Glossary of Terms

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D and C

Dilation and curettage. It is the process of gradually dilating the cervix to the point of being able to introduce an instrument (curette) to scrape the surface of the uterine cavity (endometrium). A suction cannula is also often used if the amount of tissue removed is great. This procedure is often used to treat abnormal bleeding, incomplete miscarriages and abnormal uterine pathology such as polyps or small fibroids. It is done under sedation and sometimes under general anesthesia. Potential complications include infection and uterine perforation.


Diminished or Decreased Ovarian Reserve (DOR)

This is an infertility diagnosis for women that have elevated basal FSH levels, low AMH levels or low antral follicle counts and/or poor responses to fertility medications. Women with this diagnosis have a reduced potential for successful pregnancy with any particular cycle’s treatment but the overall odds of conception is better related to a woman’s age. Women with very severe DOR often will need egg donation to successfully conceive, especially if they are 39 and older. 

Down Syndrome

Also known as Trisomy 21. An individual that has 3 copies of chromosome 21. Physical features include mild mental retardation, heart and thyroid defects. This is the major anomaly being tested for when pregnant women undergo Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS) or amniocentesis in early pregnancy. The incidence of Down Syndrome and other aneuploidies is increased with increasing maternal age.