Glossary

  • Abnormal uterine bleeding — Bleeding that occurs between menstrual periods or excessive menstrual bleeding is considered to be abnormal uterine bleeding. Once a woman who is not taking hormone therapy enters menopause and the menstrual cycles have ended, any uterine bleeding is considered abnormal.

  • Anemia — Anemia is a condition in which you don't have enough healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen to your tissues.

  • Basal Body Temperature — Your basal body temperature (BBT) is your temperature when you're fully at rest. Ovulation may cause a slight increase in BBT. You'll be most fertile during the 2-3 days before your temperature rises. By tracking your BBT each day, you may be able to predict when you'll ovulate. In turn, this may help you determine when you're most likely to conceive.

  • Birth control — Birth control is the use of any practice, method, or device to prevent pregnancy from occurring in a sexually active woman. Also referred to as family planning, pregnancy prevention, fertility control, or contraception; birth control methods are designed either to prevent fertilization of an egg or implantation of a fertilized egg in the uterus.

  • Cervical dysplasia — Cervical dysplasia involves a sequence of cellular changes in the cervix from mild to severe that are not yet cancerous but constitute the prelude to cervical cancer.

  • Depression — An emotional state characterized by sadness, unhappiness, helplessness, hopelessness, dejection, futility, and worthlessness.

  • Endometriosis — Endometriosis is an often painful disorder in which tissue that normally lines the inside of your uterus — the endometrium — exists outside your uterus. Endometriosis most commonly involves your ovaries, bowel, or the tissue lining your pelvis. In rare cases, endometrial tissue may spread beyond your pelvic region.

  • Fibroids — Fibroids are noncancerous growths of the uterus that often appear during your childbearing years. Also called fibromyomas, leiomyomas, or myomas, uterine fibroids aren't associated with an increased risk of uterine cancer and almost never develop into cancer.

  • Gestational diabetes — Gestational diabetes develops during pregnancy (gestation). Like other types of diabetes, gestational diabetes affects how your cells use sugar (glucose) — your body's main fuel. Gestational diabetes causes high blood sugar that can affect your pregnancy and your baby's health.

  • Group B strep — Group B streptococcus (strep) is a common bacterium often carried in your intestines or lower genital tract. Group B strep is usually harmless in adults. In newborns, however, it can cause a serious illness known as Group B strep disease. A Group B strep screening test will be done during your third trimester. If you have Group B strep, antibiotic treatment during labor can protect your baby.

  • Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) — Hormone replacement therapy — medications containing female hormones to replace the ones the body no longer makes after menopause — is often used for women with hot flashes and other menopause symptoms.

  • Human papillomavirus (HPV) — Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a virus that can be passed from person to person through skin-to-skin contact. More than 100 types of HPV have been found. About 30 of these types infect the genital areas of men and women.

  • Hypertension in pregnancy (preeclampsia) — This is defined as high blood pressure and excess protein in the urine after 20 weeks of pregnancy in a woman who previously had normal blood pressure.

  • Menopause — Menopause is the permanent end of menstruation and fertility, defined as occurring 12 months after your last menstrual period.

  • Osteoporosis — Osteoporosis, which means "porous bones," causes bones to become weak and brittle — so brittle that a fall or even mild stresses like bending over or coughing can cause a fracture.

  • Ovarian cysts — Ovarian cysts are fluid-filled sacs or pockets within or on the surface of an ovary.

  • PCOS — Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common hormonal disorder among women of reproductive age. The name of the condition comes from the appearance of the ovaries in most women with the disorder — enlarged and containing numerous small cysts located along the outer edge of each ovary (polycystic appearance).

  • Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) — PID is a severe infection of the uterus and/or fallopian tubes that may lead to hospitalization, chronic pelvic pain, or infertility.

  • Postpartum depression — Many new mothers experience the baby blues after childbirth, which commonly include mood swings and crying spells and fade quickly. But some new mothers experience a more severe, long-lasting form of depression known as postpartum depression. In rare situations, an extreme form of postpartum depression known as postpartum psychosis develops after childbirth.

  • Preeclampsia — See hypertension in pregnancy.

  • Preterm labor — This is defined as labor that occurs prior to 37 weeks of gestation in pregnancy.

  • VBAC — Vaginal birth after cesarean.