Glossary of Terms

A,

B,

C,

D,

E,

F,

G,

H,

I, J, K,

L,

M,

N,

O,

P,

Q,

R,

S,

T,

U,

V,

W, X, Y, Z

A

Abortion:

The premature termination of pregnancy. It can be classified as complete, elective, habitual or recurrent, incomplete, or threatened.

 

Abruptio placentae:

Separation of the placenta from its uterine attachment between the 20th week of pregnancy and childbirth.

 

Acromegaly:

The result of an over production of the growth hormone, causing the over growth of the terminal parts of the skeletal system after epiphysial fusion.

 

Adenomyosis:

The result of direct extension which causes the presence of endometrial tissue within myometrium.

 

Adnexa:

Uterine appendages. These include the fallopian tubes, ovaries, and associated ligaments.

 

Adrenal hyperplasia:

An increase in the number of cells of the adrenal cortex. This occurs bilaterally and results in excessive excretion of ketosteroids with signs of virilization.

 

AI:

Artificial insemination

 

Amenorrhea:

Absence or ending of menstruation. Classified as post-pill, primary, psychogenic, or secondary.

 

Amniocentesis:

The removal of a sample of amniotic fluid for diagnostic or therapeutic purposes.

 

Amniotic fluid:

The fluid confined by the amnion.

 

Androgen Insensitivity:

A syndrome of androgen insensitivity characterized by primary amenorrhea, a female phenotype, testes instead of ovaries, the absence of a uterus, and a male genotype.

 

Anovulatory period:

Periodic uterine bleeding with no ovulation.

 

Antepartum:

Before labor or delivery.

 

Apgar score:

The physical assessment of the newborn that takes place at one and five minutes after birth.

 

Arrhenoblastoma:

Uncommon ovarian neoplasm that causes amenorrhea, defeminization, and virilization.

 

ART:

Artificial reproductive technologies which includes Artificial Insemination, Zygote IntraFallopian Transfer, Gamete IntraFallopian Transfer, In Vitro Fertilization-Egg Transfer and Egg Donation.

 

Ascites:

An abnormal accumulation of fluid in the peritoneal cavity.

 

Atony, uterine:

Loss of uterine muscular tonicity, which may cause the failure of progress of labor or postpartum hemorrhage.

B

Basal body temperature:

Temperature reading at rest which is used in the  detection of ovulation.

 

Benign cystic teratoma:

The most common germ-cell tumor which contains elements of all three germ layers.

 

Biphasic temperature curve:

A graph showing basal body temperature rise in the luteal phase of 0.4 to 1° F higher than that of follicular phase, indicating ovulation.

 

Blood flow, uteroplacental:

The circulation the fetus uses to exchange nutrients and waste-products with the mother.

 

Breakthrough bleeding: Non-organic endometrial bleeding that occurs while using oral contraceptives.

C

Cesarean section:

A method of delivering the fetus through an incision in the uterine wall.

 

Chiari-Frommel syndrome:

A syndrome following pregnancy, which causes persistent lactation, amenorrhea, low pituitary FSH, elevated prolactin, and uterine atrophy.

 

Chloasma:

Irregular brownish patches varying in size and appearing on the face during pregnancy and sometimes while using oral contraceptives.

 

Chorioamnionitis:

Inflammation of the fetal membranes.

 

Choriocarcinoma:

A malignant tumor consisting of sheets of cellular and syncytial trophoblast.

 

Climacteric:

The syndrome of endocrine, somatic, and psychic changes occurring at the termination of the reproductive period in woman.

 

Clomiphene:

Synthetic, non-steroidal compound that stimulates the maturation of follicles, causing ovulation.

 

Clomiphene citrate (Clomid, Serophene):

An oral anti-estrogen that initiates FSH and LH release from the pituitary.

 

Coitus interruptus:

Withdrawal of penis during coitus before ejaculation.

 

Colpocytogram:

Tabulation of various types of cells observed in a pap smear test.

 

Colposcopy:

Examination of the vagina and cervix by an instrument that provides magnification.

 

Condylomata acuminatum:

A benign cauliflower-like growth on the genitalia.

 

Cone biopsy:

A cone of cervical tissue removed for pathologic examination.

 

Contraception:

The means of preventing conception.

Hormonal: Contraception by means of estrogen, progestational agents or both.

 

Culdoscopy:

Visual examination of the female pelvic viscera by means of an endoscope.

D

Danazol:

A synthetic testosterone derivative that prevents ovulation.

