Welcome to the Female health glossary. Your personal female health dictionary is now at your fingertips. We believe every female should be empowered to care for their health by having access to actionable knowledge. In this article, we will cover the simple definitions of the female health glossary in the given order
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P R S T V W Y
WOMEN’S HEALTH DICTIONARY
- Abscess: A confined pocket of pus that is collected in the tissues, organs, or other parts of the body.
- Adenomyosis: A condition in which bits of the tissue that lines the uterus (endometrium) exist within and grows into the uterine wall.
- Amenorrhoea: The absence of periods during the reproductive years.
- Amniotic sac: A fluid-filled sac that contains and protects the fetus in the womb.
- Amniotic fluid: The protective fluid contained inside the amniotic sac that supports fetus growth and nutrition transfer between the fetus and the mother.
- Androgens: A group of hormones traditionally referred to as ‘male’, but which people of all genders have. Testosterone is an example of an androgen hormone.
- Antibiotics: Medicines that are used to fight bacterial infections.
- Anus: The opening at the end of the digestive tract, where stool leaves the body.
- Anemia: Low number of red blood cells. In a routine blood test, anemia is reported as low hemoglobin or hematocrit.
- Anovulatory cycle: A menstrual cycle in which ovulation did not take place, and therefore no progesterone was produced by the corpus luteum.
- Atypical Hyperplasia: A non-cancerous condition where the cells in the breast increase in number and also develop an unusual change in shape.
- Bacterial Vaginosis: most common cause of vaginal infection for women of childbearing age. It frequently develops after sexual intercourse with a new partner, and it is rare for a woman to have it if she has never had sexual intercourse.
- Bartholin gland: Two small-sized alveolar glands that ate found one on each side of the vaginal opening.
- Bartholin’s cyst: A fluid-filled swelling found on the Bartholin gland.
- Barrier method: Methods of birth control that includes diaphragm, cervical cap, male condom, and female condom and spermicidal foam, sponges, and film
- Basal body weight (BBT): The lowest body temperature reached during rest. It is taken immediately after waking in the morning and because temperatures are higher after ovulation and throughout the second half of the cycle, it can be used to identify when ovulation has taken place.
- Benign tumor: An abnormal growth of cells that poses no threat.
- Biopsy: The process of taking a sample of cells from the body for examination.
- Birth control: A method used to prevent pregnancy.
- Bisexual: A sexual or romantic attraction towards more than one sex or gender.
- Bisphenol A (BPA): An endocrine disruptor that mimics oestrogen. It’s present in lots of goods, from water bottles and food containers to the thermal paper receipts and printed on, and it can cause breast cancer and other illnesses and abnormalities.
- Bladder: An organ found in the lower abdomen that stores urine.
- Calorie: A unit of measurement defined as the amount of heat needed to raise the temperature of one gram of water by one degree celsius.
- Cancer: A disease caused when cells divide uncontrollably and spread into surrounding tissues.
- Candidiasis: Candidiasis is a fungal infection caused by a yeast (a type of fungus) called Candida
- Cardiovascular Disease: A group of heart or blood vessel disorders that include high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, heart failure, and other heart diseases.
- Catheter: A soft hollow tube, passed into the bladder to drain urine.
- Celiac disease: An immune reaction to eating gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye.
- Cells: The basic building blocks of all living things. All humans are made up of trillions of cells.
- Cerclage: A treatment for cervical weakness which is also called cervical stitch. A variety of procedures use stitches or synthetic tape to reinforce the cervix during pregnancy in women with a history of a short cervix.
- Cervix: A cylindrically shaped tissue at the lowermost part of the uterus, that connects the vagina and the uterus.
- Cervical Cancer: A type of cancer that occurs in the cells of the lower part of the uterus that connects to the vagina.
- Cesarean section: C-section is the procedure of surgically delivering a baby through incisions in the abdomen and uterus.
- Chemotherapy: A type of cancer treatment procedure that uses one or more anti-cancer drugs as part of a standardized chemotherapy regimen.
- Chlamydia: A sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by a bacteria called chlamydia trachomatis.
- Colon: The longest part of the large intestine that removes water and some nutrients and electrolytes from partially digested food.
- Colon cancer: A type of cancer that is located at the digestive tract’s lower end.
- Colostrum: The first stage of breast milk. It develops during pregnancy and lasts for several days after giving birth.It can appear yellow and thick or clear and runny.
