnam War that had been going for two decades.

During the 1980s, the Soviet economy began to suffer a stagnation. It was only aggravated by the two reforms introduced by Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, Glasnost and Perestroika. Gorbachev also ended the Soviet involvement in Afghanistan. At the same time, various republics in the USSR witnessed rising waves of national sentiments. Freedom revolutions hit the countries and the communist regime was peacefully overthrown in most East European countries. The only nation that witnessed bloodshed was Romania.

The Communist Party of the Soviet Union lost control of things and it led to the formal dissolution of the USSR in December 1991. Parallely, communist regimes in other countries such as Mongolia and Cambodia also collapsed.

The cold war inspired a new movement as well, the Non Aligned Movement. It was spearheaded by India, Egypt and Indonesia and included primarily the nations of Asia and Africa liberated from colonial rules. These nations didn't align themselves with any of the blocs and stayed neutral in the situation.

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Who invented bubble wrap? And what is the story behind it?

All of you must have come across that bubbly sheet at one point of time. Fragile things often come packed in it, and children and adults like to blow those bubbles with same enthusiasm. The bubble wraps, as they are called, provide safety for the things by cushioning them from impacts. These kinds of things are those we take for granted, seemingly irrelevant but play significant roles in our daily lives.

Like with a fair number of inventions, bubble wrap was supposed to serve an entirely different purpose. It was invented by two engineers named Alfred Fielding and Marc Chavannes in 1958. They were actually attempting to create three-dimensional wallpaper while they made the bubble wrap.

What they did was a simple thing. They sealed two shower curtains together in such a way that air bubbles were captured. It gave the wallpaper a textured appearance. But contrary to the inventors' hopes this idea of wallpapers failed to make an interest in the market. However, the two inventors found another use for their product, and decided to market it as greenhouse insulation. Though the material provided some kind of an insulating effect, this idea didn't connect with the customers either.

It took a couple of years for the product to find itself a relevant use. And, it was the idea of Frederick W. Bowers, a marketer at Sealed Air, a company co-founded by Fielding. It was then the IT giant IBM introduced their new 1401 variable word length computer. Bowers was consumed by the idea that Bubble Wrap could be used as a good packaging material to protect the computer during the shipment. He presented his idea to IBM and demonstrated the advantages of using Bubble Wrap to cover the computers. Satisfied with Bower's presentation, IBM began purchasing Bubble Wrap to cover their 1401 and other fragile products they manufactured. The new use of bubble wrap became extremely popular and many companies came forward to use the product to protect their products.

Bubble Wrap is now a generic trademark owned by Sealed Air Corporation. The bubbles on the sheet come in various shapes, even that of heart. There is even an International Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day, observed on the last Monday of January. Believe it or not, the annual sale of bubble wrap is worth $400 million.

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How did America get its name?

Even though it was Christopher Columbus who discovered the American continent, he had no role in naming the land. In fact he thought the place he had discovered was India, as that was his goal. In a bizarre turn of events, America was named after the Italian traveler Amerigo Vespucci by two cartographers, possibly due to ignorance of Columbus' achievements.

Columbus discovered the American continent in 1492. Amerigo Vespucci, who was a friend of Columbus, was excited about this new discovery. Vespucci was a Florentine merchant who owned a business of furnishing supplies for ships in Spain. In 1499, seven years after Columbus’ first voyage, Vespucci accompanied an expedition that consisted of four ships. They crossed the Atlantic and sailed along the eastern coast of South America, and visited Trinidad. Returning after a couple of years, Vespucci wrote letters to home in which he described the newly discovered places with exaltation. He called the lands he had visited Novus Mundus, meaning New World. It was he who put forward the concept that the land his friend had discovered was not India. He published his accounts of the voyage and discoveries in 1502 and they became widely popular.

In 1507, Martin Waldseemuller, a German cartographer, chose to make a new map of the world and decided to incorporate the new lands detailed in Vespucci's accounts into it. He and his associate, Mathias Ringmann, had been working on a reproduction of Ptolemy's treatise on geography, based in the French town of Saint-Die. They produced a huge map, in which this new land was depicted as a separate continent with name America. It was the first time the word America was printed. Presumably, they were not aware of the discoveries of Columbus and thought it was Vespucci who discovered the new continent.

