Abortion Glossary of Terms

The following are health and medical definitions of terms that appear in the Abortion article.

Abdomen: The belly, that part of the body that contains all of the structures between the...

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Abdominal: Relating to the abdomen, the belly, that part of the body that contains all of ...

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Abdominal pain: Pain in the belly. Abdominal pain can be acute or chronic. It may reflect ...

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Abortion: In medicine, an abortion is the premature exit of the products of conception (t...

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Acetaminophen: A nonaspirin pain reliever or analgesic. Acetaminophen may be given alone t...

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Ambulatory: Able to walk about, not bedridden or immobile.

Anaphylaxis: Allergic reaction. In severe cases, this can include potentially deadly anap...

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Anemia: The condition of having a lower-than-normal number of red blood cells or quantity ...

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Anesthesia: Loss of feeling or awareness, as when an anesthetic is administered before sur...

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Antibiotic: A drug used to treat infections caused by bacteria and other microorganisms. ...

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Aspiration: Removal of a sample of fluid and cells through a needle. Aspiration also re...

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Bacteria: Single-celled microorganisms that can exist either as independent (free-living) ...

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Birth control: Birth control is the use of any practices, methods, or devices to prevent p...

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Blood pressure: The blood pressure is the pressure of the blood within the arteries. It is...

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Brain: The portion of the central nervous system that is located within the skull. It func...

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Breathing: The process of respiration, during which air is inhaled into the lungs through ...

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Cannula: A hollow tube with a sharp, retractable inner core that can be inserted into a ve...

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Cartilage: Firm, rubbery tissue that cushions bones at joints. A flexible kind of cartilag...

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Cell: The basic structural and functional unit of any living thing. Each cell is a small c...

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: The US agency charged with tracking and invest...

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Cervical: Having to do with any kind of neck, including the neck on which the head is perc...

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Cervix: The cervix is the lower, narrow part of the uterus (womb). The uterus, a hollow, ...

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Chloride: The major anion (negatively charged substance) in the blood and extracellular fl...

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Circulation: In medicine, the movement of fluid through the body in a regular or circuitou...

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Clostridium: A group of anaerobic bacteria (bacteria that thrive in the absence of oxygen)...

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Complication: In medicine, an unanticipated problem that arises following, and is a result...

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Conception: 1. The union of the sperm and the ovum. Synonymous with fertilization.
...

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Curettage: Removal of tissue with a curette from the wall of a cavity or another surface. ...

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Curette: spoon-shaped instrument that has a sharp edge. The word curette comes from French...

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Depression: An illness that involves the body, mood, and thoughts and that affects the way...

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Diabetes: Refers to diabetes mellitus or, less often, to diabetes insipidus. Diabetes mell...

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Dilatation: The process of enlargement or expansion. Also known as dilation.

Dilation: The process of enlargement, stretching, or expansion. The word "dilatation" mean...

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Douche: Usually, a stream of water applied into the vagina for cleansing purposes. A douch...

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Ectopic: In the wrong place, out of place. For example, an ectopic kidney is a kidney that...

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Ectopic pregnancy: A pregnancy that is not in the uterus. The fertilized egg settles and g...

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Elective: In medicine, something chosen (elected). An elective procedure is one that is ch...

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Emergency contraception: The prevention of pregnancy after unprotected vaginal intercourse...

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FDA: Food and Drug Administration.

Fertilization: The process of combining the male gamete, or sperm, with the female gamete,...

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Fetus: An unborn offspring, from the embryo stage (the end of the eighth week after concep...

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Fever: Although a fever technically is any body temperature above the normal of 98.6 degr...

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Food and Drug Administration: An agency within the US Public Health Service that provides ...

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Gestation: The period of time from conception to birth.

Grief: The normal process of reacting to a loss. The loss may be physical (such as a death...

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Heart: The muscle that pumps blood received from veins into arteries throughout the body. ...

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Heart disease: Any disorder that affects the heart. Sometimes the term "heart disease" is ...

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Hemorrhage: Bleeding or the abnormal flow of blood.

Hepatitis: Inflammation of the liver, irrespective of the cause. Hepatitis is caused by a ...

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High blood pressure: A repeatedly elevated blood pressure exceeding 140 over 90 mmHg. Chro...

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Ibuprofen: A nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that is commonly used to treat pa...

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In vitro: In glass, as in a test tube. An in vitro test is one that is done in glass or pl...

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In vitro fertilization: A laboratory procedure in which sperm are put in a special dish wi...

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Incest: Sexual activity between individuals so closely related that marriage is legally pr...

