Pregnancy dictionary terms: Medical terms and definitions during pregnancy and birth

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Medical terms and definitions during pregnancy and birth

Like all areas of medicine, pregnancy and childbirth has a number of specialised terms, many of which you will hear during your own pregnancy and labour and the birth of your baby.

The following list provides definitions for some of the more common terms.

Medical terms and definitions

Abortion – termination (end) of a pregnancy. This can be achieved either through a surgical procedure or by taking a combination of prescribed medications (medical abortion).

Amniotic fluid – the liquid that surrounds a baby in the uterus (also called ‘waters’).

Amniotic sac – the sac around the baby inside the uterus.

Anaesthetic – a drug that gives total or partial loss of sensation of a part or the whole of the body.

Anaesthetist – a doctor who specialises in giving anaesthetic.

Antenatal – a term that means ‘before birth’ (alternative terms are ‘prenatal’ and ‘antepartum’).

Antepartum haemorrhage – bleeding from the vagina during pregnancy.

Apgar score – a test given one minute after a baby is born, then again 5 minutes later, that assesses a baby’s appearance (skin colour), pulse, grimace (reflex), activity (muscle tone) and respiration. A perfect Apgar score is 10; typical Apgar scores are 7, 8 or 9. A score lower than 7 means that the baby might need help breathing.

Assisted reproductive technology any procedure performed to help achieve a pregnancy.

Birth canal – the passageway (made up of the cervix and vagina) that the baby travels through during birth.

Birth plan – a written document describing a woman’s preferences for her care during labour and birth.

Blood transfusion – a procedure where a woman is given blood.

Braxton Hicks contractions – a tightening of the uterus (womb) that may feel like a labour contraction. Braxton Hicks contractions are not painful and do not get stronger and closer together like true contractions (also called ‘false labour’).

Breaking of water – when a healthcare practitioner bursts the sac holding the amniotic fluid using an instrument with a pointy tip. Often used to speed up a labour that has slowed.

Breech – when the baby is positioned inside the uterus with its bottom or feet down, instead of its head.

Caesarean section – a surgical procedure in which a baby is delivered through a cut in the abdomen and uterus (also called a ‘C-section’).

Cervix – the narrow, lower end of the uterus that softens and opens during labour to allow the baby to come out.

Conception – the process of becoming pregnant,when a sperm and egg join to form a single cell (alternative terms include ‘fertilisation’, ‘impregnation’ and ‘insemination’).

Contraction – the often strong and painful tightening of the uterus during labour that causes the woman’s cervix to dilate and that helps push the baby through the birth canal.

Crowning – time during labour when the baby’s head has reached the external vaginal opening and can be seen from the outside.

Dilation – the opening of the cervix, measured as the diameter of the cervix in centimeters.

Ectopic pregnancy – when a fertilised egg implants and grows outside of the uterus, usually in the fallopian tube. In most cases, an ectopic pregnancy is not viable.

Embryo – the name given to a fertilised egg from the time of conception until the eighth week.

Epidural – a type of anaesthetic commonly used in labour where drugs are used to numb the lower half of the body.

Fallopian tubes – the narrow ducts or tubes in a woman’s abdomen that carry the egg from the ovaries to the uterus. This is where fertilisation most often occurs.

False labour – see ‘Braxton Hicks contractions’.

Fertility – being able to conceive and carry a baby though to the end of the pregnancy.

Fertility treatment – medical treatment that helps a woman conceive.

First-degree tear – a tear involving only the perineal skin (adjacent to the vaginal opening) that occurs at the time of delivery that doesn’t always require stitches.

First trimester – the first 14 weeks of pregnancy.

Folic acid – a B vitamin found naturally in green leafy vegetables that helps prevent anaemia and has been shown to reduce the incidence of some birth defects, including spina bifida (see definition below).

Fontanelles – the 6 soft spots on a baby’s head that allow its skull to compress during birth so it can pass through the birth canal. The fontanels completely fuse by the time the child is 2 years old.

Forceps – tong-shaped instruments placed around the baby’s head to help it travel through the birth canal during childbirth.

Full term – when a pregnancy is a normal duration (37 to 42 weeks gestation).

Gestation – the length of time (in days or weeks) that a baby is in the uterus.

