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contraceptive cream

A water-soluble cream introduced into the vagina before intercourse to decrease the likelihood of conception. It is impregnated with spermicide. Like contraceptive foams, films, and gels, spermicide-laden contraceptive creams may cause transient vaginal ulceration or epithelial damage.


(kŏn-trăkt′) [L. contrahere, to draw together] 1. To draw together, reduce in size, or shorten. 2. To acquire through infection, as to contract a disease. 3. In psychology or psychiatry, the patient's commitment to attempt to alter behavior or to take a specific course of action. 4. An agreement consisting of one or more legally enforceable promises among two or more parties such as people, corporations, and partnerships. Four elements are in a contractual relationship: offer, acceptance, consideration, and breach. In health care, contracts are used to govern relationships, for example, between employees and employers, insurers and the insured, or health care providers and patients.


(kŏn-trăk′tīl) Able to contract or shorten.


(kŏn-trăk-tĭl′ĭ-tē) 1. Having the ability to contract or shorten. 2. In cardiac physiology, the force with which left ventricular ejection occurs. It is independent of the effects of preload or afterload.


(kŏn-trak′shŏn) [L. contractio, a drawing together] A shortening or tightening, as of a muscle; a shrinking or a reduction in size.

concentric muscle c. Contraction of a muscle in which the extended muscle is shortened. Pulling the body up by grasping a bar over the head is such a contraction.

eccentric muscle c. Lengthening of the muscle as it contracts against resistance. Lowering the body from a position in which the body was supported by the flexed arms, i.e., holding onto a bar above the head, is such a contraction.

interdigestive migrating c.s Migrating motor complex.

isometric c. A muscular contraction in which the muscle increases tension but does not change its length. SYN: static muscle c.

isotonic c. A muscular contraction in which the muscle maintains constant tension by changing its length during the action.

premature ventricular c. ABBR: PVC. Contraction of the cardiac ventricle before the normal time, caused by an electrical impulse to the ventricle arising from a site other than the sinoatrial node. The PVC may be a single event or may occur several times a minute or in pairs or strings. Three or more PVCs in a row constitute ventricular tachycardia.

static muscle c. Isometric contraction.

tetanic c. 1. Continuous muscular contraction. 2. A sudden, strong, sustained uterine contraction that jeopardizes maternal and fetal status. It may occur during oxytocin induction or stimulation of labor and can cause profound fetal distress, premature placental separation, or uterine rupture.


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