linea nigra A black line in the midline of the abdomen that may run from the sternum or
umbilicus to the symphysis pubis.
lunar months A period of four weeks (28 days).
luteinizing hormone A hormone produced by the anterior pituitary that stimulates
ovulation and the development of the corpus luteum.
mask of pregnancy The brownish hyperpigmentation of the skin over the face and
forehead. Also referred to as chloasma.
meiosis The process of cell division that occurs in the maturation of sperm and ova
that decreases their number of chromosomes by one half.
menstruation The periodic discharge of blood, mucus, and epithelial cells from the
menopause The cessation of menstruation.
miscarriage Lay term for spontaneous abortion.
mons pubis The fatty, rounded area overlying the symphysis pubis and covered with
thick coarse hair.
Montgomery's glands Small nodules located around the nipples that enlarge during
pregnancy and lactation.
morning sickness Refers to nausea and vomiting usually in the morning during the
first weeks of pregnancy.
mucous plug A collection of thick mucous that blocks the cervical canal during
multifetal pregnancy Pregnancy involving two or more fetuses.
multigravida A woman who has been pregnant more than once.
multipara A woman who has delivered two or more fetuses past the age of viability.
myometrium The muscle component of the wall of the uterus.
non-stress test (NST) A test to evaluate the ability of the placenta to supply fetal
needs in a normal daily uterine movement.