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Chapter 8

Female reproductive system

adnexa uteri Fallopian tubes, ovaries, and supporting ligaments.
amnion Innermost membranous sac surrounding the developing fetus.
areola Dark-pigmented area surrounding the breast nipple.
Bartholin glands Small mucus-secreting exocrine glands at the vaginal orifice (opening to outside of the body).
cervix Lower, neck-like portion of the uterus.
chorion Outermost layer of the two membranes surrounding the embryo; it forms the fetal part of the placenta.
clitoris Organ of sensitive erectile tissue anterior to the opening of the female urethra.
coitus Sexual intercourse; copulation. Pronunciation is KŌ-ı˘-tus.
corpus luteum Empty ovarian follicle that secretes progesterone after release of the egg cell; literally means yellow (luteum) body (corpus).
cul-de-sac Region in the lower abdomen, midway between the rectum and the uterus.
embryo Stage in prenatal development from 2 to 8 weeks.
endometrium Inner, mucous membrane lining of the uterus.
estrogen Hormone produced by the ovaries; promotes female secondary sex characteristics.
fallopian tube One of a pair of ducts through which the ovum travels to the uterus.
fertilization Union of the sperm cell and ovum from which the embryo develops.
fetus Stage in prenatal development from 8 to 39 or 40 weeks.
fimbriae (singular: fimbria) Finger- or fringe-like projections at the end of the fallopian tubes.
follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) Secreted by the pituitary gland to stimulate maturation of the egg cell (ovum).
gamete Male or female sexual reproductive cell; sperm cell or ovum.
genitalia Reproductive organs; also called genitals.
gestation Period from fertilization of the ovum to birth.
gonad Female or male reproductive organ that produces sex cells and hormones; ovary or testis.
gynecology Study of the female reproductive organs including the breasts.
human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) Hormone produced by the placenta to sustain pregnancy by stimulating (-tropin) the ovaries to produce estrogen and progesterone.
hymen Mucous membrane partially or completely covering the opening to the vagina.
labia Lips of the vagina; labia majora are the larger, outermost lips, and labia minora are the smaller, innermost lips.
lactiferous ducts Tubes that carry milk within the breast.
luteinizing hormone (LH) Hormone produced by the pituitary gland; promotes ovulation.
mammary papilla Nipple of the breast. A papilla is any small nipple-shaped projection.
menarche Beginning of the first menstrual period and ability to reproduce.
menopause Gradual ending of menstruation.
menstruation Monthly shedding of the uterine lining. The flow of blood and tissue normally discharged during menstruation is called the menses (Latin mensis means month).
myometrium Muscle layer of the uterus.
neonatology Branch of medicine that studies the disorders and care of the newborn (neonate).
obstetrics Branch of medicine concerned with pregnancy and childbirth.
orifice An opening.
ovarian follicle Developing sac enclosing each ovum within the ovary. Only about 400 of these sacs mature in a woman's lifetime.
ovary One of a pair of female organs (gonads) on each side of the pelvis. Ovaries are almond-shaped, about the size of large walnuts, and produce egg cells (ova) and hormones.
ovulation Release of the ovum from the ovary.
ovum (  plural: ova) Mature egg cell (female gamete). Ova develop from immature egg cells called oocytes.
parturition Act of giving birth.
Perineum In females, the area between the anus and the vagina.
pituitary gland Endocrine gland at the base of the brain. It produces hormones to stimulate the ovaries.
placenta Vascular organ that develops in the uterine wall during pregnancy. It serves as a communication between maternal and fetal bloodstreams.
pregnancy Condition in a female of having a developing embryo and fetus in her uterus for about 40 weeks.
progesterone Hormone produced by the corpus luteum in the ovary and the placenta of pregnant women.
puberty Point in the life cycle at which secondary sex characteristics appear and gametes are produced.
uterine serosa Outermost layer surrounding the uterus.
uterus Hollow, pear-shaped muscular female organ in which the embryo and fetus develop, and from which menstruation occurs. The upper portion is the fundus; the middle portion is the corpus; and the lowermost, neck-like portion is the cervix
vagina Muscular, mucosa-lined canal extending from the uterus to the exterior of the body.
vulva External female genitalia; includes the labia, hymen, clitoris, and vaginal orifice.
zygote Stage in prenatal development from fertilization and implantation to 2 weeks.
amni/o amnion
cervic/o cervix, neck
chori/o, chorion/o chorion
colp/o vagina
culd/o cul-de-sac
episi/o vulva
galact/o milk
gynec/o woman, female
hyster/o uterus, womb
lact/o milk
mamm/o breast
mast/o breast
men/o menses, menstruation
metr/o, metri/o uterus
my/o, myom/o muscle, muscle tumor
nat/i birth
obstetr/o pregnancy and childbirth
o/o egg
oophor/o ovary
ov/o egg
ovari/o ovary
ovul/o egg
perine/o perineum
phor/o to bear
salping/o fallopian tubes
uter/o uterus
vagin/o vagina
vulv/o vulva
-arche beginning
-cyesis pregnancy
-gravida pregnant
-parous bearing, bringing forth
-rrhea discharge
-salpinx fallopian (uterine) tube
-tocia labor, birth
-version act of turning
dys- painful
endo- within
in- in
intra- within
multi- many
nulli- no, not, none
pre- before
primi- first
retro- backward
carcinoma of the cervix Malignant cells within the cervix (cervical cancer).
cervicitis Inflammation of the cervix.
carcinoma of the endometrium (endometrial cancer) Malignant tumor of the uterus (adenocarcinoma).
endometriosis Endometrial tissue located outside the uterus.
fibroids Benign tumors in the uterus.
ovarian carcinoma Malignant tumor of the ovary (adenocarcinoma).
ovarian cysts Collections of fluid within a sac (cyst) in the ovary.
pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) Inflammation and infection of organs in the pelvic region
carcinoma of the breast (breast cancer) Malignant tumor of the breast (arising from milk glands and ducts).
fibrocystic disease Numerous small sacs of fibrous connective tissue and fluid in the breast.
abruptio placentae Premature separation of the implanted placenta.
choriocarcinoma Malignant tumor of the placenta.
ectopic pregnancy Implantation of the fertilized egg in any site other than the normal uterine location
multiple gestation More than one fetus inside the uterus.
placenta previa Implantation of the placenta over the cervical opening or in the lower region of the uterus.
preeclampsia Abnormal condition associated with pregnancy, marked by high blood pressure, proteinuria, edema, and headache.
