Birth Control Medications (Contraceptives) Glossary of Terms

The following are health and medical definitions of terms that appear in the Birth Control Medications (Contraceptives) article.

Abdomen: The belly, that part of the body that contains all of the structures between the...

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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 bas...

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Allergy: A misguided reaction to foreign substances by the immune system, the body system ...

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

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Arms: An appendage in anatomy and in clinical trials. See: Arm.

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 clot: A mass of coagulated blood. A blood clot can block a major blood vessel, causi...

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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 glucose: The main sugar that the body makes from the food in the diet. Glucose is ca...

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Blurred vision: Lack of sharpness of vision with, as a result, the inability to see fine d...

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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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Calf: The belly or fleshy hind part of the back of the leg below the knee. The calf is mad...

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

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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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Cervix: The cervix is the lower, narrow part of the uterus (womb). The uterus, a hollow, ...

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

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Constipation: Infrequent and frequently incomplete bowel movements. Constipation is the op...

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Deep vein thrombosis: A blood clot within a deep vein, typically in the thigh or leg. The ...

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

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Diabetes: Usually refers to diabetes mellitus or, less often, to diabetes insipidus. Diabe...

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Dry skin: Abnormally dry skin. Can be caused by a dry climate, winter weather, severe defi...

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Endometrium: The inner layer of the uterus.

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

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Estrogens: Female hormones produced by the ovaries. Estrogen deficiency can lead to osteop...

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Family history: The family structure and relationships within the family, including inform...

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

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Glucose: The simple sugar that is the chief source of energy. Glucose is found in the bloo...

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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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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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Hypertension: High blood pressure, defined as a repeatedly elevated blood pressure exceedi...

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Intrauterine: In the uterus.

Iron: An essential mineral. Iron is necessary for the transport of oxygen (via hemoglobin ...

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Jaundice: Yellow staining of the skin and sclerae (the whites of the eyes) by abnormally h...

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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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Liver: The largest solid organ in the body, situated in the upper part of the abdomen on t...

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Liver disease: Liver disease refers to any disorder of the liver. The liver is a large org...

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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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Menstruation: The periodic blood that flows as a discharge from the uterus. Also called me...

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

Muscle: Muscle is the tissue of the body which primarily functions as a source of power. T...

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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.

Onset: In medicine, the first appearance of the signs or symptoms of an illness as, for ex...

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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.

Pain: An unpleasant sensation that can range from mild, localized discomfort to agony. Pa...

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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.

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Regimen: A plan or a regulated course, such as a diet, exercise, or treatment, that is des...

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

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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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Surgery: The branch of medicine that employs operations in the treatment of disease or inj...

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Thigh: The thick, muscular portion of the leg that extends from the hip to the knee. The t...

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Thromboembolism: Formation in a blood vessel of a clot (thrombus) that breaks loose and is...

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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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Topical: Pertaining to a particular surface area. For example, a topical agent is applied ...

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

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Uterine cancer: A malignant tumor of the uterus (womb), which occurs most often in women b...

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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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Vagina: The muscular canal that extends from the cervix to the outside of the body. It is ...

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Vein: A blood vessel that carries blood that is low in oxygen content from the body back t...

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Vessel: A tube in the body that carries fluids. Examples of vessels are blood vessels and ...

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