Vaginal Infections Glossary of Terms

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

Abdominal: Relating to the abdomen, the belly, that part of the body that contains all of ...

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Abdominal pain: Pain in the belly. Abdominal pain can be acute or chronic. It may reflect ...

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

Acidophilus: Bacteria found in yogurt that can help restore a supportive bacterial environ...

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Antifungal: A medication that limits or prevents the growth of yeasts and other fungal org...

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Antifungal medication: A drug used to treat fungal infections.

Antihistamines: Drugs that combat the histamine released during an allergic reaction by bl...

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Anus: The opening of the rectum to the outside of the body.

Atrophic vaginitis: Thinning of the lining (endothelium) of the vagina due to decreased pr...

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Back pain: Pain felt in the low or upper back. Causes of pain in the low and upper back in...

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Bacteria: Single-celled microorganisms that can exist either as independent (free-living) ...

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Bacterial: Of or pertaining to bacteria, as in a bacterial lung infection.

Bacterial vaginosis: A vaginal condition characterized by an abnormal vaginal discharge du...

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Biopsy: The removal of a sample of tissue for examination under a microscope to check for ...

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

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Bumps: The raised area of a bump or bruise results from blood leaking from these injured b...

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

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Candida albicans: A yeast-like fungal organism found in small amounts in the normal human...

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Candidiasis: Disease caused by the yeast Candida albicans. Candida albicans can cause vagi...

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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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Colposcopy: A procedure in which a lighted magnifying instrument called a colposcope (or v...

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Cure: 1. To heal, to make well, to restore to good health. 2. A time withou...

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

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Diagnosis: 1 The nature of a disease; the identification of an illness. 2 A ...

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Difficult urination: See: Dysuria.

Discharge: 1.The flow of fluid from part of the body, such as from the nose or vag...

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Dizziness: Painless head discomfort with many possible causes including disturbances of ...

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Douche: Usually, a stream of water applied into the vagina for cleansing purposes. A douch...

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Douching: Using water or a medicated solution to clean the vagina and cervix or any other ...

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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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Emergency department: The department of a hospital responsible for the provision of medica...

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Esophagus: The tube that connects the pharynx (throat) with the stomach. The esophagus lie...

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

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Fever: Although a fever technically is any body temperature above the normal of 98.6 F (37...

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Fungal: Pertaining to a fungus. For example, a fungal skin infection.

Fungi: Plural of fungus.

Fungus: A single-celled or multicellular organism. Fungi can be true pathogens (such as hi...

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

Genitalia: The male or female reproductive organs. The genitalia include internal and exte...

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Gland: A group of cells that secrete a substance for use in the body. For example, the thy...

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Gonorrhea: A bacterial infection that is transmitted by sexual contact. Gonorrhea is one o...

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

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Heart valves: There are four heart valves. All are one-way valves. Blood entering the ...

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HIV: Acronym for the Human Immunodeficiency Virus, the cause of AIDS (acquired immunodefi...

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Hygiene: The science of preventive medicine and the preservation of health. Also commonly ...

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Immune: Protected against infection, usually by the presence of antibodies.

Immune system: A complex system that is responsible for distinguishing a person from every...

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

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Infant: A young baby, from birth to 12 months of age.

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

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Infertility: Diminished or absent ability to conceive and bear offspring. A couple is cons...

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Inflammation: A localized reaction that produces redness, warmth, swelling, and pain as a ...

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

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Intrauterine: In the uterus.

Itching: An uncomfortable sensation in the skin that feels as if something is crawling on ...

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Laboratory: A place for doing tests and research procedures, and for preparing chemicals a...

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Lactobacillus: A bacterium normally found in the mouth, intestinal tract, and vagina. Lact...

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Lactobacillus acidophilus: This bacteria is part of the normal flora of the human and anim...

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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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Menopause: The time in a woman's life when menstrual periods permanently stop; it is also ...

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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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Microscope: An optical instrument that augments the power of the eye to see small objects....

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Mucous: Pertaining to mucus, a thick fluid produced by the lining of some tissues of the b...

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

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

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Painful urination: See: Dysuria.

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

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Parasite: A plant or an animal organism that lives in or on another and takes its nourishm...

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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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Penile: Of or pertaining to the penis.

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

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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.

Premature baby: A baby born before 37 weeks of gestation have passed. Historically, the de...

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Prognosis: The forecast of the probable outcome or course of a disease; the patient's chan...

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Rash: Breaking out (eruption) of the skin. A rash can be caused by an underlying medical c...

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Recurrence: The return of a sign, symptom, or disease after a remission. The reappearance ...

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Recurrent: Appearing or occurring again. For example, a recurrent fever is a fever that ha...

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Safe sex: Sexual practices that do not involve the exchange of bodily fluids, including bl...

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Sexually transmitted disease: Any disease transmitted by sexual contact; caused by microor...

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Speculum: An instrument that is used to widen the opening of the vagina so that the cervix...

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Steroid: One of a large group of chemical substances classified by a specific carbon struc...

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

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Strep: Very commonly used shortened form of Streptococcus, a very common and import...

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Strep throat: Strep throat is an infection caused by a type of bacteria called streptococc...

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Stress: In a medical or biological context stress is a physical, mental, or emotional fact...

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Symptom: Any subjective evidence of disease. In contrast, a sign is objective. Blood comin...

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Systemic: Affecting the entire body. A systemic disease such as diabetes can affect the wh...

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Therapy: The treatment of disease. Therapy is synonymous with treatment.

Throat: The throat is the anterior (front) portion of the neck beginning at the back of th...

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

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Trauma: A physical or emotional injury.

Trichomonas: A single-celled protozoan parasite best known in medicine because one species...

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Trichomonas vaginalis: A protozoan parasite that causes vaginitis. See: Trichomonas.

Trichomoniasis: Infection with trichomonas, in humans with Trichomonas vaginalis.

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

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Urethra: The tube that leads from the bladder and transports and discharges urine outside ...

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Urinary: Having to do with the function or anatomy of the kidneys, ureters, bladder, or ur...

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Urinary tract: The organs of the body that produce, store, and discharge urine. These orga...

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Urinary tract infection: An infection of the kidney, ureter, bladder, or urethra. Abbrevia...

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Urine: Liquid waste produced by the kidneys. Urine is a clear, transparent fluid that norm...

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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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Vaginal discharge: Vaginal discharge is a fluid produced by glands in the vaginal wall and...

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Vaginal yeast infection: Infection of the vagina caused by a fungus known as Candida...

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Vaginitis: Inflammation of the vagina. The vagina is the muscular canal extending from th...

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Vulva: The female external genital organs, including the labia, clitoris, and entrance to ...

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Yeast infection: Overgrowth of yeast can affect the skin (yeast rash), mouth (thrush), di...

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Yogurt: A dairy product made by fermented milk with one or more bacterial cultures. It has...

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Medical Dictionary