Abortifacient- Producing abortion.

Amniotic- Pertaining to the amnion. The amnion is the layer of tissue, or sac, within which the fetus is contained in the womb, and which sac contains the fluid in which the fetus lies before birth. The amniotic membrane and the fluid it contains are commonly called the "bag of waters."

Blastocyst- The primitive cell layer of the embryo. Denved from the Greek word for germ, a sprout, an offspring. That stage of development before birth which exists when the fertilized egg has almost finished its descent through the tube, and when it is in the early stages of nestling' into the lining of the mother's womb.

Cartilage- An elastic tissue composing most of the skeleton of the fetus in its early stages, and later turning into bone.

Chemotherapy- Treatment through the use of chemical substances.

Chromosome- That part of the cell which carries the information which makes us in the image of our parents. Half the information comes from the father, half from the mother.

Contraceptive- Preventing conception. Preventing fertilization of the fenale egg by the male sperm cells.

Curettage- The operation of scraping with a curette. In the context of this book the curette (from the French word for a cleaner or scraper) is used to empty, or clean, the uterus or womb of its contents. In case of pregnancy the contents will be the fetus and after-birth.

Degenerative- Causing progressively increasing loss of function.

Embryo- The Greek equivalent of the Latin word fetus. Something that grows in another body. Commonly, use of the word is restricted to that period of intrauterine existence which precedes the ninth week of development in the womb. Often it is restricted to the period from the end of the second week to the end of the eighth week.

Eugenic- Pertaining to the improvement of the quality of the race.

Felonious- Criminal.

Fetal- Pertaining to the fetus. Both words are derived from the Latin word for offspring, that which is brought forth; from feo, I bring forth.

Fetus- The child before birth. Sometimes the term is used to describe the child from conception to childbirth. Others restrict the term to the child from the end of the eighth week of intrauterine existence to birth.

Genetics- The branch of biology dealing with heredity or variation.

Gynecologist- A specialist in the recognition and treatment of diseases peculiar to woman.

Hemophilia- A hereditary disease of the blood in which the blood fails to clot so that any bleeding may cause total exsanguination and death.

Heterogeseous- Varied. Of widely differing composition. Unlike in kind.

Homosexuality- A sexual relationship between one man and another man, rather than a woman.

Incest- Cohabitation, or sexual relationship, between persons who are related to a degree in which marriage is illegal, e.g., mother and son, brother and sister.

Infanticide- The killing of infants.

Infirmity- Feebleness. Disease. Malady.

Maturation - Becoming worked out as a plan. Completion. Ripening. Becoming fully developed.

Metaphysical- Pertaining to a division of philosophy.

Methodological- The way of doing things.

Opaque- Not letting light through.

Ovulated- Having produced an egg.

Phenylketonuria - A disease, acquired before birth, in which a particular substance present in the body is not handled normally by the body. The disease is diagnosed by the quantity of the substance appearing in the urine. If untreated, patients with this particular error in the handling of the substance may grow up with mental retardation.

Psychiarist - A 'specialist' in the recognition and treatment of diseases of the mind.

RH Disease - A disease in which a specific blood factor of the mother is different from that factor in her baby, who has inherited the different factor from the father. The disease results in the destruction of fetal blood by a factor in the maternal blood so that the fetus may die from the destruction of its blood cells.

Rubella - (German measles) An infectious disease caused by a virus. It usually ocurs in childhood. If occurring in a woman in the earlier stages of pregnancy, it may lead to the birth of children with structural or mental defects.

Sequelae - Consequences. Effects. Results.

Sloughed - Separated from. Expelled.

Statutory - According to statutes, or laws.

Thalidomide - A tranquilizer drug which, if taken early in pregnancy, may cause the birth of children with structural defects, usually of arms and legs.

Therapeutic - Pertaining to treatment or healing.

Trophoblast - That part of the fertilized egg which, after the egg has undergone multiple divisions, will implant into the lining of the womb and will develop into the placenta or afterbirth.

Visbility - That stage of development in the womb when the fetus, if born, will normally be capable of living.

Zygote - A cell formed by the union of two sexual cells; a fertilized egg. That stage of development before birth, from fertilization of the female egg until the end of the second week of prenatal existence.

Selected Readings