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Preconception - Page 10

Healthy Pregnancy Newsletter
Healthy Pregnancy Newsletter - Glossary

Anemia - a decrease of red blood cells in the blood.

Basal body temperature - temperature of a woman's body taken first thing in the morning after several hours of sleep and before any activity, including getting out of bed or talking; often charted to determine the time of ovulation.

Estrogen - a group of hormones secreted by the ovaries that affect many aspects of the female body, including a woman's menstrual cycle and normal sexual and reproductive development.

Fetus - an unborn baby from the eighth week after fertilization until delivery.

Folic acid - a nutrient found in some green leafy vegetables, nuts, beans, citrus fruits, fortified breakfast cereals, and some vitamin supplements. Folic acid can help reduce the risk of birth defects of the brain and spinal cord (also called neural tube defects).

Genetic counseling - providing information, advice, and testing to prospective parents at risk of having a child with a birth defect or genetic disorder.

Human chorionic gonadotropin - a hormone produced by the placenta about 10 days after fertilization.

Infertility - not being able to produce a child.

Menstruation - a monthly process (except during pregnancy) that involves a discharge of bloody fluid from the uterus through the vagina; the discharge contains tissue shed from the endometrium (the lining of a woman's uterus) during the reproductive cycle.

Ovaries - pair of small glands, located on either side of the uterus, in which egg cells develop and are stored and the female sex hormones estrogen and progesterone are produced.

Pap test (also called Pap smear) - a test that involves a microscopic examination of cells collected from the cervix; used to detect changes that may be cancer or may lead to cancer, and to show noncancerous conditions, such as infection or inflammation.

Pelvic examination - an internal examination of the uterus, vagina, ovaries, fallopian tubes, bladder, and rectum.

Preconception - before becoming pregnant.

Progesterone - a female sex hormone, produced by the ovaries during the second half of the menstrual cycle.

Rubella (also called German measles) - a contagious, viral disease that can cause miscarriage or birth defects if contracted by the mother during pregnancy.

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