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Uterine Contraction: Contraction of the UTERINE MUSCLE.Myometrium: The smooth muscle coat of the uterus, which forms the main mass of the organ.Tocolytic Agents: Drugs that prevent preterm labor and immature birth by suppressing uterine contractions (TOCOLYSIS). Agents used to delay premature uterine activity include magnesium sulfate, beta-mimetics, oxytocin antagonists, calcium channel inhibitors, and adrenergic beta-receptor agonists. The use of intravenous alcohol as a tocolytic is now obsolete.Muscle Contraction: A process leading to shortening and/or development of tension in muscle tissue. Muscle contraction occurs by a sliding filament mechanism whereby actin filaments slide inward among the myosin filaments.Oxytocin: A nonapeptide hormone released from the neurohypophysis (PITUITARY GLAND, POSTERIOR). It differs from VASOPRESSIN by two amino acids at residues 3 and 8. Oxytocin acts on SMOOTH MUSCLE CELLS, such as causing UTERINE CONTRACTIONS and MILK EJECTION.Ritodrine: An adrenergic beta-2 agonist used to control PREMATURE LABOR.Uterus: The hollow thick-walled muscular organ in the female PELVIS. It consists of the fundus (the body) which is the site of EMBRYO IMPLANTATION and FETAL DEVELOPMENT. Beyond the isthmus at the perineal end of fundus, is CERVIX UTERI (the neck) opening into VAGINA. Beyond the isthmi at the upper abdominal end of fundus, are the FALLOPIAN TUBES.Abortifacient Agents: Chemical substances that interrupt pregnancy after implantation.Labor, Obstetric: The repetitive uterine contraction during childbirth which is associated with the progressive dilation of the uterine cervix (CERVIX UTERI). Successful labor results in the expulsion of the FETUS and PLACENTA. Obstetric labor can be spontaneous or induced (LABOR, INDUCED).Pregnancy: The status during which female mammals carry their developing young (EMBRYOS or FETUSES) in utero before birth, beginning from FERTILIZATION to BIRTH.Labor Stage, First: Period from the onset of true OBSTETRIC LABOR to the complete dilatation of the CERVIX UTERI.Coix: A plant genus of the family POACEAE. The seed is used in folk medicine (DRUGS, CHINESE HERBAL).Obstetric Labor, Premature: Onset of OBSTETRIC LABOR before term (TERM BIRTH) but usually after the FETUS has become viable. In humans, it occurs sometime during the 29th through 38th week of PREGNANCY. TOCOLYSIS inhibits premature labor and can prevent the BIRTH of premature infants (INFANT, PREMATURE).Uterine Monitoring: Measurement or recording of contraction activity of the uterine muscle. It is used to determine progress of LABOR, OBSTETRIC and assess status of pregnancy. It is also used in conjunction with FETAL MONITORING to determine fetal response to stress of maternal uterine contractions.Oxytocics: Drugs that stimulate contraction of the myometrium. They are used to induce LABOR, OBSTETRIC at term, to prevent or control postpartum or postabortion hemorrhage, and to assess fetal status in high risk pregnancies. They may also be used alone or with other drugs to induce abortions (ABORTIFACIENTS). Oxytocics used clinically include the neurohypophyseal hormone OXYTOCIN and certain prostaglandins and ergot alkaloids. (From AMA Drug Evaluations, 1994, p1157)Heart Rate, Fetal: The heart rate of the FETUS. The normal range at term is between 120 and 160 beats per minute.Receptors, Oxytocin: Cell surface proteins that bind oxytocin with high affinity and trigger intracellular changes which influence the behavior of cells. Oxytocin receptors in the uterus and the mammary glands mediate the hormone's stimulation of contraction and milk ejection. The presence of oxytocin and oxytocin receptors in neurons of the brain probably reflects an additional role as a neurotransmitter.Parturition: The process of giving birth to one or more offspring.Aroclors: Industrial chemicals which have become widespread environmental pollutants. Each aroclor is a mixture of chlorinated biphenyls (1200 series) or chlorinated terphenyls (5400 series) or a combination of both (4400 series).Lindane: An organochlorine insecticide that has been used as a pediculicide and a scabicide. It has been shown to cause cancer.Isometric Contraction: Muscular contractions characterized by increase in tension without change in length.Labor Onset: The beginning of true OBSTETRIC LABOR which is characterized by the cyclic uterine contractions of increasing frequency, duration, and strength causing