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Indicate: In medicine, to make a treatment or procedure advisable because of a particular ...

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Indication: 1. In medicine, a condition which makes a particular treatment or proce...

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Induced abortion: An abortion that is brought about intentionally. Also called an artifici...

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Infection: The invasion and multiplication of microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, an...

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Informed consent: The process by which a patient learns about and understands the purpose,...

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Injury: Harm or hurt. To harm, hurt, or wound. The word injure may be in physical or emot...

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Intrauterine: In the uterus.

Kidney: One of a pair of organs located in the right and left side of the abdomen. The kid...

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Kinsey Report: A report entitled "Sexual Behavior in the Human Male" published by Alfred C...

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Labor: Childbirth, the process of delivering a baby and the placenta, membranes, and umbil...

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Laboratory: A place for doing tests and research procedures, and for preparing chemicals a...

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Laminaria: A thin piece of sterile seaweed that can be used to gradually dilate the cervix...

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Last menstrual period: By convention, pregnancies are dated in weeks starting from the fir...

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Life support: 1. A therapy or device designed to preserve someone's life when an es...

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Maternal: 1. Pertaining to the mother as, for example, the maternal mortality rate....

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Medical history: 1. In clinical medicine, the patient's past and present which may ...

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Menstrual: Pertaining to menstruation (the menses), as in last menstrual period, menstrua...

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Mifepristone: The French abortion pill, also known as RU-486.

Mouth: 1. The upper opening of the digestive tract, beginning with the lips and con...

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Neonatal: Pertaining to the newborn period, specifically the first 4 weeks after birth.

Nurse: 1) A person trained, licensed, or skilled in nursing. 2) To feed an infant at the ...

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Outpatient: A patient who is not hospitalized, but instead comes to a physician?s office, ...

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Pain: An unpleasant sensation that can range from mild, localized discomfort to agony. Pa...

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Parkinson's disease: A slowly progressive neurologic disease that is characterized by a fi...

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Placenta: A temporary organ that joins the mother and fetus, transferring oxygen and nutri...

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Potassium: The major positive ion (cation) found inside cells. The chemical notation for p...

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Pregnancy: The state of carrying a developing embryo or fetus within the female body. Thi...

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Pregnant: The state of carrying a developing fetus within the body.

Preoperative: Before surgery. As opposed to postoperative, after surgery.

Prostaglandin: One of a number of hormone-like substances that participate in a wide range...

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Rape: Forced sexual intercourse; sexual assault; sexual intercourse between an adult and a...

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Regimen: A plan or a regulated course, such as a diet, exercise, or treatment, that is des...

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RU-486: The French abortion pill, also known as mifepristone.

Rule out: Term used in medicine, meaning to eliminate or exclude something from considera...

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Rupture: A break or tear in any organ (such as the spleen) or soft tissue (such as the ach...

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Saline: Relating to salt. As an adjective, "saline" means "salty, containing salt." As a n...

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Sexually transmitted disease: Any disease transmitted by sexual contact; caused by microo...

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Spine: 1) The column of bone known as the vertebral column, which surrounds and protects ...

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Stage: As regards cancer, the extent of a cancer, especially whether the disease has spre...

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Stem cell: One of the human body's master cells, with the ability to grow into any one of ...

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Stem cells: One of the human body's master cells, with the ability to grow into any one of...

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Stress: In a medical or biological context stress is a physical, mental, or emotional fact...

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Surgery: The branch of medicine that employs operations in the treatment of disease or inj...

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Syringe: A medical device that is used to inject fluid into, or withdraw fluid from, the b...

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Therapeutic: Relating to therapeutics, the branch of medicine that is concerned specifical...

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Therapeutic abortion: An abortion that is brought about intentionally. Also known as induc...

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Trimester: In obstetrics, one of the three divisions of three months each during pregnancy...

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Tylenol: See: Acetaminophen.

Ultrasound: High-frequency sound waves. Ultra-sound waves can be bounced off tissues by us...

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Urinary: Having to do with the function or anatomy of the kidneys, ureters, bladder, or ur...

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Urinary tract: The organs of the body that produce, store, and discharge urine. These orga...

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Urinary tract infection: An infection of the kidney, ureter, bladder, or urethra. Abbrevia...

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Urine: Liquid waste produced by the kidneys. Urine is a clear, transparent fluid that norm...

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Uterus: A hollow, pear-shaped organ that is located in a woman's lower abdomen, between th...

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Voluntary: Done in accordance with the conscious will of the individual. The opposite of i...

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Womb: The womb (uterus) is a hollow, pear-shaped organ located in a woman's lower abdomen ...

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