- Constipation: A condition when a person has difficulty emptying the large bowel
- Corpus luteum: Following ovulation, the follicle which contained the egg for that month collapses and forms the corpus luteum, a temporary gland that produces and secretes progesterone in the second half of the cycle.
- Cortisol: A hormone that’s produced by the adrenal glands which regulate a large number of processes in the body, including blood sugar levels and the immune response. It’s also released in the response to stress.
- Cystic fibrosis (CF): A dangerous disorder that damages the lungs and the digestive system which is mostly inherited. It affects the cells that produce mucus, sweat, and digestive juices and causes these fluids to be thick and sticky.
- Cystocele: A bulged condition of the bladder into the vagina. It can be caused as a result of childbirth, constipation, violent coughing, heavy lifting, or other pelvic muscle strain.
- Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT): A serious condition caused by blood clots in the veins located deep inside the body.
- Dental dam: A square, 6-inch piece of latex sheet placed over women’s genitals when receiving oral sex.
- Discharge: A fluid released by glands in the vagina and cervix. It’s the body’s way of cleaning and protecting the vagina.
- Diabetes Mellitus: A group of diseases that affects the blood sugar in your body.
- Diaphragm: It is a form of birth control, that prevents pregnancy by creating a barrier between a woman’s uterus and a man’s sperm. It is reusable, shaped like a dome, and fits over the opening of the cervix.
- Dyskaryosis: When your cervical screening test is HPV positive and shows abnormal changes in the cells of the cervix this is called ‘dyskaryosis’. Most abnormal results show minor cell changes. These are called borderline, mild, or low-grade dyskaryosis.
- Dyspareunia: A consistent pain in the genital area or within the pelvis during sexual intercourse.
- Ectopic Pregnancy: A condition when a fertilized egg grows outside a woman’s uterus, somewhere else in their belly
- Eczema: A term for several different types of skin swelling, also known as dermatitis. It usually develops in early childhood and is more common in people who have a family history of the condition.
- Egg: The ovaries contain the female gamete cell, called the oocyte. In non-medical terms, the oocyte is called the “egg”.
- Electrocautery: A surgical procedure that uses electricity to heat the body tissue.
- Endocrine disruptors: Chemicals in food, pesticides, personal care products, plastics, and solvents that interfere with how the endocrine system functions.
- Endocrine system: The hormone-producing glands in your body, such as your pituitary, hypothalamus, thyroid, adrenals, and ovaries.
- Endometrial Cancer: A type of cancer that begins in the lining of the uterus occurring in women after the age of 55.
- Endometrium: The inner lining of the uterus. In each menstrual cycle, it pumps up in preparation for potential implantation of the fertilized egg and is shed during menstruation if conception does not take place.
- Endometriosis: A painful disorder in which tissue similar to the tissue that normally lines the inside of your uterus — the endometrium — grows outside your uterus.
- Estrogen: A hormone that helps develop and maintain both the reproductive system and female characteristics, such as breasts and pubic hair.
- Fallopian Tubes: J-shaped tubes that connect the uterus to the ovaries.
- Fertility awareness method (FAM): Fertility awareness is a way to identify fertile and non-fertile times in the menstrual cycle, including the use of BBT charting, and can be used to avoid or achieve pregnancy.
- Fetal Growth Restriction: Also known as Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR), it is a condition in which the baby doesn’t grow to the expected size or weight during pregnancy.
- Fetus: An unborn offspring that develops from an embryo.
- Fibroid: Lumps and other noncancerous growths in the uterus developed during a woman’s bearing years.
- Fibroadenoma: A type of lump that develops in the breast mostly in young women.
- Follicle: A fluid-filled sac that contains an immature egg. During ovulation a mature egg is released from its follicle, the follicle then collapses and forms the corpus luteum.
- Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH): A hormone produced by the pituitary gland which stimulates the follicles in your ovaries, instructing them to grow and mature.
- Follicular phase: The first half of the menstrual cycle, beginning when a period starts and ending at ovulation, in which ovarian follicles grow and mature until one releases an egg at ovulation. During this phase, the lining of the uterus thickens in preparation for the implantation of the fertilized egg.
- Forceps: An instrument used in an assisted vaginal delivery is called forceps delivery. The instrument is shaped like a pair of large spoons or tongs. It is used to gently pull the baby’s head to help guide the baby out of the birth canal.
- Galactosemia: A rare genetic condition that prevents babies from processing galactose, an important sugar in breast milk.
- Genital Warts: A wart in the moist skin of the genitals or around the anus.
