1. Infertility
    Absence of production of children.  Commonly used to mean a biological inability to bear children.
  2. Infecundity
    Biological inability to bear children after 1 year of unprotected intercourse.
  3. Fertility
    Actual production of children.  The word best applies to specific vital statistic rates, but it is commonly taken to mean the ability to bear children.
  4. Fecundity
    Biological ability to bear children.
  5. Miscarriage
    Generally defined as the loss of a conceptus in the first 20 weeks of pregnancy.  Also called spontaneous abortion.
  6. Endocrine
    A system of ductless glands, such as the thyroid, adrenal glands, ovaries, and testes, that produces secretions that affect body functions.
  7. Immunological
    Having to do with the immune system and its functions in protecting the body from bacterial, viral, fungal, or other infections and from foreign proteins (i.e., those proteins that differ from proteins normally found in the body).
  8. Subfertility
    Reduced level of fertility characterized by unusually long time to conception (over 12 months) or repeated early pregnancy losses.
  9. Puberty
    The period in life during which humans become biologically capable of reproduction.
  10. Ova
    Eggs of the female produced and stored within the ovearies (singular = ovum)
  11. Menopause
    Cessation of the menstrual cycle and reproductive capacity in females.
  12. Menstrual Cycle
    An approximately 4-week interval in which hormones direct a buildup of blood and nutrient stores within the wall of the uterus and ovum maturation and release.  If the ovum is fertilized by a sperm, the stored blood and nutrients are used to support the growth of the fertilized ovum.  If fertilization does not occur; they are released from the uterine wall over a period of 3 to 7 days.  The period of blood flow is called the menses, or the menstrual period.
  13. Pituitary Gland
    A pea-sized gland located at the base of the brain.  It is connected to the hypothalamus and produces and secretes growth hormone, prolactin, oxytocin, follicle-stimulating hormone, luteninizing hormone, and other hormones in response to signals from the hypothalamus.
  14. Corpus Luteum
    (corpus = body, luteum = yellow) A tissue about 12 mm in diameter formed from the follicle that contained the ovum prior to its release.  It produces estrogen and progesterone.  The "yellow body" derivation comes from the accumulation of lipid precursors of these hormones in the corpus luteum.
  15. Prostaglandins
    A group of physiologically active substances derived from the essential fatty acids.  They are present in many tissues and perform such functions as the constriction or dilation of blood vessels and stimulation of smooth muscles and the uterus.
  16. Testes
    Male reproductive glands located in the scrotum.  Also called testicles.
  17. Androgens
    Types of steroid hormones produced in the testes, ovaries, and adrenal cortex from cholesterol.  Some androgens (testosterone, dihydrotestosterone) stimulate development and functioning of male sex organs.
  18. Epididymis
    Tissues on top of the testes that store sperm.
  19. Semen
    The penile ejaculate containing a mixture of sperm and secretions from the testes, prostate, and other glands.  It is rich in zinc, fructose, and other nutrients. Also called seminal fluid.
  20. Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)
    A general term applied to infections of the cervix, uterus, fallopian tubes, or ovaries.  Occurs predominantly in young women and is generally caused by infection with a sexually transmitted disease, such as gonorrhea or chlamydia, or with intrauterine device (IUD) use.
  21. Endometriosis
    A disease characterized by the presence of endometrial tissue in abnormal locations, such as deep within the uterine wall, in the ovary, or in other sites within the body.  the condition is quite painful and is associated with abnormal menstrual cycles and infertility in 30-40% of affected women.
  22. Oxidative Stress
    A condition that occurs when cells are exposed to more reactive oxygen molecules (such as free radicals) than to antioxidant molecules.  Certain environmental pollutants, ozone, smoke, radiation, excess body fat, high-fat diets, and inflammation are sources of reactive oxygen molecules.
  23. Leptin
    A protein secreted by fat cells that, by binding to specific receptor sites in the hypothalamus, decreases appetite, increases energy expenditure, and stimulates gonadotropin secretion.  Leptin levels are elevated by high, and reduced by low, levels of body fat.
  24. Anovolatory Cycles
    Menstrual cycles in which ovulation does not occur.
  25. Amenorrhea
    Absence of menstrual cycle.
  26. Body Mass Index (BMI)
    • Weight in kg / height in m2.  
    • BMIs < 18.5 are considered underweight,
    • 18.5 - 24.9 normal weight,
    • 25-29.9 overweight, and
    • BMIs of 30 and higher obesity.
  27. Antioxidants
    Chemical substances that prevent or repair damage to molecules and cells caused by oxidizing agents. Vitamins C and E, selenium, and certain components of plants function as antioxidants.
  28. Free Radicals
    Chemical substances (often oxygen-based) that are missing electrons.  The absence of electrons makes the chemical substance reactive and prone to oxidizing nearby molecules by stealing electrons from them.  Free radicals can damage lipids, cell membranes, DNA, and tissues by altering their chemical structure and functions.  They also form as a normal part of metabolism.  Over time, oxidative stress causes damage to lipids, cell membranes, DNA, cells and tissues.
  29. Embryo
    The developing organism from conception through 8 weeks.
  30. Fetus
    The developing organism from 8 weeks after conception to the moment of birth.
  31. Neural Tube Defects (NTDs)
    Spina bifida and other malformations of the neural tube.  Defects result from incomplete formation of the neural tube during the first month after conception.
Card Set
Preconception Nutrition