Gestational diabetes – a condition that develops during pregnancy when the woman’s blood sugar levels become too high because of inadequate levels of insulin. The condition is treatable and usually disappears after pregnancy.

Gynaecologist – a doctor who has undertaken specialist training in women’s health.

Haemorrhage – excessive bleeding.

Home birth – labour and delivery that takes place at home, under the supervision of a midwife.

Immunisation – the administration of a vaccine, often by injection, that makes the body resistant to certain bacteria or viruses.

In utero – a term that means ‘inside the uterus’.

In vitro fertilisation (IVF) – the process used to conceive a child outside the body, where a woman’s eggs are fertilised with a man’s sperm then placed in the woman’s uterus.

Incontinence – an inability to control your bladder or bowel movements.

Induced – when a healthcare professional tries to artificially ‘start’ a woman’s labour.

Jaundice – a condition where a person’s skin and the whites of their eyes take on a yellowish tinge. It is caused by an excess of a chemical called bilirubin in the blood and in newborns often resolves itself.

Labia – the flaps of skin around a woman’s vagina.

Labour – the process a woman’s body goes through when her baby is born.

Lactation consultant – a healthcare professional who is trained to provide information and support about breastfeeding.

Low birthweight – when a baby weighs less than 2,500 grams at birth.

Maternal and child health nurse – a trained nurse who specialises in the health and development of children from birth to school age.

Meconium – a tar-like substance passed by a baby as their first poo. Passing meconium before birth may be a sign of fetal distress.

Midwife – a person who has been specially trained to care for women during pregnancy, labour, birth and the post-birth period.

Model of care – the way maternity care is organised.

Morning sickness – nausea, vomiting and aversions to certain foods and smells that affect most pregnant women to some degree. Morning sickness can occur at any time of day, usually begins at 4 to 8 weeks gestation and generally subsides by week 16 of the pregnancy.

Multiple pregnancy – when a woman is carrying more than one baby.

Natural birth – birth without any interventions for example a vaginal delivery rather than a caesarean section.

Neonatal period – the time from a baby’s birth to 4 weeks of age.

Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) – a unit in the hospital for babies who need a high level of special medical care.

Neonate – a newborn baby, up to 4 weeks of age.

Newborn – a baby between birth and 4 weeks old.

Nursery – a room in a hospital where babies can stay during the day or overnight.

Obstetrician – a doctor who has undertaken specialist training in pregnancy and childbirth.

Ovaries – the female reproductive organs that release eggs into the fallopian tubes, where they may be fertilised if sperm are present.

Ovulation – the monthly release of a mature egg from an ovary. A woman is most fertile around the time of ovulation.

Ovum – a human egg.

Paediatrician – a doctor who has undertaken specialist training in treating children.

Pelvic floor exercises – exercises a woman can do to strengthen the muscles in and around her vagina.

Perineal haematoma – a collection of blood, resembling a bruise, in the area between the vagina and the anus.

Perineum – the area between the vagina and anus.

Placenta – the organ that connects to the wall of the uterus, that nourishes the baby through the umbilical cord.

Postnatal – a term meaning ‘after birth’ (alternative terms are ‘post-birth’ and ‘postpartum’).

Postnatal depression – also known as postpartum depression, a condition that affects some mothers in the days, weeks or months after giving birth.

Postpartum haemorrhage – when a woman loses more than 500 ml of blood after birth.

Premature – when a baby is born before 37 weeks gestation.

Prenatal – a term meaning ‘before birth’ (alternative terms are ‘antenatal’ and ‘antepartum’).

Second-degree tear – a tear of the perineum involving both skin and muscles, but not the anus. Second-degree tears often require stitches.

Second-stage labour – the time from the complete dilation of the cervix (10 cm) to the birth.

Second trimester – the time from 14 weeks to 26 weeks of pregnancy.

Special care nursery (SCN) – a unit in a hospital for babies who need special medical care.

Spina bifida – a birth defect that occurs during the first month of pregnancy when a baby’s backbone does not fully close, leaving part of the spinal cord exposed. Spina bifida cannot be cured, but a range of treatments and management options is available.

Spontaneous labour – when labour starts by itself (without medical help).

Stillbirth – the death of a baby after 20 weeks’ gestation but before birth.

