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MENSTRUAL CYCLE GLOSSARYFertility Glossary A to Z
Page 1: Amenorrhea to Fallopian
More Definitions on Page 2: Follicle to Menstrual Cycle
More Definitions on Page 3: Menstruation to Womb
Amenorrhea Absence of menstrual periods.

Primary amenorrhea is defined as the absence of menstruation at puberty: the menstrual cycle never starts.

Secondary amenorrhea is defined as a condition whereby a woman's menstrual period stops due to an underlying medical cause.
Anovulation Absence of ovulation.
Anovulatory Cycle A menstrual cycle in which ovulation does not occur.
Catamenia Another word for menses or menstruation.
Cervical Mucus Fluid secreted by the cervix. Its main role is to assist sperm in living for several days and to help transport sperm to the fallopian tubes.
Cervix Opening into the uterus.
Cilia Hair-like projections inside the fallopian tubes that move the egg up the tubes into the uterus.
Corpus Luteum A yellow mass of cells that forms from the follicle that releases the egg at ovulation. The corpus luteum produces the hormone progesterone that is important for preparing the endometrium for implantation of the fertilized egg.
C-section; Caesarean Delivery of a baby by surgical incision through the abdominal wall and uterus. It is believed that Julius Caesar was born this way.
Dysmenorrhea Pain during menstruation that occurs in the lower abdomen just before or during menstruation; menstrual cramps.

Primary dysmenorrhea is menstrual pain occurring because of one's menstrual period and not as a result of a disease. It results from the production of prostaglandins, which are made by cells in the inner lining of the uterus. Prostaglandins make the uterine muscles contract to help the uterus shed the endometrial lining that has built up during the menstrual cycle.

Secondary dysmenorrhea is menstrual pain that is the result of an underlying medical condition or disease of the uterus, fallopian tubes or ovaries. The pain appears similar to menstrual cramps, but often last longer than the menstrual period, or may occur at other times of the month when one is not menstruating.
Endometriosis A condition whereby endometrial tissue that should normally grow inside the uterus instead abnormally grows outside the uterus, in the abdominal cavity and often on other reproductive organs such as on the ovaries, fallopian tubes.
Endometrium Mucous membrane tissue lining of the uterus. The endometrial lining grows thicker during the month and is shed monthly during the menstrual period if pregnancy does not occur.
Estrogen Female hormone produced by the ovaries that promote the growth and maintenance of the female reproductive system.
Fallopian Tube The fallopian tube transports the egg from the ovary to the uterus. There are two fallopian tubes, one connecting to the right ovary, the other to the left ovary. Generally, fertilization (joining of female egg with male sperm) takes place within the Fallopian tubes.

Named after Gabriele Falloppio, a 16th-century Italian anatomist, who was the first person to accurately describe these uterine tubes.
More Definitions: Follicle to Menstrual Cycle
More Definitions: Menstruation to Womb
Disclaimer: All information provided in this glossary is for educational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for advice provided by a medical doctor or qualified healthcare provider. You should not use this information for self-diagnosis or for treating a health problem or disease. If you have any questions whatsoever about your medical health or believe you have a medical problem or disease, you should contact your medical doctor or healthcare provider. You should never disregard medical advice or delay seeking medical advice or treatment because of something you have read in this glossary. No guarantee is made about the accuracy, completeness, or relevance of the information contained herein.
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