Definition - What does Extrauterine mean?

Extrauterine is means that something is situated or occurs outside of the uterus. The word is usually used in conjunction with others such as extrauterine pregnancy or extrauterine life.

Normal pregnancies are intrauterine, and extrauterine pregnancies or ectopic pregnancies are considered nonviable.

FertilitySmarts explains Extrauterine

An ectopic pregnancy occurs when a fertilized egg implants itself and grows outside of the uterus. Sites of implantation vary from the ovary, cervix, abdominal cavity, but it most commonly occurs in the fallopian tubes.

Extrauterine pregnancies are harmful to both the developing fetus and the mother, and it can result in infertility. The major risk factor with these pregnancies is a rupture which can lead to internal bleeding, putting the lives of both the mother and the fetus at risk.

Extrauterine systems, known as artificial wombs, have been created with the intention of one day supporting the ongoing growth of preterm babies outside of the uterus.

In addition, the term can be used to describe the period of time after the birthing process where a baby must adapt to extrauterine life, as there are important changes that must occur. Both the circulatory and respiratory system are affected by the transition, and there are also different metabolic changes that occur.

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