Stretch marks – discoloured stripey patterns that can appear on the abdomen, breasts, buttocks or legs during pregnancy because of skin stretching. They usually fade slowly after delivery.

TENS machine – a ‘trans-electrical nerve stimulation’ machine used for pain management during labour.

Termination of pregnancy – see ‘abortion’ above.

Theatre – an operating room in a hospital or other health facility.

Third- or fourth-degree tear – a severe tear of the perineum involving the skin, muscles and anus. Stitches are used to repair these tears.

Third-stage labour – the time from the birth of the baby to the birth of the placenta.

Third trimester – the time from 26 weeks of pregnancy onwards.

Trimester – a time span of 3 months during pregnancy, each marked by different phases of fetal development.

Ultrasound – a scan of a woman’s uterus (womb) and baby during pregnancy.

Umbilical cord – the cord that connects the baby to the placenta, allowing nutrients (vitamins and minerals) and oxygen to be carried from the woman to her baby.

Uterus – a woman’s womb.

Vacuum cap or ventouse – a suction cap that is sometimes used during birth to help to pull the baby out of the birth canal.

VBAC (vaginal birth after caesarean) – when a woman has a vaginal birth after having had one or more previous caesarean sections.

Viable pregnancy – a pregnancy that is likely to continue to full term.

Walking epidural – an epidural that may still enable the woman to walk.

Water birth – where a baby is born fully submerged in water.

Waters – the amniotic fluid that surrounds an unborn baby inside the uterus (see ‘amniotic fluid’).

Where to get help

  • In an emergency, call 000 for an ambulance
  • Your GP (doctor)
  • Midwife
  • Obstetrician
  • Your local maternal and child health service
  • Your maternity hospital

Pregnancy Glossary

Written by Geri K. Metzger

1st stage of labor begins with contractions that are close enough and strong enough to bring about a change in your cervical dilation. The first stage ends when you are 10 centimeters (cm) dilated.

2nd stage of labor is pushing and delivery, which can last from 20 minutes to 3 or more hours. Contractions are slower, coming 2 to 5 minutes apart and last 60 to 90 seconds. With each contraction, you push until the baby moves down the birth canal.

3rd stage of labor is the placenta delivery. During this stage, your uterus mildly contracts to push the placenta out.

Afterbirth is the placenta and other membranes that are pushed out of the uterus after your baby is born.

Apgar scoring system is used to assess a baby’s health 1 minute and 5 minutes after birth. It scores heart rate, breathing, muscle tone, reflexes, and skin color with a 0, 1, or 2. The numbers are added together with a maximum of 10.

Amniotic fluid is the clear fluid that surrounds your baby in the uterus. It helps protect your baby and helps develop your baby’s lungs.

Anesthesia is the use of medication to reduce or block pain, cause you to sleep, or cause you to feel relaxed during a medical procedure.

Areola is the pinkish-brown skin surrounding your nipple. The areola usually gets darker early in pregnancy.

Assisted reproductive technology (ART) refers to fertility treatments in which the egg and sperm are combined in a laboratory followed by transfer of the fertilized egg to the uterus. A multiple pregnancy can happen if more than one embryo is put into the woman’s body.

Birth plan is a written document that describes what you would like to happen during labor and delivery. It includes your preferences about pain medication, breastfeeding, the delivery setting, and who you want present at the birth.

Blighted ovum is when a fertilized egg attaches to the uterine wall but an embryo does not develop.

Bradley technique is a family-oriented method of natural childbirth that uses relaxation techniques during labor to control pain. The father of the baby is taught how to coach their partner through labor.

Braxton Hicks are your body’s «practice contractions.» Your abdominal muscles tighten briefly but the cervix does not dilate. They can begin as early as the second trimester and often occur when you are tired or dehydrated or after sex.

Breech means the baby’s buttocks (complete breech) or feet (footling breech) are pointing to the birth canal. Normally, the baby moves so its head is down near the birth canal for delivery.

Cesarean (C-section) is the surgical delivery of a baby through an incision in the lower abdomen and uterus.

Cerclage is a procedure in which stitches are used to close the cervix. This is done in an attempt to prolong the pregnancy if the cervix begins to dilate too early.

Cervix is the opening of the uterus at the top of the vagina. The cervix dilates or widens during labor to allow your baby to be born.

