Intermittent non-productive muscular contractions of the womb (uterus) during pregnancy, most commonly in the last two months before full term. These contractions are non-productive in the sense that they do not produce any flattening (effacement) or dilation (opening up) of the cervix.
It is often said that false contractions are for “practice,” for getting the woman ready for true labor, but this is pure speculation since there is no convincing evidence that these contractions aid in the delivery of the baby in any way.
An episode of false labor can surprise and concern a pregnant woman, especially when she experiences these contractions for the first time. But, by definition, these contractions are of limited duration and do not indicate the onset of active labor.
- False positive
False positive: A result that indicates that a given condition is present when it is not. An example of a false positive would be if a particular test designed to detect cancer returns a positive result but the person does not have ‘cancer.
- False negative
False negative: A result that appears negative when it should not. An example of a false negative would be if a particular test designed to detect cancer returns a negative result but the person actually does have cancer.
- False rib
False rib: One of the last five pairs of ribs. A rib is said to be false if it does not attach to the sternum (the breastbone). The upper three false ribs connect to the costal cartilages of the ribs just above them. The last two false ribs usually have no ventral attachment to anchor […]
- False vocal cord
False vocal cord: A fold of mucous membrane covering muscle in the larynx. The false vocal cord separates the ventricle of the larynx from the vestibule of the larynx. Also called the false vocal fold.
Familial: A condition that tends to occur more often in family members than is expected by chance alone. A familial disease may be genetic (such as cystic fibrosis) or environmental (such as chicken pox).