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Glossary

The following partial glossary is provided to help you understand a few subjects related to your care with one of our OB/GYN providers.

Cervix

The lower, narrow part of the uterus (womb) located between the bladder and the rectum. It forms a canal that opens into the vagina, which leads to the outside of the body.

Ectopic Pregnancy (Tubal Pregnancy)

A pregnancy that develops outside the uterus, usually in one of the fallopian tubes.

Endometriosis

A condition in which tissue resembling that of the endometrium grows outside the uterus, on or near the ovaries or fallopian tubes, or in other areas of the pelvic cavity.

Estrogen Replacement Therapy (ERT)

The use of the female hormone estrogen to replace what the body no longer produces naturally after medical or surgical menopause.

Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)

The use of the female hormones, estrogen and progestin (a synthetic form of progesterone), to replace those hormones the body no longer produces after menopause.

Hormones

Chemical substances created by the body that control numerous body functions.

Hysterectomy

Surgery that is performed to remove the uterus.

Hysterosalpingography

An X-ray examination of the uterus and fallopian tubes that uses dye and is often performed to rule out tubal obstruction.

Hysteroscopy

A visual examination of the canal of the cervix and the interior of the uterus using a viewing instrument (hysteroscope) inserted through the vagina.

Laparoscopy

The use of a viewing tube with a lens or camera (and a light on the end), which is inserted through a small incision in the abdomen to examine the contents of the abdomen and remove tissue samples.

Lymph Nodes (Lymph Glands)

Small organs located in the channels of the lymphatic system which store special cells to trap bacteria or cancer cells traveling through the body in lymph. Clusters of lymph nodes are found in the underarms, groin, neck, chest, and abdomen.

Menopause

The end of menstruation for a woman — commonly used to refer to the period ending the female reproductive phase of life.

Menorrhagia

The most common type of abnormal uterine bleeding (also called dysfunctional uterine bleeding) characterized by heavy and prolonged menstrual bleeding. In some cases, bleeding may be so severe and relentless that daily activities become interrupted.

Menstruation

A cyclical process of the endometrium shedding its lining, along with discharge from the cervix and vagina, from the vaginal opening. This process results from the mature egg cell (ovum) not being fertilized by a sperm cell as it travels from one of the ovaries down a fallopian tube to the uterus, in the process called ovulation.

Obstetrician/gynecologist (OB/GYN)

Physicians who specialize in general women's medical care, diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the female reproductive system and care of pregnant women.

Pap Test (Pap Smear)

A test that involves microscopic examination of cells collected from the cervix, used to detect changes that may be cancer or may lead to cancer, and to show noncancerous conditions, such as infection or inflammation.

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)

Inflammation of the pelvic organs caused by a type of bacteria.

Pelvic Lymph Node Dissection

Removal of some lymph nodes from the pelvis.

Perimenopause (Climacteric)

The transition period of time before menopause, marked by a decreased production of estrogen and progesterone, irregular menstrual periods, and transitory psychological changes.

Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)

A much more severe form of the collective symptoms known as premenstrual syndrome (PMS), premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is considered a severe and chronic medical condition that requires attention and treatment.

Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)

A group of physical and emotional symptoms that some women experience during their menstrual cycle. Although the symptoms usually cease with onset of the menstrual period, in some women, symptoms may last through and after their menstrual periods.

Total Hysterectomy

The removal of the uterus, including the cervix; the fallopian tubes and the ovaries remain.

Total Hysterectomy with Bilateral Salpingo-Oophorectomy

Surgery in which the entire uterus, fallopian tubes and the ovaries are surgically removed.

Vaginal Atrophy

Often a symptom of menopause; the drying and thinning of the tissues of the vagina and urethra. This can lead to dyspareunia (pain during sexual intercourse) as well as vaginitis, cystitis and urinary tract infections.

Vaginal Hysterectomy

The uterus is removed through the vaginal opening.

Vaginitis

Inflammation, redness, or swelling of the vaginal tissues; usually resulting from a bacterial infection.

Vaginitis — Atrophic

A form of noninfectious vaginitis which usually results from a decrease in hormones because of menopause, surgical removal of the ovaries, radiation therapy, or even after childbirth - particularly in breastfeeding women. Lack of estrogen dries and thins the vaginal tissue, and may also cause spotting.

Vaginitis — Bacterial

A very common vaginal infection characterized by symptoms such as increased vaginal discharge or itching, burning, or redness in the genital area.

Vaginitis — Noninfectious

A type of vaginitis that usually refers to vaginal irritation without an infection being present. Most often, the infection is caused by an allergic reaction to, or irritation from, vaginal sprays, douches, or spermicidal products. It may also be caused by sensitivity to perfumed soaps, detergents, or fabric softeners.

Vaginitis — Viral

A very common vaginal infection, often sexually transmitted, that is caused by one of many different types of viruses (i.e., herpes simplex virus, human papillomavirus).

For more information, please call (402) 815-1700 or request an appointment online.