Chadwick’s sign is an early sign of pregnancy. It occurs when blood flow to the cervix and vagina increases around the fourth week of pregnancy, causing those tissues to become purplish-red.

Colostrum is a fluid rich with protein and antibodies made by the breasts during pregnancy. It is the pre-milk substance that your newborn needs for nourishment during the first few days after birth.

Conjoined twins are identical twins whose skin and internal organs are fused together. Conjoined twins are rare.

Cord blood banking is the process of collecting and storing your baby’s blood left in the umbilical cord and placenta after birth. It contains stem cells that may be used to treat future medical problems in your child or someone else.

Crowning is when you can see your baby’s head at the opening of the vagina.

Cystic fibrosis is an inherited disease that causes thick, sticky mucus to build up in the lungs and digestive tract. Parents can be tested for the gene. Cystic fibrosis only occurs if both parents have the gene.

Diamniotic twins have separate amniotic sacs. All fraternal twins and most identical twins are diamniotic.

Dichorionic twins have two placentas. They can be fraternal or identical twins. Most twins are dichorionic.

Dilation is the gradual opening of your cervix during labor. It is measured in centimeters from 0 (closed) to 10 (fully dilated).

Discordant twins means one twin is much smaller than the other.

Dizygotic means two (di) fertilized eggs (zygotic). This is the medical term for fraternal twins.

Doula is a professional labor coach. Doulas don’t have medical training but help you during and after you give birth. They also provide emotional support.

Down syndrome is a genetic abnormality that results in the baby having an extra chromosome 21. Also called trisomy 21.You can have a test for this defect during the first and second trimester to help you make decisions about your pregnancy.

Ectopic pregnancy is when the fertilized embryo attaches outside the uterus instead of in the uterine lining; most often occurring in the fallopian tube. This can threaten the mother’s health and the pregnancy must be ended.

Effacement is the thinning of your cervix during labor. This allows the cervix to stretch for your baby to pass through. It is measured in percentages (0% to 100%).

Engage (lightening) is when your baby «drops» or descends into your pelvis. This can happen weeks before labor, or when labor begins and does not predict when labor will occur. Some women will notice a change in the shape of their abdomen, an easier time breathing or an increase in the urge to urinate.

Epidural is a method of pain relief during labor. Medications are injected into the space just outside your spinal cord, causing decreased sensation to the nerves. It blocks feeling in the lower body, but you stay alert.

Episiotomy is a cut made to widen the opening of your vagina to allow your baby to pass through.

External cephalic version is a process used to gently turn a breech (transverse) baby into the head-down position for birth. It involves lifting and turning a baby inside the womb from outside the abdomen. The baby’s heart rate is monitored closely.

Fertility treatment uses a variety of methods to artificially start a pregnancy when one or both partners are unable to get pregnant.

Fraternal twins develop from separate fertilized eggs. Each has its own placenta and amniotic sac. Fraternal twins will not look exactly alike.

Full term is the beginning of week 39 to the end of week 40 of pregnancy. A baby born during this time is full term. If it is born prior to 38 weeks and 6 days, it is premature.

High-risk pregnancy is when you or your baby are at increased risk of a health problem. For example, if you have high blood pressure or are pregnant with more than one baby, you are a high-risk pregnancy.

Identical twins develop from one fertilized egg and have the same genetic makeup. In the womb, they may share a placenta, but most of the time, each has its own amniotic sac. Identical twins look alike.

Induced is when your doctor brings on or speeds up your labor using medical methods. Your doctor can induce labor using medications and/or mechanical methods.

Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) is when the unborn baby does not grow appropriately in the mother’s womb. Growth restriction is diagnosed when the baby weighs less than the 10th percentile for gestation age.

Kegels are exercises you do to strengthen the muscles that surround the vaginal opening. This helps prevent leaking urine.

Lamaze technique involves teaching breathing and relaxation techniques to distract the mother from pain during a natural delivery. Information and education are also part of these courses.

Lanugo is the downy hair that covers a baby’s body in the womb. It starts to grow in weeks 13 to 16 and is thickest weeks 28 to 30. It begins to go away during the third trimester, but may not fully disappear until after birth.

Lightening is when your baby «drops» or descends into the pelvis. This can happen weeks before labor, or when labor begins and does not predict when labor will occur. Some women will notice a change in the shape of their abdomen, an easier time breathing or an increase in the urge to urinate.

