• Hysterectomy refers only to the removal of the uterus (womb).

    Full Hysterectomy is when the cervis ix removed as well as the womb.

    Partial hysterectomy refers to removing the uterus and retaining the cervix in the body. It is also referred to as supracervical or subtotal hysterectomy.

    Hysterectomy and Bilateral Salpingooopherctomy refers to the removal of the uterus and both ovaries and both tubes.

    Hysterectomy and unilateral Salpingooopherctomy is the removal of the uterus, one tube and ovary.

  • Amenorrhoea – absence of periods - this can be down to a natural occurance, PCOS or drug induced by the pill, coil, injections.

  • Anaesthetic – a drug used to prevent pain during surgery or other procedure. A general anaesthetic makes the person unconscious. A local anaesthetic numbs the area where the surgery is to be performed.

  • Basal thermometer – a very accurate thermometer that measures a person’s temperature 2 decimal places. Also BBT Basal Body Temperature – useful for charting your menstural cycle for fertility planning (checking ovulation, most fertile time etc).

  • Curette – a medical instrument with a loop-shaped end used to remove small bits of tissue from the uterus.  This is used in a D&C (Dilation and Curettage) to remove some or all of the womb lining.

  • Dysmenorrhea – difficult or painful periods. Primary dysmenorrhoea - no underlying cause. Secondary dysmenorrhoea - has a cause - endometriosis, adenomyosis etc.

  • Endometrium – the lining of the uterus that builds up during the menstrual cycle in order to nourish a fertilized (egg) ovum; it is shed during (period) menstruation if fertilization (conception and pregnancy) doesn’t occur.

  • Fibroid – an abnormal but non-cancerous growth of the muscle of the uterus.

  • Hormones – chemical messengers that the body uses to send instructions from one part of the body to another. Examples FSH, LH Oestrogen, Thyroid, Progesterone

    Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) – supplements of the hormones which regulate the female reproductive system; these supplements may be taken during and after menopause to reduce the symptoms of menopause and the risk of some diseases such as osteoporosis.

  • Laparoscopy – surgery done through a very small incisions with the guidance of a telescope-like instrument called a laproscope.

  • Menopause – when a woman’s periods have ceased for more than 12 months in a row.

  • Pelvic examination – another name for a vaginal examination; includes a physical examination of the uterus, vagina and Fallopian tubes as well as a Pap (cervical)  smear and sometimes a test for infection.

  • Peri-menopause – the period of time before menopause when a woman may experience symptoms such as hot flashes or irritability due to hormonal changes.

  • Puberty – when a girl or a boy becomes sexually mature; for a girl, when her periods begin. Menarche is the term for the first period.

  • Speculum – an instrument that is used to hold the vagina open during a vaginal exam.

  • Vulvodynia is a chronic pain syndrome that affects the vulvar area and occurs without an identifiable cause. Symptoms typically include a feeling of burning or irritation. The exact cause is unknown but is believed to involve a number of factors, including genetics, immunology, and possibly diet.

  • Suppositories – medications designed to be inserted into the anus. Pessaries are inserted into the vagina. Some medications are described as vaginal suppositories.

  • Ultrasound – a scanning technique that allows a technician to view the inside of the uterus and other internal organs.

  • Vulva – a woman’s genital area including the labia, clitoris and vaginal opening. The vagina is the canal leading to the cervix.

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