GLOSSARY OF TERMS

Labor induction

Artificial stimulation of the uterine activity with the aim of starting the process of labor. Reasons to induce the labor may be medical, psychological, social or economic. Main methods of labor induction are:

  • Fetal membranes rupture (amniotomy). As the result, endogenous hormones (prostaglandins) are released leading to uterine contractions.
  • Medication (hormones - oxytocin, prostaglandins) in the form of infusion or intravaginal application is given to stimulate uterine contractions.

Labor preinduction

Carried out in case of medical indications for the labor induction and in cases when the body is not prepared for vaginal delivery (signalled by unprepared birth canal). It is a set of methods that result in the maturity of cervix which shortens and increases its pliability. Labor preinduction increases the success rate of the labor induction and shortens the active part of the process. The main methods of preinduction are mechanical and pharmacological. Mechanical methods include the use of DILAPAN-S®, pharmacological methods use the application of prostaglandins, mostly intravaginally.

Cervical dilation

The process of opening and ripening of the uterine cervix to ensure its pliability. The cervical dilation is carried out before the examination of the uterine cavity (hysteroscopy), before the termination of pregnancy etc.

Osmotic dilator

A small rod made from hydrogel or other materials, which absorbs water/liquids from the environment and increases its volume and diameter. In comparison to metal dilators it minimizes the risk of cervical injury.

Laminaria

An osmotic dilator made from the seaweed Laminaria japonica.

Prostaglandins

The hormones produced in numerous body organs and tissues. In difference to other hormones, prostaglandins act in the place of their production. They have many effects, such as impact on capillary blood flow or clotting, they participate in immune and inflammatory processes etc.

Miscarriage

The termination of pregnancy due to fetal death before the delivery. After the complete expulsion or removal from the maternal body, the fetus does not show any signs of life and its birth weight is below 500 grams or cannot be determined. The duration of pregnancy is under 22 weeks. Miscarriages are quite frequent, however in the earliest stages of pregnancy (the first weeks) a miscarriage is often not recognized and a woman may consider it a late period.

Termination of pregnancy (induced abortion)

The intentional termination of pregnancy with the help of a pharmaceutical substance or surgery, when a fetus is removed from the mother´s body. Various countries present different legal approaches to abortion. It is carried out for medical reasons if the life or health of the mother or a prosperous evolution of the fetus are in danger or if the evolution of the fetus is genetically incorrect.

Hysteroscopy

An endoscopic examination method which enables the physician to investigate the cervix and uterine cavity. In course of the examination, a medical intervention can be carried out or a sample of tissue can be taken upon which further examinations can be conducted. Hysteroscopy is usually an outpatient procedure, performed under general anesthesia in the operating room.

Missed abortion

A spontaneous death of a fetus in its early stage of evolution. The fetus is usually not spontaneously expelled completely and a surgery is needed for removal.

Assisted reproduction

The set of medical procedures and methods where embyonic cells or embryos are manipulated or kept with the purpose of medical treatment of infertility.

IVF (In Vitro Fertilization)

The process of egg fertilization by sperm outside the woman´s body. It is a major procedure for infertility treatment when other methods of assisted reproduction have failed.

Embryo transfer

A method of assisted reproduction where the embryo is placed into the uterus of a mother.

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