17 Female Reproductive System
- Examine the anatomy of the female reproductive system
- Determine the main functions of the female reproductive system
- Differentiate the medical terms of the female reproductive system and common abbreviations
- Recognize the medical specialties associated with the female reproductive system
- Discover common diseases, disorders, and procedures related to the female reproductive system
Female Reproductive System Word Parts
Click on prefixes, combining forms, and suffixes to reveal a list of word parts to memorize for the female reproductive system.
Introduction to the Female Reproductive System
The female reproductive system produces and reproductive hormones. In addition, the female reproductive system supports the developing fetus and delivers it to the outside world. The female reproductive system is located primarily inside the pelvic cavity. The female gonads are called ovaries and the gamete they produce is called an oocyte.
Watch this video:
Media 17.1. Reproductive System, Part 1 – Female Reproductive System: Crash Course A&P #40 [Online video]. Copyright 2015 by CrashCourse.
Practice Medical Terms Related to the Female Reproductive System
Anatomy (Structures) of the Female Reproductive System
External Female Genitals
The external female reproductive structures are referred to collectively as the vulva and they include:
- The mons pubis, a pad of fat that is located at the anterior, over the pubic bone. After puberty, it becomes covered in pubic hair.
- The labia majora (labia = “lips”; majora = “larger”), folds of hair-covered skin that begin just posterior to the mons pubis.
- The labia minora (labia = “lips”; minora = “smaller”), which is thinner and more pigmented and extends medially to the labia majora.
- Although they naturally vary in shape and size from woman to woman, the labia minora serve to protect the female urethra and the entrance to the female reproductive tract.
- The superior, anterior portions of the labia minora come together to encircle the clitoris (or glans clitoris), an organ that originates from the same cells as the glans penis and has abundant nerves that make it important in sexual sensation and orgasm. The hymen is a thin membrane that sometimes partially covers the entrance to the vagina.
- The vaginal opening is located between the opening of the urethra and the anus. It is flanked by outlets to the Bartholin’s glands.
Internal Female Reproductive Organs
The vagina is a muscular canal (approximately 10 cm long) that is the entrance to the reproductive tract. It also serves as the exit from the uterus during menses and childbirth. The outer walls of the anterior and posterior vagina are columns with ridges. The superior meets the uterine cervix. The cervix is the opening to the uterus.
The walls of the vagina are lined with:
- An outer, fibrous adventitia
- A middle layer of smooth muscle
- An inner mucous membrane with transverse folds called rugae.
Together, the middle and inner layers allow the expansion of the vagina to accommodate intercourse and childbirth. The thin, perforated hymen can partially surround the opening to the vaginal orifice. The and the lesser vestibular glands (located near the clitoris) secrete mucus, which keeps the vestibular area moist.
The vagina has a normal population of microorganisms that help to protect against infection. There are both pathogenic bacteria and yeast in the vagina. In a healthy woman, the most predominant type of vaginal bacteria is from the genus Lactobacillus, which secretes lactic acid. The lactic acid protects the vagina by maintaining an acidic (below 4.5).
Lactic acid, in combination with other vaginal secretions, makes the vagina a self-cleansing organ. However, can disrupt the normal balance of healthy microorganisms, and increase a woman’s risk for infections and irritation. It is recommended that women do not douche and that they allow the vagina to maintain its normal healthy population of protective microbial flora.
The ovaries are the female gonads. There are two, one at each entrance to the fallopian tube. They are each about 2 to 3 cm in length, about the size of an almond. The ovaries are located within the pelvic cavity. The ovary itself is attached to the uterus via the ovarian ligament. The ovarian stroma forms the bulk of the adult ovary. Oocytes develop within the outer layer of this stroma, each surrounded by supporting cells. This grouping of an oocyte and its supporting cells is called a follicle.
The Fallopian Tubes
The fallopian tubes, also known as uterine tubes, are the conduit of the from the ovary to the uterus. Each of the two fallopian tubes is close to, but not directly connected to, the ovary.
- The isthmus is the narrow medial end of each fallopian tube that is connected to the uterus.
- The wide distal infundibulum flares out with slender, finger-like projections called fimbriae.
- The middle region of the tube, called the ampulla, is where fertilization often occurs.
The fallopian tubes have three layers:
- An outer serosa.
- A middle smooth muscle layer.
- An inner mucosal layer.
- In addition to its mucus-secreting cells, the inner mucosa contains ciliated cells that beat in the direction of the uterus, producing a current that will be critical to moving the .
Did you know?
Fallopian tubes are not connected to the ovaries. Instead, fimbriae catch the oocyte like a baseball in a glove.
The Uterus and Cervix
The uterus is the muscular organ that nourishes and supports the growing embryo. Its average size is approximately 5 cm wide by 7 cm long, and it has three sections.
