8 Obstetrics

Topic: Obstetrics

Text Reference: Chapter 8. Obstetrics

Objectives: Students should be able to…

Identify meanings of key word components of obstetrics.


ante- (before)

dys- (painful, labored, difficult)

endo- (within)

in-, intra- (within, inside)

micro- (small)

multi- (many)

neo- (new)

nulli- (none)

post- (after)

pre- (before)

prim/i- (first)

retro- (backward, behind)

Combining Forms

amni/o (amnion, amniotic fluid)

cephal/o (head)

cervic/o (cervix)

chori/o, chorion/o (chorion)

colp/o (vagina)

culd/o (rectouterine pouch)

embry/o (embryo)

episi/o (vulva)

esophag/o (esophagus)

fet/i (fetus, unborn offspring)

fet/o (fetus, unborn offspring)

glact/o (milk)

gravid/o (pregnancy)

gynec/o (woman)

hyster/o (uterus)

lact/o (milk)

mamm/o (breast)

mast/o (breast)

men/o (menstruation)

metr/o (uterus)

metri/o (uterus)

nat/i (birth)

nat/o (birth)

obstetr/o (midwife)

olig/o (scanty, few)

omphal/o (umbilicus, navel)

oophor/o (ovary)

ov/o (ovary)

ovari/o (ovary)

ovul/o (ovary)

par/o (to bear, labor, childbirth, give birth to)

part/o (to bear, labor, childbirth, give birth to)

perine/o (perineum)

pseud/o (false)

prim/i (first)

pseud/o (false)

puerper/o (childbirth)

pylor/o (pylorus, pyloric sphincter)

salping/o (uterine tube)

terat/o (malformations)

uter/o (uterus)

vagin/o (vagina)

vulv/o (vulva)


-a (no meaning, noun ending)

-al (pertaining to)

-amnios (amnion, amniotic fluid)

-arche/o (beginning, first)

-cyesis (pregnancy)

-e (noun ending, no meaning)

-gen (substance that produced, agent that produced)

-genic (producing, originating, causing)

-graphy (process of recording)

-ic (pertaining to)

-is (noun suffix, no meaning)

-itis (inflammation)

-logist (specialist who studies and treats, physician who studies and treats)

-logy (study of)

-oid (resembling)

-oma (tumor)

-parous (having given birth)

-rrhea (discharge, flow)

-rrhexis (rupture)

-salpinx (tube or uterine tube)

-stenosis (constriction, narrowing)

-tocia (birth, labor)

-tomy (incision, cut into)

-um (noun ending, no meaning)

-us (noun ending, no meaning)

-version (turned, turning, for example turning the fetus)

Apply the rules of medical language to pronounce, break into word parts, and define the following terms.

Label each word part by using the following abbreviations:

P = Prefix
WR = Word Root
CV = Combining Vowel
S = Suffix
CF = Combining Form

Example: osteoarthropathy (ä-stē-ō-är-THROP-ă-thē) – disease of bone and joint

WR     CV    WR     CV     S

oste / o / arthr / o /pathy

     CF               CF

Practice pronouncing and defining these medical terms that are not easily broken into word parts.

abortion (ă-BOR-shŏn)

abruptio placentae (ă-BRŬP-shē-ō plă-SENT-ā)

Apgar score (AP-gar skōr)

breech (brēch)

Cesarean section (CS, c-section) (si-ZAR-ē-ăn SEK-shŏn)

cephalic presentation (sĕ-FAL-ĭk prē-zen-TĀ-shŏn)

cephalic version (sĕ-FAL-ĭk VĔR-zhŏn)

cerclage (sĕr-KLĂZH)

colostrum (kŏ-LOS-trŭm)

congenital anomaly (kŏn-JĔN-ĭ-tăl ă-NOM-ă-lē)

eclampsia (e-KLAMP-sē-ă)

ectopic pregnancy (ek-TOP-ik PREG-năn-sē)

in vitro fertilization (IVF) (in VĒ-trō fĕrt-ĭl-ĭ-ZĀ-shŏn)

induction (in-DŬK-shŏn)

lactation (lak-TĀ-shŏn)