- Genital Herpes: A common sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by the herpes simplex virus and marked by genital pain and sores.
- Genitourinary Syndrome of Menopause: A term that describes the various menopausal symptoms and signs including genital symptoms, sexual symptoms, and urinary symptoms
- Gestational Diabetes: A high blood sugar condition that affects pregnant women. This condition can implicate a risk of type 2 diabetes, later on in life.
- Gestational Hypertension: A condition of high blood pressure in pregnancy.
- Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH): A hormone released by the hypothalamus gland which stimulates the pituitary gland to release FSH and LH
- Gonorrhea: A bacterial condition that can affect the anus, throat, or urethra.
- Herpes: a sexually transmitted infection (STI) that causes blisters and ulcers.
- HELLP Syndrome: A group of symptoms due to high blood pressure developed during pregnancy. It usually develops before the 37th week of pregnancy but can occur shortly after delivery. HELLP syndrome is a breakdown of Hemolysis(H), Liver enzymes (EL), Low platelet count (LP) occurring in pregnancy.
- Hemolysis: A breakdown of red blood cells.
- Hirsutism: Excess hair growth on the face and body, often caused by excess androgens.
- Hormone: chemicals secreted by special glands that essentially function as messengers of the body.
- Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV): Two species of lentivirus that infect humans and cause acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). This condition causes a progressive failure of the immune system leading to life-threatening infections and cancer situations.
- Human Papillomavirus (HPV): A very common sexually transmitted infection (STI) that causes warts in various parts of the body.
- Hypertension: Also known as High blood pressure, is a condition in which the force of the blood against the artery walls is too high.
- Hyperthyroidism: When the thyroid gland is overactive and produces too many thyroid hormones.
- Hypothalamic amenorrhoea (HA): When period stops because the hypothalamus gland stops or slows the production of GnRH
- Hypothyroidism: When the thyroid gland is underactive and doesn’t produce enough thyroid hormones.
- Hysterectomy: The surgical removal of the uterus. When the ovaries and cervix are also removed it is referred to as a total hysterectomy, but when the ovaries and cervix are not removed, it is called a partial hysterectomy.
- Hysteroscopy: A procedure that allows a doctor to look inside the uterus to diagnose or treat problems of the uterus. It involves transmitting the image of the uterus onto a screen.
- Hysterosalpingography: A procedure used to evaluate the shape of the uterus and to check if the fallopian tubes are open.
- Infertile: The inability to get pregnant despite having frequent, unprotected sex for at least a year for most couples
- Inflammation: part of the immune system’s response to heal an injury or fight an infection. It will be swollen, red, and warm to the touch.
- Inflammatory bowel disease: A group of intestinal disorders that cause prolonged inflammation of the digestive tract.
- Immune system: A network of cells and proteins that defends the body against infection.
- Insomnia: A sleeping disorder caused by poor sleeping habits, depression, anxiety, lack of exercise, chronic illness, or certain medication.
- Insulin: A hormone produced by beta cells of the pancreas, considered to be the main anabolic hormone of the body. It regulates the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, and protein by promoting the absorption of glucose from the blood into the liver, fat, and skeletal muscle cells.
- Intrauterine device (IUD): A device shaped like a T, slightly bigger than a quarter, that fits inside the uterus used for birth control.
- In Vitro Fertilization (IVF): A series of procedures involving retrieving eggs from a woman’s ovaries and fertilizing them with sperm. The fertilized egg, also known as an embryo can then be frozen for storage or transferred to a woman’s fetus.
- Jaydess coil: A T-shaped intrauterine delivery system (IUS) which after placement inside the womb slowly releases a small amount of the hormone levonorgestrel.
- Kegel: The practice of contracting and relaxing your pelvic floor muscles.
- Kick Count: A count of the baby’s kicks measured as the time taken to feel 10 movements. 10 kicks or less in one hour is considered as normal.
- kidney stones: A hard deposit of minerals and salt that sticks together in the kidneys causing pain comes out in concentrated urine.
- Labia Majora: A pair of skin folds that cover the labia minora, clitoris, vulva vestibule, vestibular bulbs, Bartholin’s glands, Skene’s glands, urethra, and the vaginal opening.
- Labia Minora: A pair of small skin folds that begin at the clitoris and extend downward. It forms the clitoral hood and the frenulum of the clitoris.
- Laparoscope: 0A slender, lighted telescope used to conduct laparoscopy.
- Laparoscopy: an operation performed in the abdomen or pelvis using small incisions with the aid of a laparoscope.
