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


Ketones: Breakdown product of metabolism found in the blood, particularly in starvation or uncontrolled diabetes.

Kidney stones: Small mass or lesion found in the kidney or urinary tract. Can block the flow of urine.


Laaoo: Process of expelling a fetus from the uterus.

Laparoscopy: Minor surgical procedure performed for tubal ligation, diagnosis of pelvic pain or diagnosis of ectopic pregnancy.

Leukorrhea: Vaginal discharge characterized by a white or yellowish colour. Primarily composed of mucus.

Lightening: Change in the shape of the pregnant uterus a few weeks before labour. Often described as the baby "dropping."

Linea nigra: Line of increased pigmentation running down the abdomen from the bellybutton to the pubic area during pregnancy.


Malignant GTN: Cancerous change of gestational trophoblastic disease.

Mammogram: X-ray study of the breasts to identify normal and abnormal breasttissue.

Mask of pregnancy: Increased pigmentation over the area of the face under each eye. Commonly has the appearance of a butterfly.

Meconium: First intestinal discharge of the newborn; green or yellow in colour. It consists of epithelial or surface cells, mucus and bile. Discharge may occur before or during labour or soon after birth.

Melanoma: Pigmented mole or tumor. It may or may not be cancerous.

Meningomyelocele: Congenital defect of the central nervous system of the baby. Membranes and the spinal cord protrude through an opening or defect in the vertebral column.

Menstruation: Regular or periodic discharge of a bloody fluid from the uterus.

Mesodermal germ layer: Tissue of the embryo that forms connective tissue, muscles, kidneys, ureters and other organs.

Metaplasia: Change in the structure of a tissue into another type that is not normal for that tissue.

Microcephaly: Abnormally small development of the head in the developing fetus.

Microphthalmia: Abnormally small eyeballs.

Miscarriage: See Abortion.

Missed abortion: Failed pregnancy without bleeding or cramping. Often diagnosed by ultrasound weeks or months after a pregnancy fails.

Mittelschmerz: Pain that coincides with release of an egg from the ovary.

Monilial vulvovaginitis: Infection caused by yeast or monilia. Usually affects the vagina and vulva.

Monozygotic twins: Twins conceived from one egg. Often called identical twins.

Morning sickness: Nausea and vomiting, without ill health, found primarily during the first trimester of pregnancy.

Moruaa: Cells resulting from the early division of the fertilized egg at the beginning of pregnancy.

Mucus plug: Secretions in cervix; often released just before labour.

Mutations: Change in the character of a gene. Passed from one cell division to another.


Neural-tube defects: Abnormalities in the development of the spinal cord and brain in a fetus. See Anencephaly; Hydrocephalus; Spina bifida.


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