- The portion of the uterus to the opening of the uterine tubes is called the fundus.
- The middle section of the uterus is called the body of the uterus (or corpus).
- The cervix is the narrow portion of the uterus that projects into the vagina.
- The cervix produces mucus secretions that become thin and stringy under the influence of high systemic plasma estrogen concentrations, and these secretions can facilitate sperm movement through the reproductive tract.
The wall of the uterus is made up of three layers:
- Perimetrium: the most superficial layer and serous membrane.
- Myometrium: a thick layer of smooth muscle responsible for uterine contractions.
- Endometrium: the innermost layer containing a connective tissue lining covered by epithelial tissue that lines the lumen. It provides the site of implantation for a fertilized egg and sheds during menstruation if no egg is fertilized.
- Write or draw out the components of the pathway that an oocyte takes from beginning to end.
- Why do you think the fallopian tubes are not connected to the ovaries?
Physiology (Function) of the Female Reproductive System-Ovulation
Following ovulation, the Fallopian tube receives the oocyte. Oocytes lack flagella, and therefore cannot move on their own.
- High concentrations of estrogen that occur around the time of ovulation induce contractions of the smooth muscle along the length of the fallopian tube.
- These contractions occur every 4 to 8 seconds, causing the oocyte to flow towards the uterus, through the coordinated beating of the cilia that line the outside and lumen of the length of the fallopian tube which pulls the oocyte into the interior of the tube.
- Once inside, the muscular contractions and beating cilia move the oocyte slowly toward the uterus.
- When fertilization does occur, sperm typically meet the egg while it is still moving through the ampulla.
Watch this video:
Media 17.2. The ovarian cycle | Reproductive system physiology | NCLEX-RN | Khan Academy [Online video]. Copyright 2014 by Khan Academy Medicine.
The Menstrual Cycle
The three phases of the menstrual cycle are:
- The menses phase of the menstrual cycle is the phase during which reproductive hormone levels are low, the woman menstruates, and the lining is shed. The menses phase lasts between 2 to 7 days with an average of 5 days.
- The proliferative phase is when menstrual flow ceases and the endometrium begins to . During this phase reproductive hormones are working in to trigger ovulation on approximately day 14 of a typical 28-day menstrual cycle. Ovulation marks the end of the proliferative phase.
- The secretory phase is when the endometrial lining prepares for the implantation of a fertilized egg. If no pregnancy occurs within approximately 10 to 12 days the endometrium will grow thinner and shed starting the first day of the next cycle.
Menopause is the cessation of the menstrual cycle that occurs as a result of the loss of ovarian follicles and the hormones that they produce, namely estrogen. The earliest changes occur during the menopausal transition, often referred to as perimenopause, when a woman’s cycle becomes irregular but does not stop entirely. As estrogen levels change, other signs and symptoms that occur are hot flashes and night sweats, trouble sleeping, vaginal dryness, mood swings, difficulty focusing, and thinning of hair on the head along with the growth of more hair on the face. Depending on the individual, these symptoms can be entirely absent, moderate, or severe.
A woman is considered to have completed menopause if she has not menstruated in a full year. After that point, she is considered postmenopausal. The average age for this change is consistent worldwide at between 50 and 52 years of age, but it can normally occur in a woman’s forties or later in her fifties. Poor health, including smoking, can lead to earlier loss of fertility and earlier menopause. After menopause, low levels of estrogen increase women’s risks of high cholesterol, cardiovascular disease, and .
Anatomy Labeling Activity
Practice Terms Related to the Female Reproductive System
Common Abbreviations for the Female Reproductive System
Many terms and phrases related to the female reproductive system are abbreviated. Learn these common abbreviations by expanding the list below.
Diseases and Disorders of the Female Reproductive System
Breast cancer is the second most common cancer among women in the United States. It starts in the cells that line the ducts or the lobule of the breast. Some warning signs include a new lump in the breast or , thickening or swelling, dimpling of the breast skin, redness or flaky skin, discharge, and change in breast size. Risk factors include a familial or personal history of breast cancer, obesity, hormonal treatment, and mutations in breast cancer-related genes (BRCA1 or BRCA2) (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, n.d.-a; National Cancer Institute, 2021a).
Treatment options include chemotherapy, hormone therapy, immunotherapy, radiation, and surgical interventions such as , and biopsy (National Cancer Institute, 2021a). To learn more about breast cancer, view the National Cancer Institute’s web page on breast cancer.
