Puberty Glossary of Terms

The following are health and medical definitions of terms that appear in the Puberty article.

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

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

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Anemia: The condition of having a lower-than-normal number of red blood cells or quantity ...

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Anterior: The front, as opposed to the posterior. The anterior surface of the heart is tow...

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Anterior cruciate ligament: A ligament in the knee that crosses from the underside of the ...

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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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Bilateral: Affecting both sides. For example, bilateral arthritis affects joints on both t...

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Body odor: An unpleasant smell produced after perspiration. Body odor occurs when sweat c...

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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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Brain: The portion of the central nervous system that is located within the skull. It func...

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Calcification: The process of suffusing tissues with calcium salts.

Calcium: A mineral found mainly in the hard part of bones, where it is stored. Calcium is ...

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Cardiovascular: Relating to the circulatory system, which comprises the heart and blood ve...

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

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Chest: The area of the body located between the neck and the abdomen. The chest contains t...

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Chlamydia: The agent of a sexually transmitted disease, a type of bacteria found in the ce...

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Cognitive: Having to do with thought, judgment, or knowledge.

Cortex: The outer layer of any organ.

Cruciate: Cross-shaped.

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

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Epidemic: The occurrence of more cases of a disease than would be expected in a community...

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

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Evolution: The continuing process of change.

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

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Genes: The basic biological units of heredity. Segments of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) nee...

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Genetic: Having to do with genes and genetic
information.

Genital: Pertaining to the external and/or internal organs of reproduction.

Gynecomastia: Excessive development of the male breasts. Temporary enlargement of the brea...

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

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HPV: Human papillomavirus.

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

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Incidence: The frequency with which something, such as a disease or trait, appears in a pa...

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Indicate: In medicine, to make a treatment or procedure advisable because of a particular ...

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Infection: The invasion and multiplication of microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, an...

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

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Labial: Pertaining to a lip.

Ligament: A tough band of connective tissue that connects various structures, such as two ...

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Longitudinal: Along the length of something; running lengthwise or, by extension, over the...

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Menarche: The time in a girl's life when menstruation first begins. During the menarche pe...

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

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

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Metabolic: Relating to metabolism, the whole range of biochemical processes that occur wit...

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

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Muscular: Having to do with the muscles. Also, endowed with above average muscle developme...

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Myopia: Nearsightedness, the ability to see close objects more clearly than distant objec...

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Neurological: Having to do with the nerves or the nervous system as, for example, a neurol...

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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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Penile: Of or pertaining to the penis.

Penis: The external male sex organ. The penis contains two chambers, the corpora cavernosa...

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Physiologic: Something that is normal, that is due neither to anything pathologic nor sign...

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Physiology: The study of how living organisms function, including such processes as nutrit...

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Precocious: Unusually early development of intellectual powers, speech, physical traits, a...

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Precocious puberty: The onset of secondary sexual characteristics, such as breast buds in ...

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

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Pubarche: The onset of puberty, often measured by the first development of pubic hair.

Puberty: Adolescence, the period in which the human body first becomes capable of reproduc...

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Scoliosis: Lateral (sideways) curving of the spine. The degree of scoliosis may range from...

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Skeleton: The skeleton is composed of bones and is the framework of the body.

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Somatic: 1. Relating to the body. a. As distinguished from the mind (the psy...

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Sweat: A colorless transparent acidic fluid with a distinctive odor secreted by the small ...

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Testosterone: A "male hormone" -- a sex hormone produced by the testes that encourages th...

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Thelarche: The time that breast development starts in girls.

Therapeutic: Relating to therapeutics, the branch of medicine that is concerned specifical...

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Thyroid: 1. The thyroid gland. Also, pertaining to the thyroid gland. 2. A p...

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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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Medical Dictionary