noun (plural conceptuses)technical
The embryo in the womb, especially during the early stages of pregnancy.
- In the pregnant cow, the conceptus (embryo and associated membranes) must inhibit the release of uterine PGF 2alpha so that the corpus luteum continues to secrete progesterone and pregnancy can be established.
- Thus, it is argued that pregnancy only comes within the law relating to abortion upon the implantation of the conceptus in the womb, not at the point of fertilization.
- It is estimated that between 60 and 80% of all conceptuses are lost early in gestation.
Mid 18th century: from Latin, 'conception, embryo', from concept- 'conceived', from the verb concipere.
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