CERVICAL DILATATION to begin (LABOR STAGE, FIRST ).Vasotocin: A nonapeptide that contains the ring of OXYTOCIN and the side chain of ARG-VASOPRESSIN with the latter determining the specific recognition of hormone receptors. Vasotocin is the non-mammalian vasopressin-like hormone or antidiuretic hormone regulating water and salt metabolism.Dinoprost: A naturally occurring prostaglandin that has oxytocic, luteolytic, and abortifacient activities. Due to its vasocontractile properties, the compound has a variety of other biological actions.Pregnancy Trimester, Third: The last third of a human PREGNANCY, from the beginning of the 29th through the 42nd completed week (197 to 294 days) of gestation.Pregnancy, Animal: The process of bearing developing young (EMBRYOS or FETUSES) in utero in non-human mammals, beginning from FERTILIZATION to BIRTH.Prostaglandins F: (9 alpha,11 alpha,13E,15S)-9,11,15-Trihydroxyprost-13-en-1-oic acid (PGF(1 alpha)); (5Z,9 alpha,11,alpha,13E,15S)-9,11,15-trihydroxyprosta-5,13-dien-1-oic acid (PGF(2 alpha)); (5Z,9 alpha,11 alpha,13E,15S,17Z)-9,11,15-trihydroxyprosta-5,13,17-trien-1-oic acid (PGF(3 alpha)). A family of prostaglandins that includes three of the six naturally occurring prostaglandins. All naturally occurring PGF have an alpha configuration at the 9-carbon position. They stimulate uterine and bronchial smooth muscle and are often used as oxytocics.Muscle, Smooth: Unstriated and unstriped muscle, one of the muscles of the internal organs, blood vessels, hair follicles, etc. Contractile elements are elongated, usually spindle-shaped cells with centrally located nuclei. Smooth muscle fibers are bound together into sheets or bundles by reticular fibers and frequently elastic nets are also abundant. (From Stedman, 25th ed)Labor, Induced: Artificially induced UTERINE CONTRACTION. Generally, LABOR, OBSTETRIC is induced with the intent to cause delivery of the fetus and termination of pregnancy.Myocardial Contraction: Contractile activity of the MYOCARDIUM.Rats, Sprague-Dawley: A strain of albino rat used widely for experimental purposes because of its calmness and ease of handling. It was developed by the Sprague-Dawley Animal Company.Cervix Uteri: The neck portion of the UTERUS between the lower isthmus and the VAGINA forming the cervical canal.Diltiazem: A benzothiazepine derivative with vasodilating action due to its antagonism of the actions of CALCIUM ion on membrane functions.Gestational Age: The age of the conceptus, beginning from the time of FERTILIZATION. In clinical obstetrics, the gestational age is often estimated as the time from the last day of the last MENSTRUATION which is about 2 weeks before OVULATION and fertilization.Extraembryonic Membranes: The thin layers of tissue that surround the developing embryo. There are four extra-embryonic membranes commonly found in VERTEBRATES, such as REPTILES; BIRDS; and MAMMALS. They are the YOLK SAC, the ALLANTOIS, the AMNION, and the CHORION. These membranes provide protection and means to transport nutrients and wastes.Cesarean Section: Extraction of the FETUS by means of abdominal HYSTEROTOMY.Nifedipine: A potent vasodilator agent with calcium antagonistic action. It is a useful anti-anginal agent that also lowers blood pressure.Mifepristone: A progestational and glucocorticoid hormone antagonist. Its inhibition of progesterone induces bleeding during the luteal phase and in early pregnancy by releasing endogenous prostaglandins from the endometrium or decidua. As a glucocorticoid receptor antagonist, the drug has been used to treat hypercortisolism in patients with nonpituitary CUSHING SYNDROME.Ultrasonography, Prenatal: The visualization of tissues during pregnancy through recording of the echoes of ultrasonic waves directed into the body. The procedure may be applied with reference to the mother or the fetus and with reference to organs or the detection of maternal or fetal disease.Dose-Response Relationship, Drug: The relationship between the dose of an administered drug and the response of the organism to the drug.Calcium: A basic element found in nearly all organized tissues. It is a member of the alkaline earth family of metals with the atomic symbol Ca, atomic number 20, and atomic weight 40. Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body and combines with phosphorus to form calcium phosphate in the bones and teeth. It is essential for the normal functioning of nerves and muscles and plays a role in blood coagulation (as factor IV) and in many enzymatic processes.Progesterone: The major progestational steroid that is secreted primarily by the CORPUS LUTEUM and the PLACENTA. Progesterone acts on the UTERUS, the MAMMARY GLANDS and the BRAIN. It is required in EMBRYO IMPLANTATION; PREGNANCY maintenance, and the development of mammary tissue for MILK production. Progesterone, converted from PREGNENOLONE, also serves as an intermediate in the biosynthesis of GONADAL STEROID HORMONES and adrenal CORTICOSTEROIDS.Prostaglandins: A group of compounds derived from unsaturated 20-carbon fatty acids, primarily arachidonic acid, via the cyclooxygenase pathway. They are extremely potent mediators of a diverse group of physiological processes.Estrus: The period in the ESTROUS CYCLE associated with maximum sexual receptivity and fertility in non-primate female mammals.Amniotic Fluid: A clear, yellowish liquid that envelopes the FETUS inside the sac of AMNION. In the first trimester, it is likely a transudate of maternal or fetal plasma. In the second trimester, amniotic fluid derives primarily from fetal lung and kidney. Cells or substances in this fluid can be removed for prenatal diagnostic tests (AMNIOCENTESIS).Pregnancy Trimester, Second: The middle third of a human PREGNANCY, from the beginning of the 15th through the 28th completed week (99 to 196 days) of gestation.Gap Junctions: Connections between cells which allow passage of small molecules and electric current. Gap junctions were first described anatomically as regions of close apposition between cells with a narrow (1-2 nm) gap between cell membranes. The variety in the properties of gap junctions is reflected in the number of CONNEXINS, the family of proteins which form the junctions.Albuterol: A short-acting beta-2 adrenergic agonist that is primarily used as a bronchodilator agent to treat ASTHMA. Albuterol is prepared as a racemic mixture of R(-) and S(+) stereoisomers. The stereospecific preparation of R(-) isomer of albuterol is referred to as levalbuterol.Ultrasonography, Doppler: Ultrasonography applying the Doppler effect, with frequency-shifted ultrasound reflections produced by moving targets (usually red blood cells) in the bloodstream along the ultrasound axis in direct proportion to the velocity of movement of the targets, to determine both direction and velocity of blood flow. (Stedman, 25th ed)Polychlorinated Biphenyls: Industrial products consisting of a mixture of chlorinated biphenyl congeners and isomers. These compounds are highly lipophilic and tend to accumulate in fat stores of animals. Many of these compounds are considered toxic and potential environmental pollutants.Rats, Inbred Strains: Genetically identical individuals developed from brother and sister matings which have been carried out for twenty or more generations or by parent x offspring matings carried out with certain restrictions. This also includes animals with a long history of closed colony breeding.Time Factors: Elements of limited time intervals, contributing to particular results or situations.Electric Stimulation: Use of electric potential or currents to elicit biological responses.Fetus: The unborn young of a viviparous mammal, in the postembryonic period, after the major structures have been outlined. In humans, the unborn young from the end of the eighth week after CONCEPTION until BIRTH, as distinguished from the earlier EMBRYO, MAMMALIAN.Muscle, Skeletal: A subtype of striated muscle, attached by TENDONS to the SKELETON. Skeletal muscles are innervated and their movement can be consciously controlled. They are also called voluntary muscles.Isotonic Contraction: Muscle contraction with negligible change in the force of contraction but shortening of the distance between the origin and insertion.Vasoconstriction: The physiological narrowing of BLOOD VESSELS by contraction of the VASCULAR SMOOTH MUSCLE.Ovariectomy: The surgical removal of one or both ovaries.Placenta: A highly vascularized mammalian fetal-maternal organ and major site of transport of oxygen, nutrients, and fetal waste products. It includes a fetal portion (CHORIONIC VILLI) derived from TROPHOBLASTS and a maternal portion (DECIDUA) derived from the uterine ENDOMETRIUM. The placenta produces an array of steroid, protein and peptide hormones (PLACENTAL HORMONES).Guinea Pigs: A common name used for the genus Cavia. The most common species is Cavia porcellus which is the domesticated guinea pig used for pets and biomedical research.