Shrodikar suture: A stitch put into the neck of the womb (cervix) in a case of an incompetent (weak) cervix in a bid to prevent miscarriage.
Show: The blood-stained mucous discharge which is passed at the onset of labour. Labour may follow immediately but it may also not happen for many hours following a show.
Superovalation: The production of many ova (eggs) in one menstrual cycle. This is usually a consequence of using fertility drugs and could lead to high-order multiple pregnancy.
Surfactant: A substance that is produced by lung cells to facilitate breathing when the baby is born. Normally it is produced over several weeks, from around the end of the second trimester. In threatened preterm delivery, steroids may be administered to stimulate production of this chemical. This reduces the breathing difficulties that many preterm babies are prone to.
Suture: This means two distinct things.
1. Putting stitches in a wound is to suture. The threads used are called suture material.
2. The potential gaps where the bones of the fetal skull meet are called sutures. For instance, the long gap running in the midline from the anterior to the posterior fontanelle is called a sagittal suture. There are several sutures on the skull.
Syntometrine: A mixture of the drugs syntocinon and ergometrine, commonly used to promote sustained uterine contraction after delivery. It is given in the form of an injection and the aim is to prevent excessive bleeding.
Trisomy: A term used to describe a set of three chromosomes. Chromosomes are supposed to be in pairs and therefore any set of three is an abnormality. Trisomy 21 is a description of Down's syndrome because set No. 21 in this condition has three
chromosomes. There are a few other "trisomies", such as Edward's syndrome (Trisomy 18) and Patau's syndrome (Trisomy 13).
Uniovular twins: Yet another term for identical twins.
Ureters: The tubes that transport urine from the kidneys where it is produced, to the bladder where it is temporarily stored before voiding.
Uterus: The womb.
Ventouse: The instrument sometimes used to assist delivery. It involves putting a rubber or metal cup on the fetal head and using a vacuum to hold it in place. It is also simply termed vacuum.
Vertex: This is the "highest" point on the baby's head, which then tends to be the leading part during labour and delivery.
Yolk sac: This is the ring-like structure found within the gestation sac during the first trimester. It is responsible for "feeding" the embryo in this early phase of the pregnancy.
Zygote: This is the name used for the fertilized ovum (egg). As it undergoes multiple divisions, it will be known as a morula, then an embryo and finally a fetus.
Last update: April 19, 2012