- Lesbian: A woman who has a romantic and/or sexual orientation toward women.
- Libido: Another word for sex drive or sexual desire for sexual activity.
- Lipid panel/Lipid profile test: a type of blood test used to measure the abnormalities in lipids, or in other words, the concentration of cholesterol and fats in our blood.
- Listeriosis: A serious infection caused by the germ Listeria monocytogenes, after eating contaminated food. The disease primarily affects pregnant women, newborns, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems.
- Low birth weight: A term used to describe an infant born weighing 5.5 pounds (2500 grams) or less. Low birth weight may occur when an infant is born too early
- Luteal phase: The second half of the cycle – from ovulation to the start of your period – which is typically 12-16 days in length.
- Lupus: An inflammatory disease caused when the immune system attacks its own tissues. It affects the joints, skin, kidneys, blood cells, brain, heart, and lungs.
- Luteinizing hormone (LH): A hormone produced by the pituitary gland. The acute rise of LH towards the end of the first half of the cycle triggers ovulation and the development of the corpus luteum.
- Lymph nodes: Glands of the immune system that enlarge as a response to bacterial or viral infections. Sudden swelling of these nodes can indicate cancer.
- Macrosomia: A term used to describe a newborn larger than the average size of 8 pounds, 13 ounces (4,000 grams), regardless of his or her gestational age.
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): An imaging technology that produces 3 dimensional, detailed anatomical images. It is used in radiology to form pictures of the anatomy and the physiological processes of the body.
- Mammography: A X-ray picture of the breasts that is used to look for early signs of breast cancer.
- Mastitis: An inflammation of breast tissue that sometimes involves an infection.Could be caused due to a blocked milk duct or bacteria entering the breast. It can cause breast pain, swelling, warmth, fever, and chills.
- Masturbation: Self procedure involving touching and rubbing parts of the body for sexual pleasure, such as the clitoris, vulva, breasts, and anus.
- Meconium: A newborn’s first poop, stool, or feces.
- Menarche: The first period you ever have.
- Menopause: The end of your menstruating years, officially reached one year after your last period.
- Menopausal hormone therapy (MHT): A form of hormone therapy used to treat symptoms associated with female menopause.
- Menstrual cycle: This starts on the first day of your period and ends when your next period begins.
- Menstruation: Your period. It is also called menses.
- Metabolism: A process by which your body converts what you eat and drink into energy.
- Microbiome: The community of microorganisms that populate your body, or a specific part of the body – such as the gut or vagina – and which carry out loads of body processes, including manufacturing hormones.
- Microbicide: Compounds that can be applied inside the vagina or rectum to protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs) including HIV.
- Minilaparotomy: A surgery done to the fallopian tubes by means of an incision less than 5 cm in length
- Miscarriage: An event that resulted in the loss of a fetus before 20 weeks of pregnancy.
- Multiple sclerosis (MS): A disease of the brain and central nervous system that can potentially lead to disabilities
- Myomectomy: A type of surgery used to remove uterine fibroids also called leiomyomas.
- Mycoplasma Genitalium: A sexually transmitted, small, and pathogenic bacterium that lives on the skin cells of the urinary and genital tracts in humans.
- Nabothian Follicles: A lump filled with mucus on the surface of the cervix or cervical canal.
- Nipple: The small tips of the breast from which milk can be secreted.
- Nonproliferative: A condition in which the retinal blood vessels get damaged and develop tiny leaks in diabetes. Blood and fluid can seep through the damage and a fatty material can deposit in the retina.
- Noradrenaline: A hormone that is released by the adrenal medulla and by the sympathetic nerves and functions as a neurotransmitter. It is also used as a drug to raise blood pressure.
- Nutrients: food substances that provide energy to help in building tissues.
- Obesity: A disorder involving excessive body fat that increases the risk of health problems.
- Oestrogen: The umbrella term for the three forms of oestrogen; oestradiol, oestrone, and oestriol. Oestrogen is responsible for the development and regulation of the female reproductive system, but it’s also present in males.
- Oestrogen detoxification: The ways that you metabolize (process) oestrogen.
- Osteoporosis: A condition in which bones become weak and brittle. This is because a new bone creation doesn’t keep up with old bone removal.
- Ovaries: A female glands in which the eggs form and the female hormones estrogen and progesterone are made.
- Ovulation: Occurs when an ovarian follicle releases a mature egg.
