A - Z Of Pregnancy Terms

Here is an A-Z list of some pregnancy terms you may hear while you are pregnant and some you will never hear of.

A-C | D-F | G-J | K-N | O-R | S-Z


Genetic counseling: Consultation between a couple and a specialist about genetic defects and the possibility of genetic problems in a pregnancy.

Genital herpes simplex: Herpes simplex infection involving the genital area. It can be significant during pregnancy because of the danger to a newborn fetus infected with herpes simplex.

Genitourinary problems: Defects or problems involving genital organs and the bladder or kidneys.

Gestational age: Dating a pregnancy from the first day of the last menstrual period; 2 weeks longer than fertilization age.

Gestational diabetes: Occurrence or worsening of diabetes during pregnancy (gestation).

Gestational trophoblastic disease (GTN): Abnormal pregnancy with cystic growth of the placenta. Characterized by bleeding during early and middle pregnancy.

Glucose-tolerance test: Blood test done to evaluate the body's response to sugar.

Glucosuria: Glucose in the urine.

Gonorrhea: Contagious venereal infection, transmitted primarily by intercourse. Caused by the bacteria Neisseria gonorrhea.

Grand mal seizure: loss of control of body functions. Seizure activity of a major form.

Group-B streptococcal infection: Serious infection occurring in the mother's vagina and throat.

Gyri: Prominent, rounded elevation found on the surface of the brain tissue.


Habitual abortion: Occurrence of three or more spontaneous miscarriages.

Heartburn: Discomfort or pain that occurs in the chest. Often occurs after eating.

Hematocrit: Determines the proportion of blood cells to plasma. Important in diagnosing anemia.

Hemoglobin: Pigment in red blood cell that carries oxygen to body tissues.

Hemolytic disease: Destruction of red blood cells.

Hemorrhoids: Dilated blood vessels in the rectum or rectal canal.

Human chorionic gonadatropin (HCG): Hormone produced in early pregnancy. Measured in a pregnancy test.

Human placental lactogen: Hormone of pregnancy produced by the placenta. Found in the bloodstream.

Hyaline membrane disease: Respiratory disease of the newborn.

Hydramnios: Increased amniotic fluid.

Hydrocephalus: Excessive accumulation of fluid around the brain of the baby. Sometimes called water on the brain.

Hyperbilirubinemia: Extremely high level of bilirubin in the blood.

Hyperemesis gravidarum: Severe nausea, dehydration and vomiting during pregnancy. Occurs most frequently during the first trimester.

Hyperglycemia: Increased blood sugar.

Hypertension: Pregnancy-induced-high blood pressure that occurs during pregnancy. Defined by an increase in the diastolic and/or systolic blood pressure.

Hyperthyroidism: Elevation of the thyroid hormone in the bloodstream.

Hypoplasia: Defective or incomplete development or formation of tissue.

Hypotension: Low blood pressure.

Hypothyroidism: Low or inadequate levels of thyroid hormone in the bloodstream.


Immune globulin preparation: Substance used to protect against infection with certain diseases, such as hepatitis or measles.

In utero: Within the uterus.

Incompetent cervix: Cervix that dilates painlessly, without contractions.

Incomplete abortion: Miscarriage in which part, but not all, of the uterine contents are expelled.

Inevitable abortion: Pregnancy complicated with bleeding and cramping. Usually results in miscarriage.

Insulin: Peptide hormone made by the pancreas. It promotes the use of glucose.

Invasive squamous-cell carcinoma: Cancer of the cervix that extends beyond the cervix into surrounding tissues or deeper layers.

Iron-deficiency anemia: Anemia produced by lack of iron in the diet. Often seen in pregnancy.

Isoimmunization: Development of specific antibody directed at the red blood cells of another individual, such as a baby in utero. Often occurs when an Rh-negative woman carries an Rh-positive baby or is given Rh-positive blood.


Jaundice: Yellow staining of the skin, sclera (eyes) and deeper tissues of the body. Caused by excessive amounts of bilirubin. Treated with phototherapy.


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