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This page is a basic list of all of the things that I found helpful to know, or that cuts through a lot of the jargon you'll read or be told.

Please always refer to the external links for more detailed citations and information, and please never make important decisions based on this information alone, always refer to your health care professional for more advice.


Anticardiolipin Antibody (see also Thrombophilias) 
The presence of anticardiolipin antibodies can be associated with recurrent thromboses (blood clots), stroke, deep vein thrombosis (DVT), recurrent pregnancy loss, livedo, seizures, and other conditions. There are different classes (isotypes) of anticardiolipin antibody, namely IgG, IgM, and IgA. IgG is the anticardiolipin antibody type most associated with complications. An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) is used to test for anticardiolipin antibodies. One can test for all isotypes at once, or they can be detected separately. High levels of the IgM isotype are associated with autoimmune hemolytic anemia, a condition in which an individual’s immune system attacks their red blood cells. See also antiphospholipids / lupus anticoagulant / known to produce similar effects


A type of White Blood Cell


Complete Blood Count


Diphtheria is a serious bacterial infection that affects the mucous membranes of the throat and nose. Although it spreads easily from one person to another, diphtheria can be prevented through the use of vaccines. Call your doctor right away if you believe you have diphtheria. If it’s left untreated, diphtheria can cause severe damage to your kidneys, nervous system, and heart.


A type of White Blood cell


Factor V Leiden (see also Thrombophilias) 
A mutation of one of the clotting factors in the blood called factor V. This mutation can increase your chance of developing abnormal blood clots (thrombophilia), usually in your veins. Most people with factor V Leiden (FAK-tur five LIDE-n) never develop abnormal clots. But some do develop clots that lead to long-term health problems or become life-threatening. Both men and women can have factor V Leiden. Women may have an increased tendency to develop blood clots during pregnancy or when taking the hormone estrogen. A family history of factor V Leiden increases your risk of inheriting the disorder. The disorder is most common in people who are white and of European descent. Most women with factor V Leiden have normal pregnancies. But the mutation has been linked with an increased risk of miscarriage and possibly other complications during pregnancy, including pregnancy-induced high blood pressure (preeclampsia), slow fetal growth and early separation of the placenta from the uterine wall (placental abruption). If you're a pregnant woman with factor V Leiden, be sure your doctor monitors you carefully throughout your pregnancy. Two types of tests can be done:
Activated protein C resistance test - Your blood sample may be tested to determine whether your blood is resistant to activated protein C, one of the anti-clotting proteins that help control factor V. This is known as an activated protein C (APC) resistance assay. If your blood is resistant to activated protein C, you likely have a mutation in the factor V gene.
Genetic test - A genetic test is done to determine whether you have a factor V gene mutation. It may also be used to confirm the results of the APC resistance test or to determine whether you've inherited one or two copies of the gene mutation. If you're taking blood-thinning medications (anticoagulants), you may have only the genetic test. Anticoagulants interfere with the activated protein C resistance test

Reference: www.mayoclinic.org



The proportion of your total blood volume that is composed of red blood cells. A hematocrit (Hct) test indicates whether you have too few or too many red blood cells — conditions that can occur as the result of certain diseases. Red blood cells, or erythrocytes, transport oxygen throughout your body.
A lower than normal hematocrit may indicate:
An insufficient supply of healthy red blood cells (anemia)
A large number of white blood cells — usually a very small portion of your blood — due to long-term illness, infection, leukemia, lymphoma or other disorders of white blood cells
Vitamin or mineral deficiencies
Recent or long-term blood loss
A higher than normal hematocrit may indicate:
A disorder, such as polycythemia vera, that causes your body to produce too many red blood cells
Lung or heart disease — if the body senses low oxygen levels, it will make more red blood cells in an effort to increase the amount of oxygen in the blood

