lightening - descent of the uterus into the pelvic cavity

Discussion in 'French-English Vocabulary / Vocabulaire Français-Anglais' started by avelic, Nov 29, 2008.

  1. avelic Member

    I have this definition for lightening in obstetrics:

    - descent of the uterus into the pelvic cavity that occurs in late pregnancy. The fetus is said to have dropped-

    In French, I found for the same consequence: racourcissement du col de l'utérus.

    in the former one, the uterus is supposed to go down into the pelvic cavity while in the second one the col uterus is supposed to have shorten.

    Is that the same process? otherwise what would be the translation of the English phrase?
  2. archijacq Senior Member

    french France
    engagement du fœtus: Début de la descente du fœtus dans le bassin maternel, à la fin de la grossesse ou au cours de l'accouchement.

    On parle d'"effacement du col"

    éviter de traduire "descente de l'utérus" (il s'agirait d'un prolapsus)
  3. xtrasystole

    xtrasystole Senior Member

    Oui, archijacq a raison, c'est le foetus qui descend en fin de grossesse ("mobile foetal"), pas l'utérus.

    Je traduirais 'lightening' par 'engagement'.
  4. avelic Member

    Trés juste.
    Dans ce cas, le terme "racourcissement du col" en Français n'est pas adéquat? (effacement me paraît physiologiquement plus approprié).

    et dernière question : on parle bien de la même chose quand on parle de enlightement en anglais (UK)?
  5. avelic Member

    pardon, je voulais dire lightening!

    je viens juste d'avoir le message de Xstrazystole qui répond à ma question précédente.

    merci à vous deux!
  6. Moon Palace

    Moon Palace Senior Member

    I don't think lightening means engagement: lightening does not apply to the foetus (engagement du foetus), but to the uterus. I would then either choose archijacq's effacement du col or suggest dilatation du col.
  7. archijacq Senior Member

    french France
    il s'agit bien d'engagement.
    En anglais aussi:
    "Engagement is when the foetus descends down into the pelvic cavity. This is also known as dropping or lightening."
  8. Moon Palace

    Moon Palace Senior Member

    I have checked, and indeed engagement, dropping and lightening are synonymous in English. What misled me is that in French we usually talk about 'l'engagement du foetus' and about la dilatation / l'effacement du col. Of course, they refer to the same moment at the end of the pregnancy, but the viewpoint is not quite the same.
  9. avelic Member

    I don't quite agree with the equivalence of the two terms: effacement would be the shortening of the col or the cervix,while dilatation is right before and/or during the labour.

    Then engagement would refer to effacement, that can happen few weeks before delivery,while the dilatation of the col happens during the labour.
  10. Moon Palace

    Moon Palace Senior Member

    Dilatation does not always specifically occur during labour, it can occur a few weeks before labour starts, but it is true it is linked to late pregnancy, as early dilatation can be a cause of abortion.
    Effacement also exists in English.
  11. avelic Member

    For the Dilatation -if not right before the due date- the woman is supposed to rest in order not to get too dilated before the due date, while for Effacement, she can carry on her everyday activities.

    Dilatation also refers the enlarging of the cervix, after the cervix begins to efface (effacement).

    so lightening refers to effacement.

    Many thanks for your help!
  12. xtrasystole

    xtrasystole Senior Member

    In fact, 'lightening' has nothing to do with the cervix. As the name indicates, it refers to the "relieving of oppressiveness" felt by the pregnant woman in the upper abdominal region when the fetal head engages in the bony pelvis.
  13. avelic Member

    So? would you then translate it by Engagement? It would refer to the same physiological process, but I can't find anything in French that has the meaning of this feeling of relief the preggy gets once at this stage.

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