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Assisted reproductive technology (ART)
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Term used to describe the highly technologic approaches used to produce pregnancy.
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terms list

Assisted reproductive technology (ART)
Term used to describe the highly technologic approaches used to produce pregnancy.
Birth rate
Number of live births per 1000 population.
Certified nurse-midwife (CNM)
An RN who has received special training and education in the care of the family during childbearing and the prenatal, labor and birth, and postpartal periods. After a period of formal education, the nurse-midwife takes a certification test to become a CNM.
Certified registered nurse (RNC)
A registered nurse who has shown expertise in a specific field by passing a national certification examination.
Clinical nurse specialist (CNS)
A nurse possessing a master's degree and specialized knowledge and competence in a specific clinical area.
Evidence-based practice
An approach to problem solving and decision-making based on the consideration of data from research, statistical analysis, quality measures, risk management measurements, and other sources of reliable information.
Infant mortality rate
Number of deaths of infants under 1 year of age per 1000 live births in a given population per year.
Informed consent
A legal concept that protects a person's rights to autonomy and self-determination by specifying that no action may be taken without that person's prior understanding and freely given consent.
Intrauterine fetal surgery
Surgery performed on a fetus to correct anatomic lesions that are not compatible with life if left untreated.
Maternal mortality rate
The number of maternal deaths from any cause during the pregnancy cycle per 100,000 live births.
Nurse practitioner (NP)
A professional nurse who has received specialized education in either a master's degree program or a continuing education program and thus can function in an expanded role.
Professional nurse
A person who has graduated from an accredited basic program in nursing, has successfully completed the nursing licensure examination (NCLEX), and is currently licensed as a registered nurse (RN).
Therapeutic insemination
Procedure to produce a pregnancy in which sperm obtained from a woman's husband or from a donor is deposited in the woman's vagina.
The process by which people adapt to a new cultural norm.
Phenomenon in which a minority group completely changes its cultural identity to become part of the majority culture.
Cultural competence
Referring to the skills and knowledge necessary to appreciate, understand, and work with individuals from different cultures.
The beliefs, values, attitudes, and practices that are accepted by a population,community, or an individual.
A social identity that is associated with shared beliefs, behaviors, and patterns.
An individual's belief that the values and practices of his or her own culture are the best ones.
Two or more persons who are joined together by bonds of sharing and emotional closeness and who identify themselves as being part of a family.
Family assessment
The process by which a nurse collects data regarding a family's current level of functioning, support systems, sociocultural influences, home and work environment, type of family, family structure, and needs.
Family development
The changes that families experience over time, including changes in relationships, communication patterns, roles, and interactions.
Family power
The individual who has either the potential or actual ability to change the behavior of other family members.
Family roles
The specific roles of individuals within a family unit. Examples of roles include breadwinner, homemaker, mother, father, social planner, and family peacemaker.
Family values
A system of ideas, attitudes, and beliefs about the worth of an entity or a concept that consciously or unconsciously bind together the members of the family in a common culture.
(sometimes called Chinese massage) Therapy using pressure from the fingers and thumbs to stimulate pressure points.
Therapy using very fine (hairlike) stainless steel needles to stimulate specific acupuncture points depending on the client's medical assessment and condition.
Alternative therapy
Any procedure or approach that is used in place of conventional medicine.
The use of monitoring devices to help individuals learn to control their autonomic responses.
Third largest independent health profession found in the United States. Uses spinal manipulation to address abnormal nerve transmission (subluxation) caused by misalignment of the spine.
Complementary therapy
Any procedure or product that is used together with conventional medical treatment.
Guided imagery
A state of intense, focused concentration used to create compelling mental images. It is sometimes considered a form of hypnosis.
Hatha yoga
The physical branch of yoga; in the United States, it is commonly practiced for wellness, illness prevention, and healing.
Term derived from the Greek word homos meaning the same, and describing a healing system that uses as remedies minute dilutions of substances that, if ingested in larger amounts,would produce effects similar to the symptoms of the disorder being treated.