Linea nigra is the line from the belly button to the pubic hair. Pregnancy hormones often cause this line to become darker. It fades again after delivery.

MFM stands for maternal-fetal medicine. This branch of medicine focuses on high-risk pregnancies.

Mask of pregnancy is a common skin change during pregnancy in which the skin gets darker around the eyes, nose, and cheeks. Also called chloasma or melasma, it usually fades after a baby is born. Sunlight, birth control, or hormone pills may make it worse.

Meconium is the first black, tarry stool from a newborn.

Midwife is a health practitioner who helps women with low-risk pregnancies through pregnancy and delivery. They are certified by the American Midwifery Certification Board.

Monoamnionic twins are identical twins who share an amniotic sac.

Monochorionic twins share a placenta. These twins are almost always identical.

Monozygotic means one (mono) fertilized egg (zygotic). This is the medical term for identical twins.

Mucus plug blocks the opening of the cervix to keep bacteria out during pregnancy. When you pass your mucus plug, it is a sign that your cervix is softening and changing in preparation for childbirth. However, it does not predict when labor will occur.

Multiple pregnancy is when a woman is carrying more than one baby.

The neural tube in your developing baby becomes the brain, spinal cord, and backbone. Birth defects occur if the neural tube doesn’t develop correctly.

Neural tube defect is a birth defect that develops in a baby’s brain or spinal cord, such as spina bifida. Getting enough folic acid before and during pregnancy can help prevent neural tube defects. You can have a test for this defect during the second trimester to help you make decisions about your pregnancy.

Nuchal fold is the skin at the back of the neck (nape). During an ultrasound, doctors can measure the thickness of the nuchal fold to test for certain genetic abnormalities.

Obstetric anesthetists are doctors who manage pain relief during and after labor by administering medication that numbs an area of your body. For example, the obstetric anesthetist may give a woman in labor an epidural.

Perinatologists are obstetrician-gynecologists who specialize in high-risk pregnancies. Also called maternal-fetal medicine specialists.

Perineum is the area between the vaginal opening and the anus. During delivery, this tissue can tear. A surgical cut to this tissue (episiotomy) may be done in some cases to help deliver a baby.

The placenta is the organ in the uterus that delivers oxygen, nutrients, and hormones to your baby. It also removes waste products.

Placenta previa is when the placenta is covering all or part of the cervix. The baby is not able to pass through the cervix for delivery. It can cause bleeding and requires a cesarean delivery.

Placental abruption is when the placenta detaches from the wall of the uterus causing bleeding and pain in the abdomen. It can also result in less oxygen getting to your baby.

Preterm refers to birth before 37 weeks of gestation. Also called premature.

Preterm labor is labor that begins before the 37th week of pregnancy.

Quickening is when you feel your baby move for the first time.

Round ligament pain is a jabbing pain in the right side of your pelvis. It happens when the ligaments that hold your uterus in suspension within your abdomen stretch.

Spinal block is similar to an epidural and involves an injection of anesthetic into the spinal fluid in the lower back. No catheter is used. The pain relief lasts 1 to 2 hours.

Surfactant is a substance made in your baby’s lungs. It allows the lungs to remain inflated so your baby can breathe at birth.

Teratogens are substances that can cause birth defects if a woman is exposed to them during pregnancy.

Toxoplasmosis is an infection you can get from contact with a parasite in cat feces or from undercooked meat. It can be dangerous to your baby if you become infected during pregnancy.

Twin-to-twin transfusion happens when identical twins share a placenta and blood flow becomes uneven. This causes one twin to have too much blood and the other too little.

The umbilical cord is a tube-like structure that connects a baby to the placenta and the mother’s bloodstream. It transports oxygen, nutrients, and hormones to your baby from the placenta.

Vanishing twin syndrome is when one of a set of twin babies miscarries and the tissue is usually absorbed.

Vernix is the white cheesy substance that covers your baby at birth. It protects your baby’s skin inside the womb.

Viable means the baby has reached the stage of development in which it can survive outside the womb.

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Chorion is the outer shell of the fetus, outside it is covered with villi. They grow into the uterus and form the placenta. A biopsy (this is when a piece of tissue is taken for analysis) is performed through the vagina in the early stages of pregnancy and only if serious genetic abnormalities are suspected.

