Last Updat­ed on April 15, 2023 by vroom

Explore our exten­sive OBGYN glos­sary to bet­ter under­stand essen­tial terms relat­ed to wom­en’s health, preg­nan­cy, and repro­duc­tive care. Stay informed and empow­er your­self with knowl­edge.

Comprehensive OBGYN Glossary: Essential Terms for Women’s Health Meta

Amni­ot­ic Flu­idThe flu­id that sur­rounds and pro­tects the fetus in the uterus dur­ing preg­nan­cy.
Birth PlanA writ­ten doc­u­ment out­lin­ing a wom­an’s pref­er­ences for her labor, deliv­ery, and post­par­tum care.
Brax­ton Hicks Con­trac­tionsIrreg­u­lar, often pain­less con­trac­tions that may occur through­out preg­nan­cy but do not sig­ni­fy labor.
CervixThe nar­row, low­er part of the uterus that opens into the vagi­na.
Cesare­an Sec­tion (C‑Section)A sur­gi­cal pro­ce­dure to deliv­er a baby through an inci­sion in the moth­er’s abdomen and uterus.
Con­tra­cep­tionMeth­ods used to pre­vent preg­nan­cy, includ­ing hor­mon­al, bar­ri­er, intrauter­ine, and emer­gency meth­ods.
Dilata­tion and Curet­tage (D&C)A sur­gi­cal pro­ce­dure in which the cervix is dilat­ed and the uter­ine lin­ing is scraped or suc­tioned away.
Ectopic Preg­nan­cyA poten­tial­ly life-threat­en­ing preg­nan­cy that occurs when a fer­til­ized egg implants out­side the uterus.
EmbryoAn unborn baby from the time of fer­til­iza­tion until the end of the 8th week of preg­nan­cy.
Endometrio­sisA con­di­tion in which the tis­sue that nor­mal­ly lines the uterus grows out­side the uterus.
Epidur­alA form of region­al anes­the­sia used to block pain dur­ing labor and child­birth.
Fer­til­i­tyThe abil­i­ty to con­ceive and bear chil­dren.
Fer­til­i­ty Treat­mentsMed­ical pro­ce­dures and ther­a­pies used to help cou­ples achieve preg­nan­cy.
Fetal Dis­tressA term used to describe a con­cern­ing pat­tern of fetal heart rate or move­ment, sug­gest­ing the baby is unwell.
FetusAn unborn baby from the end of the 8th week of preg­nan­cy until birth.
Ges­ta­tion­al Dia­betesA type of dia­betes that devel­ops dur­ing preg­nan­cy and can affect both the moth­er and baby if not man­aged.
Hys­terec­to­myA sur­gi­cal pro­ce­dure to remove the uterus, and some­times oth­er repro­duc­tive organs.
In Vit­ro Fer­til­iza­tion (IVF)A fer­til­i­ty treat­ment where eggs are fer­til­ized with sperm out­side the body and the embryos are implant­ed.
MenopauseThe end of a wom­an’s men­stru­al cycles and fer­til­i­ty, usu­al­ly occur­ring in the late 40s or ear­ly 50s.
Men­stru­al CycleThe month­ly hor­mon­al process in women of repro­duc­tive age, includ­ing men­stru­a­tion, ovu­la­tion, and poten­tial preg­nan­cy.
OvaryOne of two small, almond-shaped organs that pro­duce eggs and hor­mones.
Ovu­la­tionThe release of a mature egg from the ovary, usu­al­ly occur­ring around the mid­dle of a wom­an’s men­stru­al cycle.
Pap Smear (Pap Test)A screen­ing test to detect abnor­mal cells on the cervix that may indi­cate infec­tion or pre­can­cer­ous changes.
Pla­cen­taThe tem­po­rary organ that devel­ops dur­ing preg­nan­cy to pro­vide oxy­gen, nutri­ents, and waste removal for the fetus.
Poly­cys­tic Ovary Syn­drome (PCOS)A hor­mon­al dis­or­der com­mon among women of repro­duc­tive age, char­ac­ter­ized by irreg­u­lar peri­ods and ovar­i­an cysts.
Post­par­tum Depres­sionA mood dis­or­der that affects some women after child­birth, char­ac­ter­ized by severe feel­ings of sad­ness and anx­i­ety.
Preeclamp­siaA preg­nan­cy com­pli­ca­tion char­ac­ter­ized by high blood pres­sure and organ dam­age, usu­al­ly after the 20th week of preg­nan­cy.
Pre­na­tal CareReg­u­lar health­care vis­its and screen­ings dur­ing preg­nan­cy to ensure the health and well-being of the moth­er and baby.
Preterm LaborLabor that begins before the 37th week of preg­nan­cy, which can result in pre­ma­ture birth and poten­tial health risks for the baby.
Prog­es­teroneA female hor­mone that plays a key role in reg­u­lat­ing the men­stru­al cycle and main­tain­ing preg­nan­cy.
Ultra­soundA non­in­va­sive imag­ing tech­nique that uses sound waves to cre­ate images of the inside of the body, often used dur­ing preg­nan­cy to mon­i­tor fetal devel­op­ment.
Umbil­i­cal CordA flex­i­ble, tube-like struc­ture that con­nects the fetus to the pla­cen­ta, pro­vid­ing oxy­gen, nutri­ents, and waste removal for the baby.
Uter­ine Pro­lapseA con­di­tion in which the uterus descends into or pro­trudes out of the vagi­na due to weak­ened pelvic floor mus­cles and lig­a­ments.
UterusA hol­low, mus­cu­lar organ in the female repro­duc­tive sys­tem where a fer­til­ized egg implants and grows into a fetus dur­ing preg­nan­cy.
Vagi­naThe mus­cu­lar, tubu­lar canal that extends from the cervix to the vul­va, serv­ing as the pas­sage­way for men­stru­al blood, inter­course, and child­birth.
Vul­vaThe exter­nal female gen­i­talia, includ­ing the mons pubis, labia majo­ra, labia mino­ra, cli­toris, and vagi­nal open­ing.
Yeast Infec­tionA com­mon vagi­nal infec­tion caused by an over­growth of yeast, char­ac­ter­ized by itch­ing, burn­ing, and a thick, white dis­charge.
ZygoteThe ini­tial cell formed when a sperm fer­til­izes an egg, rep­re­sent­ing the first stage in the devel­op­ment of a mul­ti­cel­lu­lar organ­ism.