Massage therapy
Manipulation of the soft tissues of the body to reduce stress and tension, increase circulation, diminish pain, and promote a sense of well-being.
A healing system that employs various natural means of preventing and treating human disease, such as foods, herbs, rest, etc. (Also called natural medicine.)
Form of massage involving the application of pressure to designated points or reflexes on the client's feet, hands, or ears using the thumb and fingers.
Tibetan-Japanese hand-mediated therapy designed to promote healing, reduce stress, and encourage relaxation. During Reiki sessions, practitioners place their hands on or above specific problem areas and transfer energy from themselves to their clients in order to restore the balance of the client's energy fields.
Therapeutic touch
Complementary therapy grounded in the belief that people are a system of energy with a self healing potential. The therapeutic touch practitioner, often a nurse, unites his or her energy field with that of the client, directing it in a specific way to promote well-being and healing.
Complementary therapy in which a person goes into a relaxed state and focuses on or "visualizes" soothing or positive scenes such as a beach or a mountain glade. Visualization helps reduce stress and encourage relaxation.
Suppression or absence of menstruation.
The period of time that marks the cessation of a woman's reproductive function; the "change of life," or menopause.
Painful menstruation.
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT)
Administration of hormones, usually estrogen and a progestin, to alleviate the symptoms of menopause.
A condition most common in postmenopausal women that is characterized by decreased bone strength related to diminished bone density and bone quality. It is thought to be associated with lowered estrogen and androgen levels. Osteoporosis puts an individual at increased risk for fractures of the hip, forearm, and vertebrae.
A term referring to the period of time prior to menopause during which the woman moves from normal ovulatory cycles to cessation of menses.
Premenstrual dysphoric disorder
A disorder associated with the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle (2 weeks before onset of menses) in which a woman experiences five or more affective (emotional) or somatic (physical)symptoms, which are relieved with menstruation and have occurred during most cycles during the previous year.
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
Cluster of symptoms experienced by some women, typically occurring from a few days up to 2 weeks prior to the onset of menses.
Combined oral contraceptives (COCs)
Commonly called birth control pills or "the pill" cocs are a form of contraception that uses a combination of a synthetic estrogen and a progestin.
A long-acting, injectable progestin contraceptive.
Fertility awareness-based methods (FAB)
Also known as natural family planning, fertility awareness-based methods are founded on an understanding of the changes that occur throughout a woman's ovulatory cycle. All these methods require periods of abstinence and recording of certain events throughout the cycle; cooperation of the partner is important.
Postcoital emergency contraception (EC)
A form of combined hormonal contraception that is used when a woman is worried about pregnancy because of unprotected intercourse, rape, or possible contraceptive failure (eg, broken condom, slipped diaphragm, missed oral contraceptives, or too long a time between DMPA injections).
An inclusive term that refers to surgical procedures that permanently prevent pregnancy. In the male, sterilization is achieved through a procedure called a vasectomy. In the female, sterilization is done by tubal ligation.
Subdermal implants
Capsules implanted in the woman's upper under arm that prevent ovulation in most women.
Tubal ligation
Sterilization of a woman accomplished by transecting or occluding the fallopian tubes.
Bacterial vaginosis
A bacterial infection of the vagina, formerly called Gardnerella vaginalis or Hemophilus vaginalis, characterized by a foul-smelling, grayish vaginal discharge that exhibits a characteristic fishy odor when 10% potassium hydroxide (KOH) is added. Microscopic examination of a vaginal wet prep reveals the presence of "clue cells" (vaginal epithelial cells coated with gram negative organisms).
Chlamydial infection
Caused by Chlamydia trachomatis, this infection is the most common bacterial sexually transmitted infection in the United States.
Condylomata acuminata
Known also as genital or venereal warts, they are a common sexually transmitted infection caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV).
A sexually transmitted infection caused by the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae.
