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Obstetric and Gynecology Glossary

Note: Abstracts relating to the glossary terms can be viewed from the National Library of Medicine PubMed system. To view an abstract, click on the hypertext linked glossary term. To return to the glossary, use the "Back" button on your browser.


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A

Abortion: Termination of pregnancy before the 20th week of gestation, when the fetus weighs less than 500 grams.

Complete: Expulsion of entire product of conception.

Elective: Intentional abortion without specific medical indication.

Habitual or Recurrent: Three or more consecutive spontaneous abortions.

Incomplete: Incomplete expulsion, with some products of conception retained in uterus.

Threatened: Vaginal bleeding in the presence of closed cervix.


Abruptio placentae:  Separation of the normally located placenta from its uterine attachment between the 20th week of pregnancy and the birth of the infant. Occurs mainly in the third trimester.


Acromegaly: Over growth of the terminal parts of the skeletal system after epiphysial fusion, as a result of over production of growth hormone.


Adenomyosis: Presence of endometrial tissue within myometrium as a result of direct extension.


Adnexa: Uterine appendages, including the fallopian tubes, ovaries, and associated ligaments.


Adrenal hyperplasia: Congenital or acquired increase in the number of cells of the adrenal cortex, occurring bilaterally and resulting in excessive excretion of 17-ketosteroids with signs of virilization.


AI: Artificial insemination (AIH = homologous, AID = donor).


Amenorrhea: Absence or cessation of menstruation.

Post-pill: Lack of return of menstruation after discontinuing contraceptive pill.

Primary: Failure of the menarche to occur by the 16th year of life.

Psychogenic: Failure of menstruation resulting from emotional disturbances.

Secondary: Absence of menses for three or more months occurring after the menarche.


Amniocentesis: Aspiration of amniotic fluid, usually transabdominally, 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 (abdominal or inguinal) instead of ovaries, the absence of a uterus, and a male genotype.


Anemia, megaloblastic: Anemia with excessive megaloblasts in circulation, caused primarily by deficiency of folic acid, Vitamin B12 , or both.


Anorexia nervosa: Marked reduction in the intake of food, caused by psychogenic factors and leading to malnutrition and amenorrhea.


Anovulatory period: Uterine periodic bleeding without ovulation.


Antepartum: Before labor or delivery.


Anti-D gamma globulin: Immunoglobulin for prevention of Rh-sensitization.


Apgar score: The physical assessment of the newborn, usually at one and five minutes after birth.


Arrhenoblastoma: Uncommon ovarian neoplasm associated with androgen production, causing amenorrhea, defeminization, and virilization.


ART: Artificial reproductive technologies (including Artificial Insemination, Zygote IntraFallopian Transfer, Gamete IntraFallopian Transfer, In Vitro Fertilization-Egg Transfer, Egg Donation).


Ascites: An abnormal accumulation of fluid in the peritoneal cavity.


Atony, uterine: Loss of uterine muscular tonicity, which may result in failure of progress of labor or postpartum hemorrhage.



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B


Barr bodies: Sex chromatin masses on the nuclear membrane. The number of Barr bodies is one fewer than the number of X chromosomes in that cell.


Bartholin cyst: Cystic swelling of a Bartholin gland caused by obstruction of its duct.


Bartholin's glands: A pair of glands located at the 4 o'clock and 8 o'clock positions on the vulvovaginal rim. Homologues of bulborethral glands in males.


Basal body temperature: Temperature reading at rest used for detection of ovulation.


Basophilic adenoma: Benign tumor of the pituitary composed of basophilic cells.


BBT: Basal body temperature.


Benign cystic teratoma: The most common germ-cell tumor, consisting of mature elements of all three germ layers (often called dermoid cyst).


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


Blood flow, uteroplacental: The circulation by which the fetus exchanges nutrients and wast-products with the mother.


Breakthrough bleeding: Nonorganic endometrial bleeding during the use of oral contraceptives.