Ringmann, in the introduction to the treatise, wrote that they chose to call the land America meaning the Land of Americus as a tribute to Vespucci. The map of Waldseemuller initially had only South America. North America was added to it later. It was the famous geographer Gerard Mercator who used the name America to denote the entire north and south parts of the continent in 1538.

Lately there have also arisen the claim that America might have been named after Richard Amerike, a wealthy merchant from Bristol. It is claimed that a group of Bristol merchants had discovered the continent before Columbus and decided to name it after their major sponsor.

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What is baking soda? What are its health benefits?

Baking soda is one of the most used chemicals in the world. Most of the houses have a pinch of it somewhere, for a wide range of uses. It is known in various names like bread soda and cooking soda. The scientific name of the substance is Sodium Bicarbonate. It is basically a salt composed of sodium ions and bicarbonate ions. It is normally found in solid state, either in the form of crystals or as a fine powder. The natural mineral form of baking soda is nahcolite.

Baking soda has been in use for several centuries in different forms, though the industrial production was started in 1846, when two bakers from New York, John Dwight and Austin Church, established a factory to develop the chemical from sodium carbonate and carbon dioxide. The production process of baking soda is known as solvay process.

As said earlier, baking soda has a great variety of uses and is said to have numerous health benefits. It can be used to kill pests as well as to remove paint and corrosion. It is also used as a disinfectant and fire extinguisher in small scale, not to mention cooking. The name itself is attributed to its use in baking in which the chemical is used as a leavening agent. When mixed with an acid, baking soda reacts to it and releases carbon dioxide gas, which causes the dough to expand and rise.

Some of its properties make it useful in medical fields as well. It is perfect for some home remedies, considering how cheap it is. For example, it can be used as a natural deodorant. It is also used to treat allergic reaction to plants such as poison ivy and the stings caused by insect bites.

Baking soda is often used to remove skin splinters. Applying the it on the splinters daily will produce a result in a few days. It also find a use in exfoliating the skin as well as a soaking bath. The chemical has been found to kill streptococcus mutans bacteria that causes tooth decay and is found in many toothpastes in tiny amounts. It also contributes to whitening the teeth. Another use for baking soda is as a supplement to athletes, particularly in speed-based events.

The chemical is used in treating some diseases as well, such as hyperkalemia. It is an excellent substance to alleviate problems with indigestion and pain related to ulcers. Some even have proposed it as a cure of cancer, but that is yet to be proven.

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What are the causes of and remedies for pot belly?

It is not an attractive feature. That protruding belly antagonizes you and you want to get rid of it. Also known as beer belly, pot tummy or alcohol gut, it is just not a blot on your figure but carries a great risk to your health. The pot belly is associated with obesity, which is unhealthy accumulation of fat around the body. We may call it abdominal obesity. It is not just limited to generally obese people. Slim persons can also have a protruding belly which is no less risky.

The important point to be noted is that we need fat. It is a vital part of our immune system and defends our body against bacteria and viruses. It covers our inner organs, protecting them from infection and trauma.

Apart from Triglycerides, the form of fat in our bloodstream, there are two kinds of fat: subcutaneous and visceral. Also called intramuscular fat, subcutaneous fat is what we can see and pinch if we want to. It is located beneath our skin and accounts for about 20% our body weight. This is the form of fat in which energy is stored as for future use. The fat also has blood vessels and nerves and acts as a cushion around internal organs.

However, it is the visceral fat we need to be wary of. Also known as intra-abdominal fat or organ fat, it is accumulated deep inside the body, around and between organs such as kidney, liver spleen and intestines. Limited to only the abdomen, the visceral fat is in a semi fluid state and is a source of quick energy. It accounts for 10% of the total body fat and protects the abdominal organs from trauma. However, an excess amount of visceral fat is dangerous. It will cause the fat to wrap around the organs, preventing them from functioning efficiently. It is associated with various health hazards like type-2 Diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, stroke etc.

Bad eating habits are the major reasons for pot belly. When we take in more calories than we can process, it naturally build up. Genetics also plays a significant role in developing pot belly. Alcohol consumption and stress also contribute to the situation. Another reason is the decline of sex hormones along with aging.

Exercises like crunches can strengthen the abs and other muscles, but can not shed the fat that has been stored under the belly. One thing about the visceral fat is that it is the easiest to break up. Cardio exercises like running, swimming and cycling can help to reduce the fat added with a controlled diet. Fruits and vegetables, whole grains and high fiber should be included in the diet.

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