Herpes genitalis
A life-long, recurrent sexually transmitted infection caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV).
Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
An infection of the fallopian tubes that may or may not be accompanied by a pelvic abscess; may cause infertility secondary to tubal damage.
A chronic, sexually transmitted infection caused by the spirochete Treponema pallidum.
A sexually transmitted infection caused by Trichomonas vaginalis, a microscopic motile protozoan that thrives in an alkaline environment.
Vulvovaginal candidiasis (VVC)
Also called moniliasis or yeast infection, VVC is a genital infection most often caused by Candida albicans.
The downward displacement of the bladder, which appears as a bulge in the anterior vaginal wall.
Dysfunctional uterine bleeding
(DUB) A condition characterized by anovulatory cycles with abnormal uterine bleeding that does not have a demonstrable organic cause.
Ectopic endometrium located outside the uterus in the pelvic cavity. Symptoms may include pelvic pain or pressure, dysmenorrhea, dispareunia,abnormal bleeding from the uterus or rectum, and sterility.
Fibrocystic breast change
Benign breast changes characterized by bilateral, cyclic breast pain and breast nodularities that may be unilateral or bilateral, and often in the upper outer quadrants of the breasts.
Nipple discharge.
Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
The most common endocrine disorder affecting women of reproductive age, marked by menstrual dysfunction, androgen excess, obesity, hyperinsulinemia, and infertility.
Toxic shock syndrome (TSS)
Infection caused by Staphylococcus aureus, found primarily in women of reproductive age.
Cycle of violence
A theory that postulates that battering takes place in a cyclic fashion through three phases: the tension-building phase, the acute battering incident, and the tranquil phase (honeymoon period).
Rape trauma syndrome
A term which refers to a variety of symptoms, clustered in phases, that a rape survivor experiences following an assault.
The outer two-thirds of the fallopian tube; fertilization of the ovum by a spermatozoon usually occurs here.
Broad ligament
The ligament extending from the lateral margins of the uterus to the pelvic wall; keeps the uterus centrally placed and provides stability within the pelvic cavity.
Cardinal ligaments
The chief uterine supports, suspending the uterus from the side walls of the true pelvis.
Conjugate vera
The true conjugate, which extends from the middle of the sacral promontory to the middle of the pubic crest.
The elongated portions of the uterus where the fallopian tubes open.
The upper two thirds of the uterus.
Corpus luteum
A small yellow body that develops within a ruptured ovarian follicle; it secretes progesterone in the second half of the menstrual cycle and atrophies about 3 days before the beginning of menstrual flow. If pregnancy occurs, the corpus luteum continues to produce progesterone until the placenta takes over this function.
Diagonal conjugate
Distance from the lower posterior border of the symphysis pubis to the sacral promontory; may be obtained by manual measurement.
The mucous membrane that lines the inner surface of the uterus.
The hormones estradiol and estrone, produced by the ovary.
Fallopian tubes
Tubes that extend from the lateral angle of the uterus and terminate near the ovary; they serve as a passageway for the ovum from the ovary to the uterus and for the spermatozoa from the uterus toward the ovary. Also called oviducts and uterine tubes.
False pelvis
The portion of the pelvis above the linea terminalis; its primary function is to support the weight of the enlarged pregnant uterus.
Any structure resembling a fringe; the fringelike extremity of the fallopian tubes.
Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH)
Hormone produced by the anterior pituitary during the first half of the menstrual cycle, stimulating development of the graafian follicle.
The upper portion of the uterus between the fallopian tubes.
Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH)
A hormone secreted by the hypothalamus that stimulates the anterior pituitary to secrete FSH and LH.
Graafian follicle
The ovarian cyst containing the ripe ovum; it secretes estrogens.
Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG)
A hormone produced by the chorionic villi and found in the urine of pregnant women. Also called prolan.
Infundibulopelvic ligament
Ligament that suspends and supports the ovaries.
