Pregnancy - Medical Dictionary

C O N T R A C E P T I O N  A N D  P R E G N A N C Y


Pregnancy is considered the greatest boon in the life of a woman for it gives her the opportunity to procreate, to bring forth a being. It is pregnancy that places a woman on the highest pedestal, bestowing her the honor of being a ‘MOTHER’.

What is Pregnancy?

Pregnancy is the medical terminology for the state or condition when a female mammal carries one or more developing young ones inside her body (precisely the uterus). The term spans the period from conception to birth.

Specific medical jargons are used for human pregnancies. Thus, a pregnant woman in the medical lingo is a Genetalian; the developing young one, likewise, is an Embryo (in the initial stage) and a Fetus (till birth). The process of conception – the union of the female oocyte (egg) and spermatozoon released by the man (taking place as a direct consequence of sexual intercourse between a man and woman) is known as Fertilization. The beginning of pregnancy, i.e., when the developing embryo becomes rooted into the endometrial lining of a woman’s uterus is know as Implantation.

Pregnancy Detection

A number of pregnancy tests are undertaken to detect pregnancy. Most of these tests detect pregnancy by the presence of pregnancy hormones in blood and urine. Actually, following implantation, the blastocyst secretes the hormone Human Chorionic Gonadotropin, which stimulates the production of progesterone in order to maintain the lining of the uterus so that the embryo is well nourished.) Human Chorionic Gonadotropin-based pregnancy tests detect pregnancy within the first 6-8 of fertilization. Home pregnancy tests (again urine tests), detect a pregnancy about 12-15 days after fertilization.

Pregnancy Age Detection

The age of a pregnancy is usually expressed in relation to the menstrual date. According to normal medical practice, the age of a fetus is about two weeks or 14 days later counting from the first day of the woman’s last menstrual period. (This calculation is based on the 28-day menstrual cycle concept).

Pregnancy Duration

Human pregnancy lasts some 9 months, continuing between the last menstrual period (LMP) and childbirth (38 weeks from fertilization). The pregnancy period can be divided into three phases or trimesters. The implantation usually takes place between 6 and 8 days of fertilization. If the embryo becomes well lodged in the endometrial lining, fine, otherwise complications arise. Risk of miscarriage is highest in the First Trimester. Expecting mothers are usually afflicted by morning sickness in this phase.

The Second Trimester, i.e. months 4 through 6, is marked by the transformation of the cellular mass (the embryo) into a recognizable shape. The sex of the fetus can be determined at the phase because the reproductive organ develops in this period. The initial movement of the fetus inside the womb thrills the mother.

In the Third Trimester, the fetal movements become stronger and more regular. The development and improved functioning of the various body parts mark the increasing possibility of the fetus’ survival outside the mother’s body. The mother gains weight very fast in this period and is usually very uncomfortable.


When pregnancy reaches term and childbirth becomes imminent, the mother experiences regular painful uterine contractions, which is generally accompanied by changes in her cervix (which undergoes dilation and effacement). Labor is usually painful. Sometimes complications make a Caesarean surgical procedure unavoidable. Ultimately, however, the shrill whimpering of the newborn brings the mother’s smile back.

- Barrier Methods of Contraception. - Miscarriage
- Post Natal Depression - Pregnancy
- Sexual Activity during and after Pregnancy - Smoking and Pregnancy
- Stretch Marks in Pregnancy - Termination (Abortion).
- The I.U.D. (or Intra Uterine Device). - The Pill (Oral Contraceptive Pill or OCP).
- The Rhythm Method of Birth Control or Natural Family Planning - Tubal Ligation.
- Vasectomy. - Signs of Pregnancy
- Pregnancy Tests - Stages of Pregnancy
- Pregnancy Due Date Calculator - Symptoms of Pregnancy
- Early Pregnancy Signs - Ectopic Pregnancy
- Pregnancy Calendar - Pregnancy Test
- Pregnancy week by week - Teenage Pregnancy
- Pregnancy 2    

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