Very first stage of development

embryo, when it has not yet properly settled in the uterus.


Intrauterine growth retardation, today it is successfully treated.

The age of the baby inside the mother.

A complication of pregnancy, in which, due to disturbances in the vascular system and blood flow,

the structure of the functions of important organs. Can be seen by edema. With gestosis, it is important to monitor blood pressure.


Device that measures blood flow

in uterine arteries, shows

how well the baby is supplied with food and oxygen.


A set of exercises to strengthen the pelvic and vaginal muscles, invented by gynecologist Kegel. The exercises are easy to perform and do not require any equipment. They are needed to make childbirth faster.

and lighter, without severe pain, tears

and other unpleasant things. Charging should be done as often as possible,

a few minutes a day.


Cardiotocography. Assesses the condition of the child at the age of 28-30 weeks, measures the heart rate per minute. It is done in order to understand how the baby feels, whether he has enough oxygen, whether there are any developmental disorders.


Ultrasound. A sensor lubricated with a special gel is driven across the stomach, and an image of the baby appears on the monitor. With the help of ultrasound, you can determine its gender, monitor its development, count fingers and toes, and understand whether the pregnancy is proceeding normally. The less often you do an ultrasound scan, the better — there is no benefit to the child from high-frequency exposure.

3D ultrasound

3D ultrasound. A relatively new method that allows you to get a three-dimensional image of a child that is close to a clear photograph. If desired, it can be burned to DVD.


Local anesthesia during childbirth or caesarean section. A needle is inserted between the vertebrae in the lumbar region, and a catheter (a tube less than a millimeter in diameter) is inserted through it. Then the needle is removed, and an anesthetic is injected through the catheter. The catheter is connected to a machine that constantly delivers medication. At the beginning of attempts (actual childbirth), the supply of medicine is stopped. It is almost impossible to touch the spinal cord during epidural anesthesia.

Reproductive Medicine — Life Line Clinic


English alphabet


Russian alphabet




ICSI (IntraCytoplasmic Sperm Injection), ICSI is a widely accepted method of assisted reproduction. The procedure is included in the in vitro fertilization program as an additional step. Therefore, we can only talk about the differences between IVF with ICSI and classical IVF. In a conventional program, fertilization is carried out in a test tube, the sperm enters the egg naturally, and in IVF with ICSI, this occurs by intracytoplasmic injection. The embryologist injects a pre-selected spermatozoon into the egg in a laboratory using micro-instruments and a powerful microscope.


MESA, micro — TESA

Open biopsy can be considered as MESA, or micro — TESA — selection and aspiration of contents from individual tubules under an operating microscope. This technique allows you to select the most promising tubules for biopsy with preserved spermatogenesis. This approach minimizes the risk of injury to the testicular tissue and increases the chances of successfully finding sperm in the biopsy.


PGD analysis according to CGH method

The CGH method is based on the amplification of sample DNA by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and further comparison of the obtained samples with euploid DNA. In this way, information on the number of chromosomes in each pair can be obtained, which significantly increases the information content of the technique. However, the cost of the procedure also increases due to the high cost of equipment and consumables. In addition, for the application of this technique, the use of ICSI in the IVF program is mandatory. Studies show that the use of CGH analysis increases the likelihood of embryo implantation, as only euploid, genetically complete blastocysts are selected for transfer.

PGD FISH analysis

FISH analysis labels specific chromosomes with fluorescent dyes and then analyzes the sample microscopically using a special microscope. This technique is relatively inexpensive compared to other PGD options, but it is limited by the number of chromosomes that can be detected. Currently, the most common FISH variant is an analysis for aneuploidy on 9 chromosomes: 13, 15, 16, 17, 18, 21, 22, X, Y. It is also possible to analyze only 5 chromosomes: 13, 18, 21, X , Y.


PICSI (Physiologic Intra Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection), PICSI is an assisted reproduction method that is used in particularly difficult cases of IVF male infertility. This is the same ICSI method, but supplemented with one more stage of sperm selection. The goal is to select the most promising sperm with maximum accuracy. PICSI increases the efficiency of sperm selection up to 98%.