Ischial spines
Prominences that arise near the junction of the ilium and ischium and jut into the pelvic cavity; used as a reference point during labor to evaluate the descent of the fetal head into the birth canal.
The straight, narrow part of the fallopian tube with a thick muscular wall and an opening (lumen) 2 to 3 mm in diameter; the site of tubal ligation. Also, a constriction in the uterus that is located above the cervix and below the corpus.
Luteinizing hormone (LH)
Anterior pituitary hormone responsible for stimulating ovulation and for development of the corpus luteum.
Uterine muscular structure.
Implantation of a fertilized ovum in the endometrium.
Obstetric conjugate
Distance from the middle of the sacral promontory to an area approximately 1 cm below the pubic crest.
Early primitive ovum before it has completely developed.
Process during fetal life whereby the ovary produces oogonia, cells that become primitive ovarian eggs.
Ovarian ligaments
Ligaments that anchor the lower pole of the ovary to the cornua of the uterus.
Female sex gland in which the ova are formed and in which estrogen and progesterone are produced. Normally there are two ovaries, located in the lower abdomen on each side of the uterus.
Normal process of discharging a mature ovum from an ovary approximately 14 days prior to the onset of menses.
Female reproductive cell; egg.
Pelvic cavity
Bony portion of the birth passages; a curved canal with a longer posterior than anterior wall.
Pelvic diaphragm
Part of the pelvic floor composed of deep fascia and the levator ani and the coccygeal muscles.
Pelvic inlet
Upper border of the true pelvis.
Pelvic outlet
Lower border of the true pelvis.
The outermost layer of the corpus of the uterus. Also known as the serosal layer.
Perineal body
Wedge-shaped mass of fibromuscular tissue found between the lower part of the vagina and the anal canal.
A hormone produced by the corpus luteum, adrenal cortex, and placenta whose function is to stimulate proliferation of the endometrium to facilitate growth of the embryo.
Complex lipid compounds synthesized by many cells in the body.
Round ligaments
Ligaments that arise from the side of the uterus near the fallopian tube insertion to help the broad ligament keep the uterus in place.
Sacral promontory
A projection into the pelvic cavity on the anterior upper portion of the sacrum; serves as an obstetric guide in determining pelvic measurements.
Symphysis pubis
Fibrocartilaginous joint between the pelvic bones in the midline.
Transverse diameter
The largest diameter of the pelvic inlet; helps determine the shape of the inlet.
True pelvis
The portion that lies below the linea terminalis, made up of the inlet, cavity, and outlet.
Uterosacral ligaments
Ligaments that provide support for the uterus and cervix at the level of the ischial spines.
The external structure of the female genitals, lying below the mons veneris.
The inner of the two membranes that form the sac containing the fetus and the amniotic fluid.
The inner solid mass of cells within the morula.
The fetal membrane closest to the intrauterine wall that gives rise to the placenta and continues as the outer membrane surrounding the amnion.
Decidua basalis
The part of the decidua that unites with the chorion to form the placenta. It is shed in lochial discharge after childbirth.
Decidua capsularis
The part of the decidua surrounding the chorionic sac.
Decidua vera (parietalis)
Nonplacental decidua lining the uterus.
Outer layer of cells in the developing embryo that gives rise to the skin, nails, and hair.
Embryonic membranes
The amnion and chorion.
The inner layer of cells in the developing embryo that give rise to internal organs such as the intestines.
The intermediate layer of germ cells in the embryo that gives rise to connective tissue, bone marrow, muscles, blood, lymphoid tissue, and epithelial tissue.
Developmental stage of the fertilized ovum in which there is a solid mass of cells.
Postconception age periods
Period of time in embryonic/fetal development calculated from the time of fertilization of the ovum.
The outer layer of the blastoderm that will eventually establish the nutrient relationship with the uterine endometrium.
Vernix caseosa
A protective, cheeselike,whitish substance made up of sebum and desquamated epithelial cells that is present on the fetal skin.
