Threatened miscarriage: describes any bleeding seen during pregnancy, prior to viability, which has yet to be assessed further.
Toxemia: also known as pre-eclampsia, it is a condition that can occur in a woman in the second half of her pregnancy that can cause serious problems for both her and the baby. It causes high blood pressure, protein in the urine, blood changes and other problems.
Toxoplasmosis: an infection caused by a parasite that can invade tissues and damage the brain, especially in a fetus and in a newborn baby. Can be contracted by touching the hands to the mouth after gardening, cleaning a cat’s littler box, or anything that came into contact with cat feces; or by eating raw or partly cooked meat, or touching the hands to the mouth after touching raw or undercooked meat. Symptoms include fever, fatigue, headache, swollen lymph glands, and muscle aches and pains.
Trichomoniasis: a very common sexually transmitted disease in both women and men that is passed from one person to another during sexual contact. It also can be passed through contact with damp, moist objects such as towels or wet clothing. Symptoms include yellow, green, or gray vaginal discharge (often foamy) with a strong odor; discomfort during sex and when urinating; irritation and itching of the genital area; or lower abdominal pain (rare).
Trimester: a typical pregnancy is 9 months long. Pregnancy is divided into three time periods, or trimesters, that are each about three months in duration – the first, second, and third trimesters.
Triple screen: a blood test that indicates if there’s an increased risk of a birth defect, or a condition like Down syndrome, in the fetus. This test can also show twins.
Trisomy 18: a condition in which a baby is conceived with three copies instead of the normal two copies of chromosome #18. Children with this condition have multiple malformations and mental retardation. Some of the problems include: low birth weight, small head, small jaw, malformations of the heart and kidneys, clenched fists with abnormal finger positioning, and malformed feet. The mental retardation is severe.
Tubal pregnancy: a complication of pregnancy in which the fertilized ovum implants itself in the Fallopian tube.
Ultrasound: a painless, harmless test that uses sound waves to produce images of the organs and structures of the body on a screen. Also called sonography.
Umbilical cord: connected to the placenta and provides the transfer of nutrients and waste between the woman and the fetus.
Urinary tract infection: an infection anywhere in the urinary tract, or organs that collect and store urine and release it from your body (the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra). An infection occurs when microorganisms, usually bacteria from the digestive tract, cling to the urethra (opening to the urinary tract) and begin to multiply.
Uterus: a woman’s womb, or the hollow, pear-shaped organ located in a woman’s lower abdomen between the bladder and the rectum.
Vaccine: medicine that protects the body from the disease.
Vagina: the muscular canal that extends from the cervix to the outside of the body. Its walls are lined with mucus membranes and tiny glands that make vaginal secretions.
VBAC: vaginal birth after previous cesarean section.
Vernix: the waxy or “cheesy” white substance that coats the skin of newborn humans.
Vulva: opening to the vagina.
Yeast infections: a common infection in women caused by an overgrowth of the fungus Candida. It is normal to have some yeast in your vagina, but sometimes it can overgrow because of hormonal changes in your body, such as pregnancy, or from taking certain medications, such as antibiotics. Symptoms include itching, burning, and irritation of the vagina; pain when urinating or with intercourse; and cottage cheese-looking vaginal discharge.