Reference: www.mayoclinic.org

The substance in red blood cells that carries oxygen. The most common types of normal hemoglobin are:
Hemoglobin A. This is the most common type of hemoglobin found normally in adults. Some diseases, such as severe forms of thalassemia, may cause hemoglobin A levels to be low and hemoglobin F levels to be high.
Hemoglobin F (fetal hemoglobin). This type is normally found in fetuses and newborn babies. Hemoglobin F is replaced by hemoglobin A (adult hemoglobin) shortly after birth; only very small amounts of hemoglobin F are made after birth. Some diseases, such as sickle cell disease, aplastic anemia, and leukemia, have abnormal types of hemoglobin and higher amounts of hemoglobin F.
Hemoglobin A2. This is a normal type of hemoglobin found in small amounts in adults.
There are more than 350 types of abnormal hemoglobin. The most common are:
Hemoglobin S. This type of hemoglobin is present in sickle cell disease.
Hemoglobin C. This type of hemoglobin does not carry oxygen well.
Hemoglobin E. This type of hemoglobin is found in people of Southeast Asian descent.
Hemoglobin D. This type of hemoglobin is present in some sickle cell disorders.
Hemoglobin S and hemoglobin C are the most common types of abnormal hemoglobin. An abnormal amount of normal hemoglobin or an abnormal type of hemoglobin in the blood may mean that a disease is present. Abnormal hemoglobin types may be present without any other symptoms, may cause mild diseases that do not have symptoms, or cause diseases that can be life-threatening. For example, hemoglobin S is found in sickle cell disease, which is a serious abnormality of the blood and causes serious problems.  A low hemoglobin count is a commonly seen blood test result. Hemoglobin (Hb or Hgb) is a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen throughout the body. In many cases, a low hemoglobin count is only slightly lower than normal and doesn't affect how you feel. If it gets more severe and causes symptoms, your low hemoglobin count may indicate you have anemia. 

(also known as Australia antigen) is the surface antigen of the hepatitis B virus (HBV). It indicates current hepatitis B infection

Reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HBsAg





A type of White Blood Cell also known as lymph cells, lymphocysts, and lympholeukocytes.  They help provide a specific response to attack invading organisms and protect the body against tumors (they can also cause the rejection of tissues during organ transplants because they interpret these tissues as foreign invaders). There are many possible causes for an abnormally high lymphocyte count (known as lymphocytosis). Some basic causes of a high lymphocyte count are the flu and the chickenpox. Other causes of a high lymphoocyte level include tuberculosis, mumps, rubella, varicella, whooping cough, brucellosis, and herpes simplex. Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) cause increases in lymphocytes. Other conditions that can cause an abnormally high lymphocyte count include mononucleosis, hepatitis, toxoplasmosis, and cytomegalovirus. Certain medications can also lead to a high lymphocyte count. There are also many possible causes for an abnormally low lymphocyte count (known as lymphocytopenia). Since lymphocytes are made in the bone marrow, if not enough bone marrow is produced or the activity of the bone marrow decreases, an abnormally low lymphocyte count can occur. Bone marrow destruction occurs in aplastic anemia. People with AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) often have an abnormally low lymphocyte count. Tumors can cause an abnormally low lymphocyte count. Steroids can cause an abnormal decrease in the lymphocyte account. An overactive adrenal cortex can also cause an abnormal decrease in the lymphocyte count. Some disorders that affect the nerves in the body can cause the lymphocyte level to be too low. Examples are multiple sclerosis, myasthenia gravis, and Guillain-Barre syndrome. 


An erythrocyte that exceeds 9 μm in diameter on a peripheral blood film, associated with a MCV greater than 100 fL. Macrocytes are seen in liver disease, alcoholism, megaloblastic anemia with folate or cobalamin deficiency, and inmyelodysplastic syndromes.  When the MCV blood test has a HIGH number this means that the blood cells are too large and is called macrocytosis or Macrocytic Anemia. You doctor may suspect Vitamin B12 Deficiency. 

An unusually small red blood cell associated with iron deficiency anemia.  Microcytic anemia, also called Microcytosis, occurs when the MCV blood test number is lower than normal. What this means is that the average volume of the red blood cells is smaller than normal. Microcytosis is also a common occurrence on blood tests, especially in menstruating women, but this condition usually gets looked into by doctors. This is because one of the most dangerous reasons that microcytic anemia occurs is a 'sub clinical' slowly bleeding ulcer or other bleeding problem. Most often these slow bleeding conditions occur in the digestive tract and could be very dangerous if left untreated. But if you have a low MCV blood test and your doctor has determined that you are NOT bleeding then the other possibilities for a low MCV blood test result are:
Low intake of Vitamin B6
Heavy metal excess
Gastrointestinal Malabsorption Problems such as Gluten Sensitivity
Low Intake of Iron- common in vegetarians and vegans, or those with poor nutrition