 

Dilatation:

The opening of the cervix.

 

Double set-up:

The availability of two sterile set-ups for both vaginal and abdominal operations.

 

Dysgerminoma:

Solid germ-cell tumor of the ovary.

 

Dysmenorrhea:

Painful menstruation.

 

Dysontogenetic tumor:

Neoplasm caused by defective embryonal development.

 

Dyspareunia:

Difficult or painful intercourse.

 

Dystocia:

Abnormal or difficult labor.

 

Dysuria:

Painful urination.

E

Eclampsia:

A form of pregnancy-induced hypertension.

 

Effacement:

Taking up, or shortening, of the cervix.

 

Endometrial biopsy:

Using endometrial tissue for diagnostic purposes.

 

Endometriosis:

The presence of endometrial implants outside the intrauterine location.

 

Endoscopy:

Instrumental visualization of the interior of a hollow viscus.

 

Episiotomy:

Incision of the perineum to facilitate delivery and prevent laceration.

 

Estrogen replacement:

Exogenous administration of estrogen employed to fix a deficiency or absence of the natural hormone.

 

Exenteration, pelvic:

Removal of all the pelvic viscera

F

Fern:

The microscopic pattern of dried cervical mucus, resulting from the use of estrogen.

 

Frigidity:

Sexual disinterest, unresponsiveness, or aversion.

 

Functional ovarian cyst:

A physiologic cyst arising from the graafian follicle or the corpus luteum.

 

Functioning ovarian tumor:

Hormone-producing ovarian neoplasm.

 

Fundal dominance:

Uterine contractions that are strongest at the top of the uterus and weakest in the lower uterine segment.

G

Galactorrhea:

Spontaneous flow of breast milk in the absence of a recent pregnancy.

 

Gonadal dysgenesis:

Defective development of the gonads.

 

Granulosa cell tumor:

A feminizing, ovarian tumor that produces estrogen.

 

Gravida:

A pregnant woman.

 

Gravidity:

The pregnant state, or the total number of pregnancies a woman has had.

H

Hot flashes:

A symptom characterized by transient hot sensations. They are frequently followed by sweats and are associated with cessation.

 

Human menopausal:

A preparation isolated from the urine of menopausal women that consists primarily of Gonad-stimulating anterior pituitary hormone.

 

Hydatidiform mole:

A pathologic condition of pregnancy characterized by hydropic degeneration of the chorionic villi and variable degrees of trophoblastic proliferation.

 

Hypoestrogenism:

A condition of subnormal estrogen production, which causes a failure in the development of estrogen-dependent tissues.

 

Hypogonadism:

Subnormal production of hormones by the gonads.

 

Hysterectomy:

The removal of the uterine corpus and cervix

 

Hysteroscopy:

Endoscopic visualization of the endometrial cavity.

 

Hysterotomy:

Surgical incision of the wall of the uterus.

I

Impotence:

Inability to achieve or sustain penile erection.

 

Infertility:

Inability to achieve pregnancy within a reasonable period of time, often considered to be one year.

 

Intermenstrual bleeding:

Uterine bleeding occurring between regular menstrual periods.

 

Intervillous space:

The space the placenta in which the exchange of materials between the fetal and maternal circulations occurs.

 

Intrauterine device (IUD):

A mechanical device inserted into the uterine cavity for contraception.

 

Intromission:

Introduction of the penis into the vagina.

L

Labor:

The process of delivering a baby, which can be induced or stimulated.

 

Lactation:

The production of milk through the actions of prolactin and other hormones.

 

Leukoplakia:

White lesions of the vulva.

 

Libido:

Sexual desire or urge.

 

Ligament, cardinal:

The primary support of the uterus.

 

Ligation, tubal:

Surgical interruption of the continuity of the fallopian tubes which causes permanent contraception.

 

LMP:

Last menstrual period.

 

LNMP:

Last normal menstrual period.

M

Mastitis:

Swelling of the breast.

 

Masturbation:

Sexual stimulation by manipulation of the genitals.

 

Maturity:

The condition of a fetus weighing 2,500 grams or more.

 

Menopause:

Permanent cessation of the menses caused by ovarian failure.

 

Menorrhagia (hypermenorrhea):

Excessive uterine bleeding in amount and duration of flow occurring at regular intervals.

 

Metrorrhagia:

Uterine bleeding occurring at times other than the expected menstrual periods, which is usually not excessive.