Breech:The buttocks (often refers to a fetal presentation).



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C


Cancer staging: Clinical or surgical evaluation to determine the extent of cancer.


Carcinoma in situ: A neoplasm in which the tumor cells are confined by the basement membrane to the epithelium of origin.


Cesarean section: Delivery of the fetus through an incision in the uterine wall.


Chiari-Frommel syndrome: A syndrome following pregnancy, consisting of persistent lactation, amenorrhea, low pituitary FSH, often elevated prolactin, and uterine atrophy.


Chloasma: Mask of pregnancy. Irregular brownish patches of varying sizes appearing on the face during pregnancy and sometimes during the use of oral contraceptives.


Chorioamnionitis: Inflammation of the fetal membranes.


Choriocarcinoma: A malignant tumor composed of sheets of cellular and syncytial trophoblast.


Chromophobe adenoma: Adenoma of the pituitary gland, consisting of cells that are neither acidophilic nor basophilic.


Climacteric: The syndrome of endocrine, somatic, and psychic changes occurring at the termination of the reproductive period in woman, or accompanying the normal diminution of sexual function in man.


Clomiphene: Synthetic nonsteroidal compound that stimulates the maturation of follicles, resulting in ovulation, as a result of its antiestrogenic effect on the hypothalamus.


Clomiphene citrate (Clomid, Serophene): An oral antiestrogen 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 the smear taken from the vaginal mucosa.


Colporrhaphy, anterior: Surgical procedure to repair a cystocele.


Colporrhaphy, posterior: Surgical procedure to repair a rectocele.


Colposcopy: Examination of the vagina and cervix by means of an instrument that provides low magnification.


Condylomata acuminatum: A benign cauliflower-like growth on the genitalia, thought to be caused by a virus.
see also


Cone biopsy: A cone of cervical tissue excised for pathologic examination.


Contraception: The means of preventing conception.

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


Corpus luteum: Yellow endocrine structure formed in the ovary at the site of a ruptured ovarian follicle.


Counseling, premarital: Advice given to a couple before marriage, dealing with medical, psychologic, sexual, and social matters.


Cryptomenorrhea: A condition in which the menses occur without external bleeding, as with an imperforate hymen.


Cul-de-sac: The pouch like cavity formed by a fold of peritoneum between the rectum anduterus.


Culdocentesis: Needle aspiration of intraperitoneal fluid or blood through a puncture of the posterior vaginal formix into the cul-de-sac.


Culdoscopy: Visual examination of the female pelvic viscera by means of an endoscope introduced into the pelvic cavity through the posterior vaginal fornix.


Curettage: Scraping of the interior of a cavity or other surface with a curette.

Fractional: Separate curettage of endometrium and endocervix for diagnostic evaluation. Specimens are submitted separately for pathologic examination.


Cushing's syndrome: A symptom complex caused by hypersecretion of glucocorticoids,mineralcorticoids, and sex hormones of adrenal cortex.


Cystocele: Protrusion of urinary bladder to create a downward bulging of the anterior vaginal wall, caused by a weakness of the pubocervical fascia.


Cystogram: Radiogram of the urinary bladder after the injection of a contrast medium.


Cystometry: Measurement of the function and capacity of the urinary bladder by means of pressure volume studies.


Cystoscopy: Direct instrumental inspection of the interior of the urinary bladder.



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D


Danazol: A synthetic testosterone derivative that prevents ovulation by inhibiting the mid-cycle surge of LH, used in the treatment of endometriosis.


Dermoid cyst: (See benign cystic teratoma).


Dilatation: Physiologic or instrumental opening of the cervix.


Double set-up: The simultaneous availability of two sterile set-ups for both vaginal and abdominal operations.


Dyschezia: Painful bowel movement.


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.



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E


Eclampsia: The convulsive form of pregnancy induced hypertension.


Ectropion: The growth of the columnar epithelium of the endocervix on to the ectocervix.