- Pap test: A Pap smear, also called a Pap test, is a routine screening procedure for cervical cancer.
- Pelvic Inflammatory Disease: An infection of one or more of the upper reproductive organs, including the uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries.
- Pelvic exam: A doctor’s visual and physical examination of a woman’s reproductive organs.
- Perineum: An area that protects the pelvic floor muscles and the blood vessels that supply the genitals and urinary tract.
- Perineal Tear: An injury caused to the tissue around your vagina and rectum that can happen during childbirth. It is also known as vaginal tear.
- Perimenopause: The period of time when hormone changes occur prior to your periods stopping which can result in symptoms such as hot flushes and insomnia.
- Phenylketonuria (PKU): A rare genetic condition that causes an amino acid called phenylalanine to build up in the body.
- Placenta: An organ that develops in the uterus during pregnancy. It provides oxygen and nutrients to the growing baby and removes waste products from the baby’s blood. The placenta attaches to the wall of the uterus, and the baby’s umbilical cord arises from it.
- Placental abruption: A condition where the placenta separates from the inner wall of the uterus before birth.
- Postpartum: The period of time which begins after giving birth and never ends.
- Polyps: Abnormal tissue growths that most often look like small, flat bumps or tiny mushroom-like stalks.
- Postpartum depression (PPD): A depression that occurs after childbirth. It might cause insomnia, loss of appetite, intense irritability, and difficulty bonding with the baby.
- Postpartum Hemorrhage: A condition of excessive bleeding after childbirth.
- Postpartum Sterilization: A sterilization procedure performed after the birth of a baby.
- Postmaturity Syndrome: Refers to a fetus whose weight gain in the uterus after the due date has stopped, usually due to a problem with delivery of blood to the fetus through the placenta, leading to malnourishment.
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS): A hormonal disorder causing enlarged ovaries with small cysts on the outer edges and can lead to irregular or prolonged menstrual periods
- Preconception health: A woman’s health before she becomes pregnant.
- Preeclampsia: A potentially dangerous pregnancy complication characterized by high blood pressure.
- Prenatal Care: A form of checkup from a doctor, nurse, or midwife throughout your pregnancy.
- Preterm birth: A term for babies born alive before 37 weeks of pregnancy is completed.
- Preterm labor: labor that starts before 37 weeks of pregnancy.
- Pregnenolone: A hormone made by the adrenal glands which is the precursor to several other hormones, such as cortisol, oestrogen, progesterone, and testosterone.
- Premenstruum: The week or two preceding menstruation.
- Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD): A very severe form of the PMS that causes mental and physical distress in the premenstruum and which is relieved within a few days of a period starting.
- Premenstrual syndrome (PMS): The physician and emotional symptoms that can occur in the premenstruum.
- Prolactin test (PRL): A test used to measure how much of a hormone called prolactin there is in the blood.
- Progesterone: The hormone made by the ovary after ovulation that is necessary in order to sustain a pregnancy.
- Progestin: A synthetic hormone that is similar to but not the same as progesterone.
- Primary ovarian insufficiency (POI): A condition that occurs when the ovaries stop functioning normally before age 40. It causes the ovaries to not produce normal amounts of the hormone estrogen or release eggs regularly. This condition often leads to infertility.
- Puberty: The beginning years of adolescence, and is complete when girls experience their first menstrual period.
- PCOS: Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder common among women of reproductive age.
- Radiation Therapy: A type of cancer treatment that uses beams of intense energy to kill cancer cells.
- Rectum: The last several inches of the large intestine closest to the anus.
- Resectoscope: A thin, tube-like instrument that has a light and a lens for viewing, used to remove tissue from inside the body.
- Screening Test: A preventative measure used to detect a potential health problem or disease in someone that doesn’t yet have signs or symptoms.
- Sexual Intercourse: A sexual activity typically involving the insertion and thrusting of the penis into the vagina for sexual pleasure, reproduction, or both.
- Sexual Orientation: A pattern of romantic or sexual attraction to persons of the opposite sex or gender, the same sex or gender, or to both sexes or more than one gender.
- Sexually transmitted infections (STIs): A term used to refer to a condition that’s passed from one person to another through sexual contact.
- Sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG): A protein that’s made by your liver that binds to excess hormones, such as oestrogen and testosterone.
- Sleep apnea: A sleeping disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts. It can be caused due to age and obesity.
- Sonohysterography: An application of medical ultrasonography to the female pelvic organs as well as the bladder, the adnexa, and the recto-uterine pouch. The procedure may lead to other medically relevant findings in the pelvis.