Ferning capacity
Formation of a palm-leaf pattern by the crystallization of cervical mucus as it dries at mid-menstrual cycle. The formation can be helpful in determining time of ovulation. Observed via microscopic examination of a thin layer of cervical mucus on a glass slide. This pattern is also observed when amniotic fluid is allowed to air dry on a slide and is a useful and quick test to determine whether amniotic membranes have ruptured.
Gamete intrafallopian transfer (GIFT) Procedure
Retrieval of oocytes by laparoscopy; immediately combining oocytes with washed, motile sperm in a catheter; and placement of the gametes into the fimbriated end of the fallopian tube.
Huhner test
An examination to evaluate the cervical mucus, sperm motility, sperm-mucus interaction, and the sperm's ability to negotiate the cervical mucus barrier.
Hysterosalpingography (HSG)
Testing by instillation of radiopaque substance into the uterine cavity to visualize the uterus and fallopian tubes.
Diminished ability to conceive.
Mendelian (single-gene) inheritance
A major category of inheritance whereby a trait is determined by a pair of genes on homologous chromosomes.
Nonmendelian (multifactorial) inheritance
The occurrence of congenital disorders that result from an interaction of multiple genetic and environmental factors.
Secondary infertility
Condition in which couples are unable to conceive after one or more successful pregnancies.
Therapeutic insemination
Procedure to produce a pregnancy in which sperm obtained from a woman's husband or from a donor is deposited in the woman's vagina.
Tubal embryo transfer (TET)
Procedure in which eggs are retrieved and incubated with the man's sperm then transferred back into the women's body at the embryo stage.
Zygote intrafallopian transfer (ZIFT)
Retrieval of oocytes under ultrasound guidance, followed by in vitro fertilization and laparoscopic replacement of fertilized eggs into the fimbriated end of the fallopian tube.
A technique of palpation to detect or examine a floating object in the body. In obstetrics, the fetus, when pushed, floats away and then returns to touch the examiner's fingers.
Braxton Hicks contractions
Intermittent painless contractions of the uterus that may occur every 10 to 20 minutes. They occur more frequently toward the end of pregnancy and are sometimes mistaken for true labor signs.
Chadwick's sign
Violet bluish color of the vaginal mucous membrane caused by increased vascularity; visible from about the fourth week of pregnancy.
Brownish pigmentation over the bridge of the nose and the cheeks during pregnancy and in some women who are taking oral contraceptives. Also called mask of pregnancy.
In some cultures, the male's observance of certain rituals and taboos to signify the transition to fatherhood.
Goodell's sign
Softening of the cervix that occurs during the second month of pregnancy.
Hegar's sign
A softening of the lower uterine segment found upon palpation in the second or third month of pregnancy.
Linea nigra
The line of darker pigmentation extending from the umbilicus to the pubis noted in some women during the later months of pregnancy.
McDonald's Sign
An ease in flexing the body of the uterus against the cervix.
Mucous plug
A collection of thick mucus that blocks the cervical canal during pregnancy. Also called operculum.
Physiologic anemia of pregnancy
Apparent anemia that results because during pregnancy the plasma volume increases more than the erythrocytes increase.
The first fetal movements felt by the pregnant woman, usually between 16 and 18 weeks' gestation.
Supine hypotensive syndrome (vena caval syndrome, aortocaval compression)
Referring to a condition that can develop during pregnancy when the enlarging uterus puts pressure on the vena cava when the woman is supine. This pressure interferes with returning blood flow and produces a marked decrease in blood pressure with accompanying dizziness, pallor, and clamminess, which can be corrected by having the woman lie on her left side.
Nägele's rule
A method of determining the estimated date of birth (EDB): after obtaining the first day of the last menstrual period, subtract 3 months and add 7 days.
Kegel exercises
Perineal muscle tightening that strengthens the pubococcygeus muscle and increases its tone.
Mucous discharge from the vagina or cervical canal that may be normal or pathologic, as in the presence of infection.
Excessive salivation.

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