ED: Embryo donation.


Effacement: Taking up, or shortening, of the cervix.


Endometrial biopsy: The procedure of obtaining endometrial tissue for diagnostic purposes.


Endometriosis: The presence of endometrial implants outside the normal intrauterine location.


Endoscopy: Instrumental visualization of the interior of a hollow viscus.


Enterocele: Herniation of small intestine in to the cul-de-sac, usually accompanied by and sometimes confused with rectocele.


Episiotomy: Incision of the perineum to facilitate delivery and prevent laceration.


Estrogen replacement: Exogenous administration of estrogen or estrogenic substances employed to overcome a deficiency or absence of the natural hormone.


Estrogen, unopposed: Continuous and prolonged effect of estrogen on the endometrium resulting from a lack of progesterone.


ET: Embryo transfer.


Eversion: (See ectropion)


Exenteration, pelvic: Removal of all the pelvic viscera, including the urinary bladder, the rectum,or both.



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F


Fantasies, sexual: Ideas pertaining to sex, more or less conscious, usually involving wishful fulfillment.


Fern: The microscopic pattern of dried cervical mucus, resulting from the influence of estrogen.


Fibrocystic disease (breast): Mammary disease characterized by fibrosis and formation of cysts in the fibrous stroma.


Foreplay: The preliminary stages of sexual relation, in which the partners usually stimulate each other by kissing, touching, and caressing.


Frigidity: Sexual disinterest, unresponsiveness, or aversion. An imprecise term usually used in reference to women.


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.



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G


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


Gender role: An individual's understanding and feeling of the activity and behavior appropriate to his or her sex.


Gonadal agenesis: Congenital malformation with absence of ovarian tissue or its presence on lyasa rudimentary streak.


Gonadal dysgenesis: Congenitally defective development of the gonads.


Gonadotropins: FSH and LH.


Gonadotropin releasing hormone agonist (GnRHa): Medications which cause first stimulation of, the down regulation of pituitary gonadotropes resulting in low FSH and LH secretion.


Gonadotropin:

Human chorionic: A glycoprotein hormone that is produced by the synctiotrophoblast. It is immunologically similar to luteinizing hormone. Abbreviated as hCG.

Human menopausal: A preparation isolated from the urine of menopausal women that consists primarily of FSH with variable amounts of LH. Abbreviated as hMG.

Pituitary:  Gonad-stimulating anterior pituitary hormone (FSH and LH).


Granulosa cell tumor: A feminizing, estrogen-producing ovarian tumor.


Gravida: A pregnant woman.


Gravidity: The pregnant state, or the total number of pregnancies a woman has had including the current pregnancy.



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H


Hemoperitoneum: Blood in the peritoneal cavity.


Hermaphrodite: A person who exhibits a variance from chromosomal sex in one or more of the following criteria: (1) gonadal structure, (2) structure of the internal or external genitalia, (3) hormonal status, and (4) sex of rearing (gender role). A true hermaphrodite may exhibit any of the seanomalies but is characterized by the presence of both ovarian and testicular tissue.


Hilus cell tumor: An uncommon ovarian tumor usually associated with defeminization or virilization and having a low incidence of malignancy.


Hirsutism: The development in a woman of various degrees of hair growth of male type and distribution.


hMG (human menopausal gonadotropins):  Injectable LH andFSH (Pergonal, Metrodin, Humagon).


Hot flashes: A vasomotor symptom characterized by transient hot sensations that involve chiefly the upper part of the thorax, neck and head. They are frequently followed by sweats and are associated with cessation or diminution in ovarian secretion of estrogen.


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


Hydramnios: Excessive amounts of amniotic fluid (more than two liters at term).


Hyperplasia, endometrial:

Adenomatous :  Abnormal proliferation of the endometrium with a marked increasei n the number of glands with increased and often abnormal mitotic activity. These changes may be related to prolonged, unopposed estrogen stimulation. Adenomatoushyperplasia is sometimes a precursor of carcinoma of the endometrium.