A component of the CBC Blood Test that measures the number and the different types of cells in your blood. Specifically, it is actually a measure of the average volume of Red Blood Cells that are also called Erythrocytes. The word MCV stands for Mean Corpuscle Volume - as red blood cells are also sometimes referred to as corpuscles.
There are two possibilities for abnormal levels are:
Macrocytic Anemia: When the number is bigger than it should be, this means that the cell is LARGER than normal. This is a condition called Macrocytic Anemia or Macrocytosis. 
Microcytic Anemia: When the number is smaller than normal, the cell is too SMALL and this is a condition called Microcytic Anemia or Microcytosis.
While the term 'anemia' by itself is a well known condition that usually means too few red blood cells, low iron, or too little hemoglobin; microcytic and macrocytic anemia mean something different.

A type of White Blood Cell that helps other white blood cells to remove dead or damaged tissues, destroy cancer cells, and regulate immunity against foreign substances. Monocytes are produced in the bone marrow and then enter the bloodstream.  After a few hours they migrate to tissues such as the spleen, liver, lung, and bone marrow, where they mature into macrophages, the main scavenger cells of the immune system. An increased number of monocytes in the blood (monocytosis) occurs in response to chronic infections, in autoimmune disorders, in blood disorders, and in cancers.  When the monocyte level is too low, this is known as monocytopenia. Low monocyte counts can also be caused low levels of folic acid and vitamin B12. Because monocytes are produced in the bone marrow, any illness or chemical that affects the bone marrow can also cause a low monocyte count.  There are many health conditions that affect the bone marrow. One example is HIV (human immunodeficiency virus). Another example of a condition that can affect bone marrow is aplastic anemia and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Other examples include rheumatoid arthritis, tuberculosis, malaria, and Epstein-Barr virus. Medications can interfere with bone marrow and lower the monocyte count. When the monocyte level is too high, this is known as monocytosis. This can happen for several reasons such as stress, inflammation, a fever from a virus, severe infection, premature cell death in living tissue, diseases that result from abnormal activity of the immune system, and regeneration of red blood cells.  Other causes of high monocytes is sarcoidosis, Chronic granulomatous disease (CGD) and Cushing’s syndrome. 


A type of White Blood Cell (also occasionally known as neutrocytes) are the most abundant type of granulocytes and the most abundant (40% to 75%) type of white blood cells in most mammals. They form an essential part of the innate immune system. They are formed from stem cells in the bone marrow. They are short-lived and highly mobile, as they can enter parts of tissue where other cells/molecules wouldn't be able to enter otherwise. Neutrophils may be subdivided into segmented neutrophils and banded neutrophils (or bands). They form part of the polymorphonuclear cell family (PMNs) together with basophils and eosinophils. During the beginning phase of inflammation, particularly as a result of bacterial infection, environmental exposure, and some cancers, neutrophils are one of the first-responders of inflammatory cells to migrate towards the site of inflammation. They are the predominant cells in pus. Neutrophils are recruited to the site of injury within minutes following trauma, and are the hallmark of acute inflammation; however, due to some pathogens being indigestible, they can be unable to resolve certain infections without the assistance of other types of immune cell. Low neutrophil counts are termed neutropenia. This can be congenital (developed at or before birth) or it can develop later, as in the case of aplastic anemia or some kinds of leukemia. It can also be a side-effect of medication, most prominently chemotherapy. Neutropenia makes an individual highly susceptible to infections. It can also be the result of colonization by intracellular neutrophilic parasites. 


Osmotic fragility test 
Used to diagnose two hereditary conditions: thalassemia and hereditary spherocytosis.
Thalassemia causes your body to make an abnormal form of hemoglobin. If you have thalassemia, your red blood cells are more likely to be destroyed. This can lead to anemia.
Hereditary spherocytosis causes problems with the outer layer of your red blood cells, distorting their shape. This can also lead to anemia.

Reference: www.healthline.com


Pertussis (Whooping cough)
Pertussis, also known as whooping cough, is a respiratory infection caused by Bordetella pertussis bacteria. Pertussis usually begins with mild, cold-like symptoms which develop over one to two weeks into coughing fits which can be severe. The cough can often last for two to three months and because of this, pertussis is known as the ‘100 day cough’ in some countries. Who does it affect?
Pertussis most commonly affects infants. Very young infants are at highest risk of serious complications, of needing admission to hospital or of dying from pertussis. Pertussis does, however, also occur in older children, adolescents and adults. In all age groups, apart from children who have recently been vaccinated (those aged from four months to around nine years), the number of cases of pertussis in the UK has been high in recent years.