lochia (LŌ-kē-ă)

meconium (mē-KŌ-nē-ŭm)

midwife (MĬD-wīf)

midwifery (mĭd-WĪF-ĕr-ē)

obstetrician (ob-stĕ-TRISH-ăn)

obstetrics (ŏb-STE-triks)

parturition (păr-tū-RĬSH-ŭn)

placenta previa (plă-SENT-ā PRĒ-vē-ă)

preeclampsia (prē-ĕ-KLAMP-sē-ă)

premature infant (prē-mă-CHŪR IN-fănt)

puerperium (pū-ĕr-PĒ-rē-ŭm)

quickening (KWĬK-ĕn-ĭng)

stillborn (STIL-bōrn)

Practice pronouncing and defining these commonly abbreviated obstetrics terms.

AB (abortion)

AFP (Alpha-fetoprotein test)

AI (artificial insemination)

CS, C-section (cesarean section)

CVS (chorionic villus sampling)

DOB (date of birth)

EDD (expected or estimated date of delivery)

FAS (fetal alcohol syndrome)

FHR (fetal heart rate)

G (gravida or pregnant)

GPA (gravida, para, abortus – three figures representing a patient’s reproductive history)

GYN (gynecology)

IVF (in vitro fertilization)

LH (luteinizing hormone)

LMP (last menstrual period)

multip (multipara)

NB (newborn)

OB (obstetrics)

primip (primipara)

RDS (respiratory distress syndrome)

VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean section)

Sort the terms from the word lists above into the following categories.

  • Disease and Disorder (terms describing any deviation from normal structure and function)
  • Diagnostic (terms related to process of identifying a disease, condition, or injury from its signs and symptoms)
  • Therapeutic (terms related to treatment or curing of diseases)
  • Anatomic (terms related to body structure)

Use terms related to obstetrics.

Place the following medical terms in context to complete the scenario below.

cassettes | clots | ectopic | fallopian | Microscopic | pregnancy | salpingectomy | tube | ultrasound



AGE: 34
SEX: Female
DOB: May 3
PATIENT ID: 900132

ADMITTING DIAGNOSIS: Ectopic pregnancy

PATHOLOGY ID: Specimen No. 05-S-899
SPECIMEN RECEIVED: June 14 Specimen Reported: June 18
SURGICAL PROCEDURE: Right partial ________.

CLINICAL HISTORY: This 34-year-old white female had an ________ pregnancy as proven by pelvic ________.

TISSUE RECEIVED: Right fallopian tube.

GROSS DESCRIPTION: The specimen designated right ________ tube was examined reveals the presence of a fallopian tube measuring 5.9 cm in length and 2.3 cm in average diameter. Sectioning of the ________ shows it to be distended with blood ________ and possible field tissue. The sections were taken, and placed in three ________, A through C, for embedding.

MICROSCOPIC DESCRIPTION: ________ examination performed.

MICROSCOPIC DIAGNOSIS: Ruptured tubal ________.

Joseph Gibbs, MD, Anatomic & Clinical Pathology

Test your knowledge by answering the questions below.

Termination of a pregnancy before the fetus is viable is called…

  1. Amniocentesis
  2. Gestation
  3. Abortion

The abnormal condition in pregnancy where the patient experiences hypertension, edema and proteinuria is called…

  1. Dystocia
  2. Hyperemesis Gravida
  3. Preeclampsia

When the embryo implants any other place but the inner endo-uterine lining it is called a(n)…

  1. Ectopic pregnancy
  2. Zygote intrafallopian transfer
  3. Placenta Previa

A condition where the infant’s head is larger than the pelvic outlet and therefore will require a c-section is called…

  1. Cephalopelvic disproportion
  2. Cephalic version
  3. Induction

A test conducted on the pregnant woman to assess the fetal heart rate is called…

  1. Non-stress test
  2. Meconuim staining
  3. Alpha-fetoprotein test


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Medical Terminology Student Companion Copyright © 2022 by Stacey Grimm; Colleen Allee; Heidi Belitz; Traci Gotz; Micheal Randolph; Elaine Strachota; and Laurie Zielinski is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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