Cystic glandular: Endometrial proliferation with dilated glands but very little nuclearatypia, seldom progressing to endometrial carcinoma.


Hyperthecosis (cortical hyperplasia, thecomatosis): Proliferation of the ovarian cortical stoma, usually in the postmenopausal state. May be associated with increased estrogen and androgen production.


Hypertonic intraamniotic saline or urea: Hypertonic saline (usually 20% solution) or ureainjected into the amniotic cavity by amniocentesis, which usually initiates the onset of labor with death of the fetus. Has been utilized as a means of inducing abortion in pregnancies of 15 to 20 weeks'gestation.


Hypoestrogenism: A condition of subnormal estrogen production with resultant atrophy or failure of development of estrogen-dependent tissues.


Hypofinbrinogenemia: A deficiency of circulating fibrinogen, usually below 100 mg percent. It maybe seen in conditions such as abruptio placentae, amniotic fluid embolism, fetal death, and occasionally intraamniotic instillation of hypertonic saline, in which the fibrinogen is consumed by disseminated intravascular coagulation.


Hypogonadism: Subnormal production of hormones by the gonads.


Hysterectomy:

Abdominal : Removal of the uterine corpus and cervix through an incision in the abdominal wall.

Radical: Removal of corpus, cervix, and parametrium, with dissection of the ureters,usually combined with pelvic lymphadenectomy.

Subtotal: Removal of the corpus, leaving the cervix in situ.

Total: Removal of the corpus and cervix (without regard to tubes or ovaries).

Vaginal: Removal of the uterus through the vagina.


Hysterosalpingography: Roentgenography of the uterus and tubes after injection of radiopaquecontrast medium through cervix. Useful in ascertaining irregularities of the uterine cavity and potency of the fallopian tubes.


Hysteroscopy: Transcervical endoscopic visualization of the endometrial cavity.


Hysterotomy: Surgical incision of the wall of the uterus.



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I


ICSI: Intracytoplasmic sperm injection.


Imperforate hymen: Failure of a lumen to develop at a point where the budding vagina arises from the urogenital sinus.


Impotence: Inability to achieve or sustain penile erection.


Incoordinate uterine activity: Lack of a synchronous contraction pattern from the fundus toward the cervix, resulting in effective labor.


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


Intermenstrual bleeding: Uterine bleeding occurring between otherwise regular menstural periods.


Intervillous space: The space the placenta in which maternal blood bathes chorionic villi, thus allowing exchange of materials between the fetal and maternal circulations.


Intraductal papilloma: Benign mammary tumor, commonly multiple, occurring predominantly inparous women at or shortly before the menopause. It is located typically beneath the areola and is often associated with bleeding from the nipple.


Intrauterine device (IUD): A mechanical device inserted into the uterine cavity for contraception.


Intromission: Introduction of the penis into the vagina.


IVF-ET: In vitro fertilization and embryo transfer.



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Karyotype: A photographic reproduction of the chromosomes of a cell in metaphase arrangedaccording to standard classification.



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L


Labor: The process of expulsion of the fetus from the uterus.

Induced: Labor that is initiated artificially.

Stimulated: Labor that is stimulated, usually with oxytocin.


Lactation: The production of milk through the actions of prolactin and other hormones on appropriately prepared breast tissue to create polyamines, case in, lactose and phospholipids.


Lactogen, human placental (chorionic somatomammotropin): A polypeptide hormone produced by the synctiotrophoblast. It bears similarity to prolactin and somatropin from the pituitary and is intimately involved in carbohydrate metabolism of the mother and fetus. Abbreviated as hPL orhCS.


Laparoscopy: Transabdominal endoscopic examination of the peritoneal cavity and its contentsafterinducing pneumoperitoneum.


Leiomyoma: A benign tumor derives from smooth muscle. Colloquially referred to as a fibroid.


