Birth Definitions

Corpus Luteum Definition


Corpus luteum is a term used in the pregnancy and birthing industry to refer to a mass of yellowish tissue that forms in the ovary following ovulation. The corpus luteum secretes progesterone, which is essential for maintaining pregnancy. If pregnancy does not occur, the corpus luteum will degenerate and be reabsorbed by the ovary.

Corpus luteum cysts are a type of ovarian cyst that can occur during pregnancy. These cysts are usually benign and do not require treatment. However, in rare cases, corpus luteum cysts can rupture, which can lead to internal bleeding and pain.


Corpus luteum should not be confused with the corpus callosum, which is a structure in the brain. Corpus luteum should also not be confused with the placenta, which is an organ that develops during pregnancy to provide nutrition and oxygen to the fetus.

Other Related Terms

Some terms that are closely associated with corpus luteum include:

Ovulation: The release of an egg from the ovary.

Progesterone: A hormone that is essential for maintaining pregnancy.

Ovarian cyst: A fluid-filled sac that can develop in the ovary.

Miscarriage: The spontaneous loss of a pregnancy before the fetus is able to survive outside the womb.

Preterm labor: Labor that occurs before 37 weeks of pregnancy.

This image shows how often the term ‘Corpus Luteum’ is used in relation to other, similar birth terms:

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