Adenomyosis: A condition in which the tissue that normally lines the uterus begins to grow in the muscle wall of the uterus.
Cervix: The lower, narrow end of the uterus at the top of the vagina.
Dilation and Curettage (D&C): A procedure in which the cervix is opened (dilated) and tissue is gently scraped (curettage) or suctioned from the inside of the uterus.
Ectopic Pregnancy: A pregnancy in which the fertilized egg begins to grow in a place other than inside the uterus, usually in one of the fallopian tubes.
Endometrial Ablation: A minor surgical procedure in which the lining of the uterus is destroyed to stop or reduce menstrual bleeding.
Endometrial Cancer: Cancer of the lining of the uterus.
Endometrial Biopsy: A procedure in which a small amount of the tissue lining the uterus is removed and examined under a microscope.
Endometriosis: A condition in which tissue that lines the uterus is found outside of the uterus, usually on the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and other pelvic structures.
Endometrium: The lining of the uterus.
Fibroids: Growths, usually benign, that form in the muscle of the uterus.
Gonadotropin-releasing Hormone (GnRH) Agonists: Medical therapy used to block the effects of certain hormones.
Hormone Therapy: Treatment in which estrogen and often progestin are taken to help relieve some of the symptoms caused by low levels of these hormones.
Hypothyroidism: A condition in which the thyroid gland makes too little thyroid hormone.
Hysterectomy: Removal of the uterus.
Hysteroscopy: A procedure in which a device called a hysteroscope is inserted into the uterus through the cervix to view the inside of the uterus or perform surgery.
Intrauterine Device (IUD): A small device that is inserted and left inside the uterus to prevent pregnancy.
Iron-Deficiency Anemia: Abnormally low levels of iron, which is the part of the red blood cells that carries oxygen to the cells and tissues of the body.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging: A method of viewing internal organs and structures by using a strong magnetic field and sound waves.
Menopause: The time in a woman’s life when menstruation stops; defined as the absence of menstrual periods for 1 year.
Menstrual Cycle: The monthly process of changes that occur to prepare a woman’s body for possible pregnancy. A menstrual cycle is defined from the first day of menstrual bleeding of one cycle to the first day of menstrual bleeding of the next cycle.
Miscarriage: Loss of a pregnancy that occurs in the first 13 weeks of pregnancy.
Myomectomy: Surgical removal of uterine fibroids only, leaving the uterus in place.
Nonsteroidal Antiinflammatory Drugs: A type of pain reliever that relieves pain by reducing inflammation. Many types are available over the counter.
Obstetrician–Gynecologist (Ob-Gyn): A physician with special skills, training, and education in women’s health.
Ovulation: The release of an egg from one of the ovaries.
Pelvic Exam: A physical examination of a woman’s reproductive organs.
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease: An infection of the uterus, fallopian tubes, and nearby pelvic structures.
Perimenopause: The period before menopause that usually extends from age 45 years to 55 years.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: A condition characterized by two of the following three features: the presence of growths called cysts on the ovaries, irregular menstrual periods, and an increase in the levels of certain hormones.
Polyps: Benign (noncancerous) growths that develop from tissue lining an organ, such as that lining the inside of the uterus.
Puberty: The stage of life when the reproductive organs become functional and secondary sex characteristics develop.
Sexually Transmitted Infections: Infections that are spread by sexual contact, including chlamydia, gonorrhea, human papillomavirus, herpes, syphilis, and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV, the cause of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome [AIDS]).
Sonohysterography: A procedure in which sterile fluid is injected into the uterus through the cervix while ultrasound images are taken of the inside of the uterus.
Sterilization: A permanent method of birth control.
Tranexamic Acid: A medication prescribed to treat or prevent heavy bleeding.
Ultrasound Exam: A test in which sound waves are used to examine internal structures. During pregnancy, it can be used to examine the fetus.
Uterine Artery Embolization (UAE): A procedure in which the blood vessels to the uterus are blocked. It is used to treat postpartum hemorrhage and other problems that cause uterine bleeding.
Uterus: A muscular organ located in the female pelvis that contains and nourishes the developing fetus during pregnancy.