Dictionary of Terms

Word/Term

Full Terminology

Meaning/Explanation

Abortion   Miscarriage/Termination of pregnancy
Assay or RIA Radio Immuno Assay The term assay is used by scientists when they measure something in a body fluid. hCG is assayed using a Radio Immune Assay which is very sensitive and accurate.
Conceptus   The fertilised ovum
Curettage   A scrape of the womb lining to remove retained products
Cyst   Fluid filled sac
D&C Dilatation and Curettage A minor operation under general anaesthetic where the opening to the uterus (womb) is dilated (enlarged) and the lining of the uterus is scraped using a sharp instrument called a curette. If used in early pregnancy it will be called 'Evacuation of Retain"
Embryo   A baby in the early stages of pregnancy
Fetus   Unborn child
Foetus    Unborn child
hCG Human Chorionic Gonadotrophin The major pregnancy hormone, which is produced by the Trophoblastic cells (the thin layer which separates the mother from the fetus). The function of hCG is to maintain the pregnancy. The level of hCG is monitored during follow-up after molar pregnancy 
Hydatid   Containing vesicles
Hydropic Abortion   Cystic products of conception which may resemble hydatidiform mole
Metastasis Plural=metastases Abnormal cells sometimes find their way, via the blood stream to other parts of the body and grow there - this is called a metastasis. 
Mole   A mass: in this context a mass of cells originating from the conceptus.
Ovum   The egg cell
Placenta   The organ through which the foetus is nourished. It also removes waste products.
Tumour   Any mass of cells can be called a tumour. A tumour is not necessarily malignant (cancerous),it can be non-malignant or benign.
Uterus   Womb
Vesicle   Fluid filled sac

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