- Speculum: A medical tool used to investigate body orifices.
- Spermicides: A substance that destroys sperm and is inserted vaginally prior to intercourse to prevent pregnancy.
- Spontaneous Vaginal Delivery: Birth of the offspring through the vagina.
- Spina bifida: A type of neural tube defect (NTD) condition that affects the spine and is usually apparent at birth. It can happen anywhere along the spine if the neural tube does not close all the way.
- Stillbirth: The death or loss of a baby before or during delivery.
- Stretch mark: a type of scar that forms when the skin is pulled by rapid growth or stretching are known as stretch marks.
- Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS): The unexplained death, usually during sleep, of a seemingly healthy baby less than a year old. It is also known as crib death.
- Surgical abortion: A procedure that ends an undesired pregnancy by removing the fetus and placenta from the mother’s womb (uterus).
- Symptothermal method: A set of practices used to determine the fertile and infertile phases of a woman’s menstrual cycle.
- Systemic lupus erythematosus: An inflammatory disease caused when the immune system attacks its own tissues.
- Syphilis: A sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by a type of bacteria known as Treponema pallidum.
- Testosterone: A hormone known as androgen. It is produced in small amounts by the adrenal glands and the ovaries in females and is found in larger amounts in males.
- Thrush: A common infection caused by an overgrowth of the yeast Candida albicans which is naturally found in the bowel and in small numbers in the vagina.
- Thrombophilia: A condition that causes the blood to form clots easily. It increases the risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
- Thyroid: A butterfly-shaped gland in the neck that is part of the endocrine glands and makes hormones.
- Toxoplasmosis: An infection caused by a parasite called Toxoplasma gondii. This parasite can be found in cat feces and contaminated food.
- Tranexamic Acid: A medication used to treat or prevent excessive blood loss from major trauma, postpartum bleeding, surgery, tooth removal, nosebleeds, and heavy menstruation.
- Transvaginal ultrasound: A type of pelvic ultrasound used by doctors to examine female reproductive organs.
- Trimester: Conception to about the 12th week of pregnancy marks the first trimester. The second trimester is weeks 13 to 27, and the third trimester starts about 28 weeks and lasts until birth.
- Trichomonas Vaginalis: Trichomonas vaginalis, also known as trichomoniasis, is a curable sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by a parasite, Trichomonas vaginalis.
- Tuberculosis(TB): A contagious infection that usually attacks your lungs.
- Ultrasound: A medical test that uses high-frequency sound waves to capture live images from the inside of your body. It’s also known as sonography.
- Ultrasonography: A technique using echoes of ultrasound pulses to detect objects or areas of different densities in the body.
- Umbilical cord: A tube that connects the mum to the baby during pregnancy. It has one vein that carries food and oxygen from the placenta to the baby and two arteries that carry waste from the baby back to the placenta.
- Urethra: The tube through which urine leaves the body.
- Urinary tract infection: An infection in any part of the urinary system which includes the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra.
- Uterine contractions: Tightening of uterine muscle fibers that occur briefly and intermittently throughout pregnancy, and more regularly and forcefully during active labor.
- Uterine fibroids: Non-cancerous growths in the uterus that can develop during a woman’s childbearing years.
- Uterus: Area where a fetus (unborn baby) develops and grows. It is also called the womb.
- Vagina: The internal tube which connects your vulva to your cervix (neck of the uterus).
- Vaginal Atrophy: The thinning, drying, and inflammation of the vaginal walls caused due to the lack of estrogen.
- Vaginal Prolapse: A condition where the pelvic floor muscles and ligaments stretch and weaken and are no longer able to provide enough support for the uterus. As a result of this, the uterus slips down or protrudes out of the vagina.
- Vaginitis: An inflammation of the vagina that can result in discharge, itching, and pain.
- Vestibule: A smooth surface that begins just below the clitoris and ends at the posterior commissure of the labia minora. The vulva vestibule contains the opening to the urethra and the vaginal opening.
- Vulva: Your external genitals, including your clitoris and labia. In other words, all the bits you can see.
- Withdrawal bleed: The monthly bleeding produced when someone using hormonal birth control such as the pill experiences a drop (or withdrawal) of hormones when they take the placebo pills in their pack, causing their endometrium to shed.
- yeast infections: An infection caused by the fungus candida at the opening of the vagina (vulva)., and can cause inflammation, intense itchiness, and a thick, white discharge from the vagina.