Get quick definitions of many of the most common pregnancy terms here! From fertility treatment terminology to common pregnancy conditions to the stages of labor, find out more about the hundreds of new words you will be hearing.
U-V is for...

Umbilical cord
Category: General pregnancy
The lifeline for your baby, it is the connection between the fetus at its abdomen and the placenta, giving passage to the umbilical blood vessels. The placenta transports oxygen and nutrients from the placenta to the baby. There are normally three vessels in the umbilical cord, two arteries and one vein.
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Urinary tract infection
Category: Mom's health
The lining of the bladder, urethra, ureters, and kidneys become irritated with a urinary tract infection (frequently abbreviated as UTI). The urine may smell unusual or look cloudy. Urinary tract infections have been known to bring on premature labor.
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Uterine bleeding
Category: High risk/Complications
Any clinically significant bleeding during the pregnancy, taking into consideration the stage of pregnancy; any second or third trimester bleeding of the uterus prior to the onset of labor.
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Uterine factor
Category: Conception and fertility
A cause of infertility related to defects in the uterus.
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Uterus
Category: General pregnancy
A hollow, pear-shaped muscular organ in which the fetus develops.
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Vacuum extractor
Category: Labor and birth
A special suction device placed over the baby's head to allow a physician to pull the infant out of the birth canal. The device enables traction to be applied to the fetal head (in the birth canal) by means of a suction cup attached to the scalp and is powered by an external vacuum source. This is typically used as an alternative to forceps.
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Vagina
Category: General pregnancy
The passage leading from the uterus to the outside of the female body.
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Vaginal delivery
Category: Labor and birth
Birth of a child through the vagina, as opposed to a surgical delivery (cesarean section).
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Vascular
Category: Pregnancy/Birth/Other
Pertaining to blood vessels.
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VBAC
Category: Labor and birth
Vaginal Birth After Cesarean
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Vernix
Category: Labor and birth
Thick, greasy whitish substance covering the newborn baby's skin.
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Virus
Category: Pregnancy/Birth/Other
A tiny organism that must get inside a living cell to grow and reproduce. Viruses cause many types of illness; for example, varicella virus causes chickenpox, and the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) causes the autoimmune deficiency syndrome, or AIDS. Antibiotic drugs, which are designed to kill bacteria, do not get rid of or cure virus infections. However, vaccines prevent disease caused by the influenza virus, measles virus, mumps virus, rubella virus, pertussis virus, and hepatitis B virus. Currently, except for influenza, no specific anti-viral therapies are available to treat these viral infections.
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Vulva
Category: General pregnancy
The outer, visible female genitalia.
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