Leiomyosarcoma: An uncommon malignant tumor of smooth muscle.


Leukoplakia: An imprecise clinical term usually referring to white lesions of the vulva.


Levator muscle: The muscular sheet, consisting of the iliococcygeus, pubococcygeus, andpuborectalis muscles, which forms most of the pelvic floor (pelvic diaphragm) and acts tosupportthe pelvic viscera.


Libido: Sexual desire or urge.


Lie: (See presentation).


Ligament, cardinal: Dense connective tissue that represents the union of the base of the broadligament to the supravaginal portion of the cervix and laterally to the sides of the pelvis. It isconsidered to be the primary support of the uterus.


Ligament, uterosacral: Peritoneal folds containing connective tissue, autonomic nerves, andinvoluntary muscle, arising on each side of the posterior wall of the uterus at about the level oftheinternal cervical os, and passing backward toward the rectum, around which they extend to theirinsertion on the sacral wall. Considered to play an important part in axial support of the uterus.


Ligation, tubal: Surgical interruption of the continuity of the fallopian tubes for the purpose of permanent contraception.


LMP: Last menstrual period.


LNMP: Last normal menstrual period.


LPD: Luteal phase defect (inadequacy) - the presence of endometrium inadequate to supportimplantation and growth.


Lupron: An injectable brand of GnRH agonist.



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M


Mastitis: Inflammation of the breast.


Masturbation: Sexual stimulation by manipulation of the genitals.


Maturation Index: The ratio of parabasal to intermediate to superficial vaginal epithelial cells,e.g.,0/20/80.


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


Membranes, premature rupture: Rupture of the amniotic membranes before the onset of labor.


Menarche: Onset of the menses.


Menopause: Permanent cessation of the menses, naturally caused by ovarian failure.


Menorrhagia (hypermenorrhea): Excessive or prolonged uterine bleeding in amount and duration of flow occurring at regular intervals.


Metaplasia: A reversible change in which one adult cell type is replaced by another cell type. Themost common type of epithelial metaplasia is the replacement of columnar cells by stratifiedepithelium (squamous metaplasia).


Metrorrhagia: Uterine bleeding occurring at times other than the expected menses; for example,intermenstrual bleeding; usually not excessive.


Micro/Macroadenoma of the pituitary secreting prolactin: Refers to tumors usually located in the lateral aspects of the pituitary which are surrounded by a pseudo capsule which contain secretorygranules of prolactin. Microadenomas are <1 CM, AND MACROADENOMAS ARE >1 cm. Hypotheses for their origin include reduced pituitary dopamine concentration and/or a vascular isolation of the adenoma cells.


Midpelvis: An imaginary plane that passes through the pelvis and is defined by three points: the inferior margin of the symphysis pubis and the tips of the ischial spines on either side. This plane usually includes the smallest dimensions of the pelvis.


Mosaicism: The presence in an individual of cells of differing chromosomal constitutions.


Mucus, cervical: The secretion of the cervical mucous glands; its quality and quantity areinfluencedby estrogen and progesterone. Estrogen makes it abundant and clear, with spinnbarkeit and afernpattern on drying. Progesterone makes it scant, opaque, and cellular without a fern pattern onmicroscopic examination.



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N


Neonatal: Referring to the first 28 days of life.


Normal: Menstrual bleeding every 24-32 days, lasting 3-7 days, average loss 30 cc, 80% bloodlossoccurs in first two days.



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O


Oligomenorrhea: Infrequent menstruation.


Orgasm: The climax of sexual excitement.


Osteoporosis: Atrophy of bone caused by demineralization.


Ovulation, induction of: Achievement of ovulation by medications.


Oxytocin: An octapeptide formed in the hypothalamus and stored in the posterior lobe of the pituitary. It has stimulant effects on the smooth muscle of the uterus and mammary glands.