Adenomyosis is endometriosis of the uterus


Algomenorrhoea — painful menstruation

Secondary amenorrhea

Secondary amenorrhea — absence of menstruation for 3 menstrual cycles or 6 months in a woman who has previously had menstruation.


Anembryony is a lost pregnancy, when ultrasound shows a fetal egg in the uterine cavity, but does not see the embryo itself.



Infertility is the absence of pregnancy for one year of sexual life without contraception among women under 35 years of age or 6 months among women over 35 years of age.

Trophoectoderm biopsy

For the genetics laboratory, trophectoderm biopsy is preferable, as this results in more than one cell, but several, respectively, the amount of DNA in the sample is greater, and the probability of erroneous analysis is reduced. Also, this technique may have a lower financial burden for patients, since on the 5th day of cultivation, the assessment of the potential of embryos for implantation is more accurate than on the 3rd day, and PGD can be performed only for promising embryos, thereby reducing the cost of the procedure.


Secondary infertility

Secondary infertility is infertility in a woman who has previously had a pregnancy.


Miscarriage is a spontaneous termination of pregnancy before the full 22 weeks.



Hydrosonography is an ultrasound examination of the uterine cavity (the presence of intrauterine pathology or not) and the fallopian tubes (passable or not) against the background of the introduction of sterile water into the uterine cavity.


Gynecomastia is the appearance of glandular tissue in the mammary glands and enlargement of the mammary glands in adolescent boys.


Hysterosalpingography is an x-ray examination of the uterus and fallopian tubes against the background of the introduction of a special contrast agent into the uterus.


Hysteroscopy is a gynecological examination of the uterine cavity using a special tube (hysteroscope) in which a video camera is mounted.



Dyspareunia is severe pain during vaginal intimacy.

Ovarian dysfunction

Ovarian dysfunction — this is how the irregular menstrual cycle used to be called in Soviet medicine.


Cyst of the corpus luteum

Cyst of the corpus luteum is a functional (non-pathological) ovarian cyst. Normally, it can be formed in the second phase of the menstrual cycle, during pregnancy.

Ovarian cyst

Ovarian cyst — fluid formation in the ovary due to local accumulation of physiological or pathological fluid.


Colposcopy is a procedure for examining the cervix through a special microscope (colposcope) with an image magnification of 2.5, 5, 7 or 10-15 times.



Menopause is the complete cessation of menstruation in previously menstruating women. Menopause is diagnosed in older women after one year has passed and there has not been a single menstruation.


Myoma is a benign tumor of the uterus.


Non-developing pregnancy located in the uterine cavity.



Ovulation is the process of release of an egg from the ovarian follicle to the outside. After leaving the follicle, the egg is next to the fallopian tube.


Postterm pregnancy

Post-term pregnancy — pregnancy after completion of the full 42 weeks.

Preterm birth

Premature birth is after 22 and before 37 completed weeks of pregnancy.


Surrogate motherhood

Surrogate motherhood is the bearing and birth of a child of a genetic mother and father by a surrogate mother in the event that the genetic mother does not have such an opportunity for one or another medical reason. In this situation, an agreement is concluded between the surrogate mother and the genetic parents, which determines the procedure for paying compensation to the surrogate mother, the procedure for registering the child, and, if necessary, other legal aspects.


Threatened miscarriage

Threatened miscarriage is the appearance of bloody discharge from the genital tract against the background of a developing pregnancy up to 22 weeks.


The follicular phase of the menstrual cycle

The follicular phase of the menstrual cycle is the first part of the menstrual cycle before ovulation.


Follicle is a vesicle in the ovary in which the egg gradually matures. Both ovaries contain many follicles at various stages of development.

Follicular cyst

Follicular cyst is a functional (non-pathological cyst) of the ovary associated with the processes of egg maturation in the ovary.


Chromosomal aneuploidies

Determination of chromosomal aneuploidies is a procedure with a standard procedure for any case, simple enough for routine use. But to determine monogenic diseases, much more lengthy preparation is required: the couple needs to visit a geneticist, perhaps more than once, together with him to closely study the pedigree and cases of diseases, and pass a series of tests. The difficulty lies in the fact that monogenic diseases have many variations, and therefore it is necessary to determine the type of mutation in this particular person.


Auxiliary hatching (hatching) is an artificial opening of the shell of the embryo, an additional procedure within the IVF program.

By alexxlab

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