Down syndrome Chromosomal abnormality (trisomy 21) results in mental retardation, retarded growth, a flat face with a short nose, low-set ears, and slanted eyes.
erythroblastosis fetalis Hemolytic disease in the newborn (HND) caused by a blood group (Rh factor) incompatibility between the mother and the fetus.
hyaline membrane disease Acute lung disease commonly seen in the premature newborn.
hydrocephalus Accumulation of fluid in the spaces of the brain.
meconium aspiration syndrome Abnormal inhalation of meconium (first stool) produced by a fetus or newborn.
pyloric stenosis Narrowing of the opening of the stomach to the duodenum.
Pap test Microscopic examination of stained cells removed from the vagina and cervix.
pregnancy test Blood or urine test to detect the presence of hCG.
hysterosalpingography (HSG) X-ray imaging of the uterus and fallopian tubes after injection of contrast material.
mammography X-ray imaging of the breast.
breast ultrasound imaging and breast MRI Technologies using sound waves and magnetic waves to create images of breast tissue.
pelvic ultrasonography Recording images of sound waves as they bounce off organs in the pelvic region.
aspiration Withdrawal of fluid from a cavity or sac with an instrument using suction.
cauterization Destruction of tissue by burning.
colposcopy Visual examination of the vagina and cervix using a colposcope.
conization Removal of a cone-shaped section (cone biopsy) of the cervix.
cryosurgery Use of cold temperatures to destroy tissue.
culdocentesis Needle aspiration of fluid from the cul-de-sac.
dilation (dilatation) and curettage (D&C) Widening the cervix and scraping off the endometrial lining of the uterus.
exenteration Removal of internal organs within a cavity.
laparoscopy Visual examination of the abdominal cavity using an endoscope (laparoscope).
tubal ligation Blocking the fallopian tubes to prevent fertilization from occurring.
abortion (AB) Spontaneous or induced termination of pregnancy before the embryo or fetus can exist on its own.
amniocentesis Needle puncture of the amniotic sac to withdraw amniotic fluid for analysis
cesarean section Surgical incision of the abdominal wall and uterus to deliver a fetus.
chorionic villus sampling (CVS) Sampling of placental tissues (chorionic villi) for prenatal diagnosis.
fetal monitoring Continuous recording of the fetal heart rate and maternal uterine contractions to reduce fetal distress during labor.
in vitro fertilization (IVF) Egg and sperm cells are combined outside the body in a laboratory dish (in vitro) to facilitate fertilization.
pelvimetry Measurement of the dimensions of the maternal pelvis.
AB abortion
AFP alpha-fetoprotein—high levels in amniotic fluid of fetus or maternal serum indicate increased risk of neurologic birth defects in the infant.
ASCUS atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance—the Pap smear is abnormal but does not meet the criteria for a specific lesion.
AUB abnormal uterine bleeding
BRCA1 BRCA2 breast cancer 1 and 2—genetic mutations associated with increased risk for breast cancer
BSE breast self-examination
CA 125 protein marker elevated in ovarian cancer (normal range of values is 0 to 35)
C-section cesarean section
CIN cervical intraepithelial neoplasia
CIS carcinoma in situ
CS cesarean section
CVS chorionic villus sampling
Cx cervix
D&C dilation (dilatation) and curettage
DCIS ductal carcinoma in situ; a precancerous breast lesion that indicates a higher risk for invasive ductal breast cancer
DES diethylstilbestrol—an estrogen compound used in the treatment of menopausal problems involving estrogen deficiency; if administered during pregnancy, it has been found to be related to subsequent tumors in the daughters of mothers so treated.
DUB dysfunctional uterine bleeding
ECC endocervical curettage
EDC estimated date of confinement
EMB endometrial biopsy
FHR fetal heart rate
FSH follicle-stimulating hormone
G gravida (pregnant)
GnRH gonadotropin-releasing hormone—secreted by the hypothalamus to stimulate release of FSH and LH from the pituitary gland
GYN gynecology
HCG human chorionic gonadotropin
HDN hemolytic disease of the newborn
HPV human papillomavirus
HRT hormone replacement therapy
HSG hysterosalpingography
IUD intrauterine device; contraceptive
IVF in vitro fertilization
LAVH laparoscopically assisted vaginal hysterectomy
LEEP loop electrocautery excision procedure
LH luteinizing hormone
LMP last menstrual period
LSH laparoscopic supracervical hysterectomy
multip multipara; multiparous
OB obstetrics
OCPs oral contraceptive pills
para 2-0-1-2 a woman's reproductive history: 2 full-term infants, 0 preterm, 1 abortion, and 2 living children
Pap test Papanicolaou smear—test for cervical or vaginal cancer
Path pathology
PID pelvic inflammatory disease
PMS premenstrual syndrome
primip primipara; primiparous
RDS respiratory distress syndrome of the newborn
TAH-BSO total abdominal hysterectomy with bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy
TRAM flap trans–rectus abdominis musculocutaneous flap—for breast reconstruction
UAE uterine artery embolization
VH vaginal hysterectomy