Pee on a Stick - when you are TTC and peeing on either an Ovulation or Pregnancy test





Tdap is a combination vaccine that protects against three bacterial diseases: tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (whooping cough).

Tetanus is a dangerous nerve ailment caused by the toxin of a common bacterium, Clostridium tetani.

It is believed that there is an association between inherited thrombophilias and first trimester pregnancy loss.

Trying to Concieve - I think this is meant to be an attempt to make us all feel like we belong to a gang or cult of young women all bonding over a similar struggle in our universe. You will be referred to as TTC by many doctors, nurses, websites and authors. It gets annoying, at least to me its annoying, but it is what it says on the tin...you are trying to conceive a baby and every night you are coxing your partner to bed with come impregnate me eyes, or every morning you wake up and pee on a stick in case this month is lucky, or every day you remember that your forgot to take your folic acid yesterday...throughout all of this you are TTC.

Trisomy 21
This is a medical term for "Down's Syndrome", please note this is not the only medical term, it can also be referred to by the karyotype 47,+21 (XX for females and XY for males) and probably others, but Trisomy 21 is the most common I have been told. It is caused by the failure of the 21st chromosome to separate during egg or sperm development. As a result, a sperm or egg cell is produced with an extra copy of chromosome 21; this cell thus has 24 chromosomes. When combined with a normal cell from the other parent, the baby has 47 chromosomes, with three copies of chromosome 21. Some embryos can, and will, go on to develop and may even be born, but they will essentially have Down's syndrome and your life will never be the same again. Either because your baby does not survive or because it does and your bundle of joy brings with it a set of complications that you didn't think were possible to even fathom...but you will, if that is want you want. I just want to add that nobody should judge anyones reaction or decision as to how to handle the news about Trisomy 21, there will always be tears and probably honest deep rooted questions about fate and fortune, but whether you decide to give birth to a baby with Trisomy 21, or not, or if that decision is taken away from you because your body takes control of the matter in hand (as was the case with me, I miscarried a baby girl at 11 weeks due to Trisomy 21), no one can, or should, judge you.

This can be done in two ways. In early pregnancy, or when they need to get an up close and more personal look at things up there, they can use a Vaginal Transducer. This is a dildo shaped camera thingy, which they cover with a condom and some KY and place inside you. It's not uncomfortable, just a bit weird the first time, but you'll be so excited about what you're seeing on the screen that you won't be too grossed out ("gross" hasn't even begun at this stage). The other approach is to use a hand-held transducer over your tummy (with some cool gel), this one also picks up the sound of the heartbeat!



A blood test for syphilis (VDRL stands for Venereal Disease Research Laboratory) that detects an antibody that is present in the bloodstream when a patient has syphilis.


White blood cells (WBCs)
Are also called leukocytes, are an important part of the immune system. These cells help fight infections by attacking bacteria, viruses, and germs that invade the body. White blood cells originate in the bone marrow, but circulate throughout the bloodstream. A WBC count is a test that measures the number of white blood cells in your body. This test is often included with a complete blood count (CBC). Your blood contains a percentage of each type of white blood cell. Sometimes, however, your white blood cell count can fall or rise out of the healthy range.
Leukopenia is the medical term used to describe a low WBC count. A low number can be triggered by:
autoimmune disorders
bone marrow disorders/damage
severe infections
liver and spleen diseases
radiation therapy
Leukocytosis is the medical term used to describe a high WBC count. This can be triggered by:
tumors in the bone marrow
inflammatory conditions, such as arthritis and bowel disease
tissue damage

Whooping Cough (Pertussis)
Pertussis, also known as whooping cough, is a respiratory infection caused by Bordetella pertussis bacteria. Pertussis usually begins with mild, cold-like symptoms which develop over one to two weeks into coughing fits which can be severe. The cough can often last for two to three months and because of this, pertussis is known as the ‘100 day cough’ in some countries. Who does it affect?
Pertussis most commonly affects infants. Very young infants are at highest risk of serious complications, of needing admission to hospital or of dying from pertussis. Pertussis does, however, also occur in older children, adolescents and adults. In all age groups, apart from children who have recently been vaccinated (those aged from four months to around nine years), the number of cases of pertussis in the UK has been high in recent years.




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