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In this eleventh english corner, you will find a contribution dealing with gynecology. We would like to remind you that our aim is not to teach medicine but to familiarize readers with medical english as used by professionals and patients.


Dr. Phelps: So, Mrs. Pitt – when is your baby due?

Mrs. Pitt: In about 6 weeks doctor.

Dr. Phelps: Right – and up until now everything has been normal, you’ve had regular consultations with your Ob-Gyn about your pregnancy.

Mrs. Pitt: Yes, no problems – a bit of morning sickness at the beginning, but nothing else. All of the US scans were normal.

Dr. Phelps: OK, so can you tell me what happened?

Mrs. Pitt: Well, I’ve put on about 20 pounds even though I haven’t changed my diet or anything and I started to swell – my legs, fingers and eyelids are bloated, look!

Dr. Phelps: Yes, I can see that – and when I press on your skin, the depression stays longer than it should. It’s called pitting and means that you’re suffering from water retention. Tell me do you pass water as often as usual?

Mrs. Pitt: Now that you mention it, no. I haven’t been since last night.

Dr. Phelps: Have you noticed anything else over the last couple of days?

Mrs. Pitt: Yes, I haven’t been feeling at all well – I feel very tired and a bit sick and I’ve been getting headaches. And another thing – there’s something wrong with my eyes - I’m seeing spots, and I can hear a sort of ringing in my ears.

Dr. Phelps: Right, if you can just sit down on the examination table and I’ll check you out. Well, your blood pressure’s 160 over 120, which is rather high. It should normally be about 140 over 90. I’ll just test your reflexes – hmm – a bit sharp. Your lungs are clear, no crackles, which is good. It means that there’s no water there. Could you lie down and put your feet in the stirrups? OK – your cervix is still closed – so that’s fine and your womb is supple – no contractions – good. The fetal heart rate is normal. Can you feel the baby move as usual?

Mrs. Pitt: Actually, not as much as usual since yesterday morning.

Dr. Phelps: Right, Mrs. Pitt, can you give me a urine sample, do you think?

Mrs. Pitt: I’ll try – I don’t really feel the need to go, but I’ll try. Here you are, Doctor.

Dr. Phelps: Good, I’ll just check it with the dipstick - There’s a lot of protein there. Right, Mrs. Pitt, it seems you have a condition called pre-eclampsia. It can be dangerous for you and your baby, so I’m afraid we’ll have to keep you in hospital to monitor you both. Your baby is not really mature enough yet so we’ll try to maintain the pregnancy for at least another 3 weeks.


Exercise. Find in the text a word or expression (in bold) equivalent to the words or expressions below:

1. expected
2. so far
3. obstetrician – gynecologist
4. being with child
5. morning nausea
6. ultrasound scan
7. gain (weight)
8. half a kilo
9. get bigger
10. flap of skin covering the eye
11. distended
12. persistent depression
13. urinate
14. see dark patches/ floaters
15. buzzing sound/ tinnitus
16. brisk
17. not obstructed
18. rale/crepitation
19. foot support
20. neck of the uterus
21. uterus
22. pulse
23. small quantity of urine to be tested
24. test strip


1. attendu
2. jusqu’à présent
3. gynéco
4. grossesse
5. nausées matinales
6. échographie
7. prendre (du poids)
8. livre
9. gonfler
10. paupière
11. enflé, gonflé
12. signe du godet
13. faire pipi
14. voir des taches noires
15. bourdonnements d’oreille / acouphènes
16. vif
17. pas dégagés
18. crépitants
19. étrier
20. col de l’utérus
21. utérus
22. fréquence cardiaque
23. échantillon d’urine
24. bandelette urinaire


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