 

Mucus, cervical:

The secretion of the cervical mucous glandswhich is influenced by estrogen and progesterone.

N

Neonatal:

The first 28 days of life.

 

Normal:

Menstrual bleeding every 24-32 days, lasting 3-7 days, 80% of blood loss occurs in first two days.

O

Oligomenorrhea:

Menstruation that is not frequent

 

Orgasm:

The peak of sexual excitement.

 

Ovulation, induction of:

Achievement of ovulation by the use of medications.

P

Papanicolaou smear:

Smear of exfoliated cells, which is used in the early detection of cancer or the evaluation of the hormonal status.

 

Parity:

The number of pregnancies of a particular woman in which the fetus is viable.

 

Pelvic floor:

The sling for the pelvic structures located at the level of the pelvic outlet.

 

Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID):

An infection of the pelvic viscera.

 

Perinatal:

The combination of fetal and neonatal periods, considered to begin after 20 weeks' gestation and to end 28 days after birth.

 

Perineum:

The pelvic floor and associated structures occupying the pelvic outlet.

 

Pessary:

A device placed in the vagina to support the uterus.

 

PMP:

Previous menstrual period.

 

Pneumoperitoneum:

Air is present in the peritoneal cavity.

 

Polymenorrhea:

Frequent but regular episodes of uterine bleeding, at  intervals of 21 days or less.

 

Postmenopausal bleeding:

Bleeding from the uterus, cervix, or vagina that occurs after the menopause.

 

Post partum:

After delivery, or childbirth.

 

Postpartum:

Occurring after delivery.

 

Preeclampsia:

A specific hypertensive disorder of pregnancy which occurs after the 20th week of pregnancy.

 

Pregnancy ectopic:

A pregnancy outside the usual locations in the corpus uteri.

 

Prematurity:

A baby that is born prior to 37 weeks of gestation.

 

Presentation:

The relationship of the long axis of the fetus to the long axis of the mother, which is classified as longitudinal or transverse.

 

Presenting part:

The portion of the fetus that is felt through the cervix on vaginal examination, and determines presentation.

 

Primigravida:

A woman who is pregnant for the first time.

 

Pseudocyesis:

The signs and symptoms of pregnancy occur, even though no contraception has taken place.

 

Puberty:

The period of time between the beginning of the development of secondary sexual characteristics and the completion of somatic growth.

 

Precocious:

The sexual development and menstrual bleeding before ten years of age.

 

Puerperium:

The time it takes the reproductive tract returns to its normal condition after delivery.

Q

Quickening:

The first time a mother can feel fetus movement, which is  usually around the 20th week of gestation.

R

Resection, tubal:

Surgical removal of a segment of fallopian causing permanent contraception.

 

Rhythm:

Practice of contraception which avoids periods in which ovulation is likely.

 

Rubella:

Viral disease that may cause fetal malformation if contracted during the first trimester of pregnancy.

S

Salpingectomy:

Surgical removal of the fallopian tube.

 

Salpingo-oophorectomy:

Surgical removal of a fallopian tube and ovary.

 

Secondary sexual characteristics:

The physical and emotional changes in the pubertal girl.

 

Sims-Huhner test:

A test for infertility in which cervical mucus is examined for quality and presence or absence of infection.

 

Small for Gestational Age (SGA):

A fetus whose size is smaller than expected for gestational age.

 

Sonography:

The use of high-frequency sound waves to detect the presence of normal and abnormal pregnancies and pelvic tumors.

 

Sterility:

Absolute inability to procreate.

 

Striae gravidarum:

Streaks or lines seen on the abdominal skin of a woman who is pregnant.

 

Superovulation:

The use of ovulation induction agents to purposefully ovulate more than the usual time of once per month.

 

Supine hypotensive syndrome:

A condition often characterized by sweating and nausea.

T

Teratogen:

A factor that causes physical defects in the developing embryo.

 

Trimester:

Three periods of three months used to identify the stages of pregnancy.

 

Tubercles, Montgomery's:

The enlarged sebaceous glands of the areolae of the mammary glands during late pregnancy and lactation.

U

Urethrocele:

Protrusion of the urethra through the anterior wall.

V

Varicocele:

Abnormal testicular vascular which causes decreased sperm quality.

 

Vasectomy:

Surgical interruption of the vas deferens for permanent contraception in men.

 

Virilization:

Masculine traits in the female.

W

Withdrawal bleeding:

Uterine bleeding following the interruption of hormonal support of the endometrium.