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P


Papanicolaou smear: Cytologic smear of exfoliated cells (for example, from the cervix,endometrialcavity, or vagina) used in the early detection of cancer or the evaluation of the hormonal status of the patient.


Parity: The number of pregnancies of a particular woman in which the fetus has reachedviability.


Parlodel: Bromocriptine mesylate, dopamine agonist that inhibits prolactin secretion.


PCT: Post-coital test.


Pelvic floor: The floor or sling for the pelvic structures located at the level of the pelvic outlet. The most important structures are the levator ani muscle and the fascial sheaths.


Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID): An infection of the pelvic viscera, usually by ascending routes. The most frequent primary etiologic agent is Neisseria gonorrhea. Other important causative organisms include coliform bacilli and streptococci.


Pelvic inlet: An imaginary plane passing through the pelvis that represents the upper boundary of the true pelvis. It is bounded posteriorly by the promontory and also of the sacrum, laterally by the linea terminalis, and anteriorly by the horizontal rami of the pubic bones and the upper margin of the symphysis pubis.


Perinatal: Pertaining to the combination of fetal and neonatal periods, currently considered to begin after 20 weeks' gestation and to end 28 days after birth.


Perineorrhaphy: Plastic repair of the perineum.


Perineum: The pelvic floor and associated structures occupying the pelvic outlet.


Pessary: A device placed in the vagina to support the uterus.


Placenta previa: A condition in which the placenta is located in the lower portion of the uterus, extending to or covering part or all of the internal os.


PMP: Previous menstrual period.


Pneumoperitoneum: The presence of air in the peritoneal cavity.


Polycystic ovarian syndrome: (Stein-Leventhal syndrome) A syndrome of secondary oligomenorrhea and infertility, associated with multiple follicle cysts of the ovary and failure to ovulate.


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


Position: The relationship of a designated point on the presenting part of the fetus to the anterior, transverse, or posterior portion of the maternal pelvis. Example: occiput left anterior (OLA).


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 with the diagnosis made on the basis of hypertension with proteinuria, edema, or both. It occurs after the 20th week of pregnancy.


Pregnancy ectopic: A pregnancy outside the usual locations in the corpus uteri.


Prematurity: The condition of a fetus weighing between 1,000 and 2,499 grams.


Presentation: The relationship of the long axis of the fetus to the long axis of the mother. The presentation is either longitudinal (head or breech) or transverse.


Presenting part: The portion of the fetus that is felt through the cervix on vaginal examination. The presenting part determines the presentation.


Primigravida: A woman who is pregnant for the first time.


Prolactin: A product of the anterior pituitary 199 Amino acids with glycosylated and nonglycosylated forms. It possesses a myriad of effects, the most noticeable being lactation controlled by prolactin inhibiting factor.


Prolactin Inhibiting Factor: Inhibits the release of prolactin and is purported to be likely dopamine which is secreted by the tuberoinfundibular neurons.


Prolapse:

Cord: The condition in which the umbilical cord precedes the presenting part.

Uterine: Prolapse of the uterus, usually due to the loss of supporting structures. It is related to injuries of childbirth, advanced age, or congenital weakness.


Pseudocyesis: False pregnancy, in which some of the signs and symptoms of pregnancy a represental though no conception 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 onset of sexual development and menstrual bleeding before ten years of age.


Puerperium: The period of time after delivery in which the reproductive tract returns to its normal,nonpregnant condition.



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Q


Quickening: The first perception by the mother of fetal movement, usually around the 20th week of gestation.



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R


Rectocele: Protrusion of the rectum through the supporting structures of the posterior vaginal wall.


Reflux, tubal: Retrograde flow of uterine or tubal contents into the abdominal cavity.


Resection, tubal: Surgical removal of a segment of fallopian tube for the purpose of permanent contraception.


Rhogam: Ig6 directed against Rh positive antigens. Rhogam is indicated for an Rh negative infant, and an Rh negative mother who is not immunized to the Rh positive antigens.


