Glossary

female5.jpgAdhesion: Scar tissue present in the abdominal cavity, fallopian tubes or uterus that maycause fertility complications.

Amenorrhea: The complete absence of a menstrual cycle.

Cervix: The opening between the uterus and vagina that opens during labor to allowbirth.

Cilia: Tiny hairlike projections lining the fallopian tubes that direct the egg towardthe uterus.

Clitoris: The female sex organ that contains a large number of sensory nerves.

Dilation andCurettage: A surgical procedure where the cervix isintentionally dilated and the interior of the uterine cavity is scraped with acurettage (a surgical instrument) to remove growths or collect tissue samples.

Dysmenorrhea: Abnormally painful menstruation.

Embryo: An early stage of a developing fetus, before the parts are able to bedifferentiated.

Endometrium: The soft tissues lining the uterus, designed to nourish an embryo. When groupsof cells resembling the endometrium appear outside the uterus, it is acondition known as endometriosis.

Fallopian Tube: A duct through which the egg travels from the follicle to the uterus. This is acommon site of conception.

Fetus: An unborn baby after the embryo stage, when discernable parts develop.

Follicle: A fluid-filled sac where eggs are stored and then released when ready forfertilization.

Gamete: A reproductive cell (sperm in men, eggs in women).

Gestation: Pregnancy.

Gynecologist: A medical specialist dealing with women’s issues, particularly reproductive andurological disorders.

Hysterectomy: A surgical procedure involving removing the uterus, as well as other possiblereproductive organs, such as the fallopian tubes or ovaries.

Incontinence: The loss of ability to voluntarily control an organ.

Infertility: The inability to conceive, or the inability to bring a pregnancy to term.

Laparascopy: The examination of the abdominal cavity by use of a laparoscope, a thin, metal,telescope-like device.

Menorrhagia: An abnormally heavy or prolonged menstrual cycle.

Menstruation: The periodic expulsion of uterine lining through the vagina.

Myomectomy: A surgical procedure to remove cystic fibroids.

Obstetrician: A medical specialist whose focus is the care of pregnant women and deliveringbabies.

Oligomenorrhea: The condition of having infrequent menstrual cycles.

Ovaries: The two organs on both sides of the pelvis where eggs are produced.

Pap Smear: A routine gynecological screening that tests for potentially cancerousindications in the cervix.

Penis: The male sex organ.

Placenta: The tissue that provides nourishment and oxygen to the developing fetus.

Puberty: The point at which the body begins producing adult levels of hormones, causingmany bodily changes associated with sexual maturity.

Ultrasound: A process that uses sound waves to produce an image of organs inside a body, orto produce an image of a fetus.

Urethra: The tube connecting the bladder to outside the body that allows urine to beexpelled.

Uterus: The abdominal cavity that houses a fetus during pregnancy.

Vagina: The canal connecting the cervix to outside the body.

Vaginitis: A condition indicating yeast or bacterial infection of the vagina.

Zygote: A fertilized egg which has not yet divided - the stage of fetal development before the embryo.