Birth Control Hormonal Methods Glossary of Terms

The following are health and medical definitions of terms that appear in the Birth Control Hormonal Methods article.

Abnormal: Outside the expected norm, or uncharacteristic of a particular patient.

Acetate: A molecular ion derived from acetic acid. The formula of acetate is CH3COO-.

Acne: Localized skin inflammation as a result of overactivity of the oil glands at the ba...

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Anxiety: A feeling of apprehension and fear, characterized by physical symptoms such as pa...

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Benign: Not malignant. A benign tumor is one that does not invade surrounding tissue or sp...

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Birth control: Birth control is the use of any practices, methods, or devices to prevent p...

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Blood clots: Blood that has been converted from a liquid to a solid state. Also called a t...

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Blood pressure: The blood pressure is the pressure of the blood within the arteries. It is...

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Bone density: Bone density is the amount of bone tissue in a certain volume of bone. It ca...

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Breast cancer: Breast cancer is diagnosed with self- and physician-examination of the brea...

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Breastfeeding: Feeding a child human breast milk. According to the American Academy of Ped...

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Cancer: An abnormal growth of cells which tend to proliferate in an uncontrolled way and, ...

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: The US agency charged with tracking and invest...

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Cervical: Having to do with any kind of neck, including the neck on which the head is perc...

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Cervical cancer: Cancer of the entrance to the womb (uterus). The cervix is the lower, na...

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Cholesterol: The most common type of steroid in the body. Cholesterol has a reputation for...

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Clinical trials: Trials to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of medications or medical...

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Contrast: Short for "contrast media." Contrast media are X-ray dyes used to provide contra...

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Cysts: Cysts are abnormal, closed sac-like structures within a tissue that contain a liqui...

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Depression: An illness that involves the body, mood, and thoughts and that affects the way...

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Diabetes: Refers to diabetes mellitus or, less often, to diabetes insipidus. Diabetes mell...

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Ectopic: In the wrong place, out of place. For example, an ectopic kidney is a kidney that...

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Ectopic pregnancy: A pregnancy that is not in the uterus. The fertilized egg settles and g...

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Endocrinology: The study of the medical aspects of hormones, including diseases and condit...

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Endometriosis: The presence of tissue that normally grows inside the uterus (womb) in an ...

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Estrogen: A female steroid hormone that is produced by the ovaries and, in lesser amounts,...

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FDA: Food and Drug Administration.

Fertile: Able to conceive and bear offspring. Also known as fecund.

Fertility: The ability to conceive and bear children, the ability to become pregnant throu...

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Food and Drug Administration: An agency within the US Public Health Service that provides ...

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Gallbladder: A pear-shaped organ located below the liver that stores the bile secreted by ...

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Genetics: The scientific study of heredity. Genetics pertains to humans and all other orga...

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Gynecology: The branch of medicine that is particularly concerned with the health of the f...

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Headache: A pain in the head with the pain being above the eyes or the ears, behind the he...

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Heart: The muscle that pumps blood received from veins into arteries throughout the body. ...

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Heart attack: The death of heart muscle due to the loss of blood supply. The loss of bloo...

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Heart disease: Any disorder that affects the heart. Sometimes the term "heart disease" is ...

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High blood pressure: A repeatedly elevated blood pressure exceeding 140 over 90 mmHg. Chro...

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Hormone: A chemical substance produced in the body that controls and regulates the activit...

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Human papillomavirus: HPV. A family of over 100 viruses including those which cause warts ...

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Implant: 1. To embed; to set in firmly. In embryology, the fertilized egg implants ...

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Insertion: A chromosome abnormality that is due to insertion of a segment from one chromos...

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Lens: The transparent structure inside the eye that focuses light rays onto the retina.

Levonorgestrel: A progestin. Named levonorgestrel because it is the levorotatory form of n...

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Lipids: Another word for "fats." (Please see the various meanings of Fat.) Lipids can be m...

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Menstrual: Pertaining to menstruation (the menses), as in last menstrual period, menstrua...

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Menstrual cycle: The monthly cycle of changes in the ovaries and the lining of the uteru...

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Migraine: Usually, periodic attacks of headaches on one or both sides of the head. These ...

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Minipill: A form of oral contraceptive taken daily, like combined oral contraceptives (the...

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Mouth: 1. The upper opening of the digestive tract, beginning with the lips and con...

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Mucus: A thick fluid that is produced by the lining of some organs of the body.

Nausea: Stomach queasiness, the urge to vomit. Nausea can be brought on by many causes, in...

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Obesity: The state of being well above one's normal weight.

Obstetrics: The art and science of managing pregnancy, labor, and the puerperium (the time...

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Oral contraceptive: A birth control pill taken by mouth. Most oral contraceptives include...

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Ovarian: Of or pertaining to the ovary.

Overweight: The term "overweight" is used in two different ways. In one sense it is a way ...

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Ovulation: The release of the ripe egg (ovum) from the ovary. The egg is released when the...

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Ovulatory: Relating to ovulation, the release of the ovum (the egg) from the ovary.

Pap test: A screening test for cervical cancer that involves the microscopic examination o...

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Pelvic: Having to do with the pelvis, the lower part of the abdomen, located between the h...

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Pharmacy: A location where prescription medications are sold. A pharmacy is constantly sup...

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Pregnancy: The state of carrying a developing embryo or fetus within the female body. Thi...

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Pregnant: The state of carrying a developing fetus within the body.

Prescription: A physician's order for the preparation and administration of a drug or dev...

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Progesterone: A female hormone, the principal hormone that prepares the uterus to receive ...

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Progestin: Any one of a group of steroid hormones that have the effect of progesterone.

Serum: The clear liquid that can be separated from clotted blood. Serum differs from plas...

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Sperm: A sperm is the male "gamete" or sex cell. It combines with the female &qu...

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Stomach: The digestive organ that is located in the upper abdomen, under the ribs. The upp...

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Stroke: The sudden death of brain cells due to lack of oxygen, caused by blockage of blood...

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Thrombosis: The formation or presence of a blood clot in a blood vessel. The vessel may be...

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Tubes: The "tubes" are medically known as the Fallopian tubes. There are two Fallopian tub...

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Uterine lining: The inner layer of the uterus (womb); the cells that line the womb; anatom...

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Uterus: A hollow, pear-shaped organ that is located in a woman's lower abdomen, between th...

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Medical Dictionary