Rhythm: Practice of contraception in which coitus is avoided when ovulation is likely.


Rubella: Acute exanthematous viral disease that may cause fetal malformation if contracted during the first trimester of pregnancy. German measles.



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S


Salpingectomy: Surgical removal of the fallopian tube.


Salpingo-oophorectomy: Surgical removal of a fallopian tube and ovary.


Schiller test: Application of a solution of iodine to the cervix. The iodine is taken up by the glycogen in normal vaginal epithelium, giving it a brown color. Areas lacking in glycogen are white or whitish-yellow, as in leukoplakia or cancer. Although non-staining areas are not diagnostic of cancer, they aid in choosing the spot to which a biopsy should be directed.


Secondary sexual characteristics: The physical and emotional changes in the pubertal girl before and after the menarche.


Semen analysis: Evaluation of the components of the semen, especially spermatozoa, as a means of evaluating male fertility.


Sexuality: Physiologic and psychologic expression of sexual behavior. The age periods of infancy,adolescence, adulthood, and the postclimacteric state each have their characteristic manifestations of sexuality.


Sims-Huhner test: A test for infertility in which cervical mucus is aspirated after coitus and examined for quality and presence or absence of infection. The motility, normality, and number of sperm are noted.


Skene's glands: Vestibular glands that open into and around the urethra.


Small for Gestational Age (SGA): A fetus whose size is smaller than expected for gestational age. Potential etiologies include inaccurate dates, fetal anomalies, intrauterine fetal growth retardation, etc.


Somatomammotropin, chorionic: Same as lactogen (human placental).


Sonography: A diagnostic aid in which high-frequency sound waves are used to detect the presence of normal and abnormal pregnancies and pelvic tumors. It is used also to locate the placenta and to measure the fetal biparietal diameter.


Spinnbarkeit: Ability of the cervical mucus to be drawn out into a thread, characteristically greater in the preovulatory and ovulatory phases of the menstrual cycle.


Station: Position of the fetal presenting part relative to the level of the ischial spines. Station +2 means the presenting part is 2 cm below the ischial spines. Station -1 means the presenting part is 1 cm above the ischial spines.


Sterility: Absolute inability to procreate.


Stress incontinence: Involuntary leakage of urine during increase in intra-abdominal pressure as aresult of a weakness of the supports of the internal vesical sphincter and bladder neck.


Striae gravidarum: Streaks or lines seen on the abdominal skin of the pregnant woman.


Superovulation: The use of ovulation induction agents to purposefully ovulate more than the usual single monthly oocyte.


Supine hypotensive syndrome: A hypotensive syndrome often characterized by sweating, nausea,and tachycardia. It occurs in some pregnant women in the supine position and is related to obstruction by the pregnant uterus of venous return.


Synarel: A GnRH agonist nasal spray.



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T


Teratogen: An agent or factor that causes the production of physical defects in the developing embryo.


Thecoma: Functioning ovarian tumor composed of theca cells.


Trimester: A period of three months. The period of gestation is divided into three units of three calendar months each. Some important obstetrical events may be conveniently categorized bytrimesters.


Trophoblast: The epithelium of the chorion, including the covering of the placental villi. It comprises a cellular layer (cytotrophoblast) and syncytium (synctiotrophoblast).


Tubercles, Montgomery's: The enlarged sebaceous glands of the areolae of the mammary glands during late pregnancy and lactation.



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U


Urethrocele: Protrusion of the urethra through the supporting structure of the anterior wall.



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V


Varicocele: Abnormal testicular vascular configuration associated with decreased sperm quality.


Vasectomy: Surgical interruption of the ductus (vas) deferens for permanent contraception.


Viability: The condition of a fetus weighing 500 grams or more.


Virilization: The development of masculine traits in the female.



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W


Withdrawal bleeding:  Uterine bleeding after the interruption of hormonal support of the endometrium.



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