top of page

Glossary of Terms - Pregnancy after Miscarriage

Asthma. A respiratory condition marked by attacks of spasm in the bronchi of the lungs, causing difficulty in breathing. It is usually connected to an allergic reaction or other forms of hypersensitivity.

Body Mass Index (BMI). Is a measurement to work out the healthy weight for a person. The healthy range is between 19 and 25.

CUMH. Cork University Maternity Hospital.

Diabetes. A condition caused by elevated levels of glucose (a form of sugar) in the blood. The amount of glucose in your blood is controlled by a hormone called insulin.

Early Pregnancy Assessment Unit (EPAU)/Aislinn Suite.

Ectopic pregnancy. A pregnancy in which the fertilised egg (embryo) develops outside the womb, typically in one of the fallopian tubes.

Emergency Room. A hospital room or area staffed and equipped for the reception and treatment of persons with pregnancy-related conditions requiring immediate medical care.

Epilepsy. Is a neurological disorder marked by sudden recurrent episodes of sensory disturbance, loss of consciousness, or convulsions, associated with abnormal electrical activity in the brain.

Folic Acid. Folic acid or folate is a water-soluble vitamin belonging to the B-complex group of vitamins, which reduces the risk of a baby being born with a spinal defect such as spina bifida. Ideally, a woman should take folic acid (400 micrograms) 3 months before conceiving. All women should take it for the first 12weeks of pregnancy.

Gestation or gestational age. Gestational age is the common term used during pregnancy to describe the age of the baby in the womb. It is measured in weeks, from the first day of the woman's last menstrual period.

Gestational Sac. The first sign of early pregnancy and can be seen on a vaginal ultrasound scan from 5 weeks of pregnancy.

GP. A GP or General Practitioner is a doctor who provides general medical treatment for people who live in a particular area. Like a family doctor.

Miscarriage. The unplanned ending of a pregnancy before 24 completed weeks of pregnancy.

Molar pregnancy. There are two types of molar pregnancy - partial or complete - neither of which result in a viable pregnancy. 

Neural tube defects. Neural tube defects are birth defects of the brain, spine, or spinal cord. They happen in the first month of pregnancy, often before a woman even knows that she is pregnant. The two most common neural tube defects are spina bifida and anencephaly.

Passive smoke. Smoke inhaled by persons other than the intended "active" smoker.

Pre-term delivery. A premature birth is a birth that takes place before 37 weeks of pregnancy. Normally, a pregnancy usually lasts about 40 weeks.

Pregnancy test. A pregnancy test attempts to determine whether a woman is pregnant by detecting the presence of the pregnancy hormone HCG in the urine.

Pregnancy of unknown location (PUL). When there is a positive urine pregnancy test but the location of the pregnancy (either intrauterine or extrauterine) cannot be located on initial transvaginal ultrasound scan.


Pregnancy of unknown viability (PUV). A term given to an intrauterine pregnancy when it is not possible from ultrasound scan to confirm the intrauterine pregnancy as viable or a failed pregnancy.

Premature. Occurring or done before the usual or proper time; too early. (of a baby) born before the end of the full term of gestation, especially three or more weeks before.

Rhesus status. Rhesus (Rh) factor is an inherited protein found on the surface of red blood cells. If your blood has the protein, you're RhD positive. If your blood lacks the protein, you're RhD negative.

Sonographers. A healthcare professional who specialises in the use of ultrasound imaging devices to produce diagnostic images, scans, videos, or 3D volumes of anatomy and diagnostic data.

Spina bifida. A major birth defect and a type of neural tube defect that involves an opening in the vertebral column caused by the failure of the neural tube to close properly during embryonic development.

Trans-abdominal ultrasound. A scan where the probe is moved across the abdomen.

Trans-vaginal ultrasound (TV). A scan where the probe is placed inside the vagina.

Ultra-sonographer. A healthcare professional who specialises in the use of ultrasound imaging devices to produce diagnostic images, scans, videos, or 3D volumes of anatomy and diagnostic data.

Ultrasound scan. High-frequency sound waves used to provide images of the body, tissue and internal organs.

bottom of page