Definition of dystocia in US English:



Veterinary Medicine Medicine
  • Difficult birth, typically caused by a large or awkwardly positioned fetus, by smallness of the maternal pelvis, or by failure of the uterus and cervix to contract and expand normally.

    • ‘Additional prospective studies are necessary to establish the usefulness of this diagnostic modality to predict dystocia, so it is not recommended at this time.’
    • ‘Mott's family started selecting sires for lower birth weights years ago, sacrificing some growth but reducing dystocia.’
    • ‘Her last child weighed 4.4 kg at birth and slight shoulder dystocia was noted at delivery.’
    • ‘Male calves resulting from these matings express a higher incidence of dystocia than heifer calves because male calves are gestated longer and have considerably larger birthweights.’
    • ‘In gestational diabetes, shoulder dystocia is the complication most anticipated at the time of delivery.’


Early 18th century: from Greek dustokia, from dus- ‘difficult’ + tokos ‘childbirth’.