The etymological origin of the word dilation is found in Latin, more specifically in “dilatio”, which can be translated as “extend in various directions”. This word is made up of the following parts: the prefix “dis-“, which is equivalent to “multiple separation”; “lat” which means “carry” and the suffix “-ción”, which is used to indicate “action and effect”.
Dilation is the action and effect of dilating or dilating. The verb dilate, on the other hand, refers to making more, extending or lengthening something; to propagate; or to defer the completion of an action. For medicine, dilation is the procedure or the result of increasing the caliber of a conduit, an orifice or a cavity.
Pupil dilation is a response to certain stimuli.
Dilation of the cervix
Cervical dilation, for example, is an indispensable part of labor. It occurs when contractions become more frequent and are more intense. The dilation period can last up to 18 hours and ends when the cervix reaches a dilation of about ten centimeters, enough for the woman to push and the baby can leave the uterus and reach the outside.
Specifically, as far as childbirth is concerned, there are two main phases within dilation:
- Latency phase, which is what takes place when what is called effacement of the cervix occurs.
- Active phase. It begins when there are already two centimeters of dilation and lasts until what would be complete dilation begins to arrive. In turn, it is made up of three other stages: acceleration phase, which is between 2 and 4 centimeters of dilation; phase of maximum slope, which is the one that goes from 4 to 9 centimeters; and deceleration phase, which is the one that lasts until the complete call starts.
In various situations it is necessary for the woman to dilate due to danger to herself or the baby. Therefore, she must perform exercises to promote it, such as the one based on the use of the so-called Swiss ball.
The pupil in front of a stimulus
Pupil dilation, on the other hand, is the response of this part of the eye to a stimulus. A muscle located in the iris is responsible for dilating the pupil according to the order of the sympathetic nervous system.
The pupils can dilate when the light is poor, in a stressful situation or due to the action of a drug. When a pupil dilates (that is, its diameter increases), it is called mydriasis.
Railroad tracks can experience thermal expansion.
Dilation in physics
In the field of physics, dilation is the increase in the length, surface or volume of a body due to the separation of its molecules due to the decrease in its density. Thermal expansion, in this sense, occurs when the temperature of a body increases, such as when railway tracks expand.
In relation to the last term, we would have to state that there is what is known as the coefficient of expansion. This is a word that is used to measure the relative change experienced by a liquid or a solid inside a receptacle, in terms of length or volume, when changing temperature and producing its thermal expansion.