Cervical cancer is typically slow-growing cancer and is highly curable when found and treated early. Advanced cervical cancer may cause abnormal bleeding or discharge from the vagina such as bleeding after sex. It is diagnosed during a Papanicolaou test (or Pap smear), which looks for precancerous lesions on the cervix. The Pap test can find cervical cancer early when treatment is most effective. Almost all cervical cancers are caused by human papillomavirus (HPV). The HPV test looks for HPV strains which is the virus that can cause precancerous cell changes. In the United States, a vaccine called Gardasil® 9 is available, which prevents infection with HPV and significantly reduces the risk of cervical cancer (National Cancer Institute, 2021b, 2021c). To learn more, visit the National Cancer Institute’s web page on cervical cancer.
Endometriosis is an abnormal condition of the . Endometriosis occurs when this tissue grows and implants outside the uterus. The female hormone estrogen causes these implants to grow, bleed, and become inflamed. The inflammation causes scar tissue around nearby organs, which can interfere with their normal functioning and cause pain (Office on Women’s Health, 2019a).
Endometriosis generally appears in women in their 30s and 40s. Signs and symptoms may include , , menstrual irregularity, and infertility. Diagnosis may include and endometrial biopsy. There is no cure for endometriosis. Treatment may include hormonal birth control, surgical interventions such as and . The cause of endometriosis is unknown (MedlinePlus, 2021; Office on Women’s Health, 2019a). For more information, visit the Office on Women’s Health web page on endometriosis.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) has no known etiology, but researchers have linked it to excessive production of insulin and . Excessive insulin in the body can cause insulin resistance and lead to type 2 diabetes. High levels of androgens can prevent the ovaries from releasing an egg during the menstrual cycle. The most common signs and symptoms of PCOS include , , polymenorrhea, one or both ovaries with multiple small painless cysts, , , , thinning hair, acne, weight gain, anxiety, depression, hyperglycemia, and infertility. Treatments like medications such as birth control pills or can help balance the hormones in your body and relieve some of the symptoms (Office on Women’s Health, 2019b). To learn more, visit the Office on Women’s Health’s web page on endometriosis.
Sexually Transmitted Infections and Diseases (STIs and STDs)
Although the terms sexually transmitted infections (STI) and sexually transmitted diseases (STD) are often used interchangeably, they have distinct meanings. STIs refer to infections caused by a virus, bacteria, fungus, or parasite via sexual contact. STDs refer to the disease state that develops as a result of infection (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2020).
Chlamydia is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases. It is caused by the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis, which infects the cervix and other organs of the reproductive tract in women. Chlamydia spreads through unprotected oral, anal, or vaginal sex with an infected person. Chlamydia can also spread from mother to child during childbirth. Many people with chlamydia do not have any symptoms and unknowingly pass the infection to their sexual partner(s). If symptoms develop, they may not appear for several weeks after sexual contact with an infected person. Women may have abnormal vaginal discharge, polyuria, and painful intercourse. Untreated chlamydia in women can cause pelvic inflammatory disease, which can cause permanent damage to the reproductive tract and infertility. Chlamydia is easy to treat with antibiotics and can be cured. However, until a patient finishes their treatment, they continue to have the infection and can continue to pass it to others. Patients should be re-tested three months after treatment, as re-infection is common (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, n.d.-b).
Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted disease caused by the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae. It infects the mucous membranes of the reproductive tract, including the cervix, uterus, and fallopian tubes in women. Infections can also infect the mouth, throat, eyes, and anus. Gonorrhea is spread through unprotected oral, vaginal or anal sex with an infected person. It can also spread from mother to child during childbirth. Many people infected with gonorrhea have no symptoms and can unknowingly pass the infection on to their sexual partner(s). Signs and symptoms vary depending on which part of the body is infected. Women may have dysuria, increased vaginal discharge, or vaginal bleeding not related to their menstrual cycle. Gonorrhea infection from oral sex may lead to a sore throat, whereas infection from anal sex may cause itchiness and discharge from the anus. Untreated chlamydia can cause pelvic inflammatory disease. Gonorrhea can be treated and cured with antibiotics in combination with an (IM) injection. However, until the patient finishes their treatment, they continue to have the infection and can pass it to others. Patients should be re-tested three months after treatment, as re-infection is common (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, n.d.-c).
Notifiable and Reportable Diseases
In every state in the United States, chlamydia and gonorrhea are notifiable and reportable diseases. This means that when a person tests positive for either of the STIs, public health departments and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are informed so that they may monitor trends, identify outbreaks, and take the necessary steps to prevent further spread of the disease (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, n.d.-d, n.d.-e).
Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is another common sexually transmitted infection (STI). Both males and females can be infected with HPV. There are over 200 strains of HPV. Some strains can cause visible genital warts, while others cause genital, anal, throat, and cervical cancers. HPV spreads through sexual activity and skin-to-skin contact in the genital area with an infected person. Since some people are , they don’t know they have the virus and consequently pass the virus to their sexual partners. Treatments are available for genital warts but there is no cure for HPV (MedlinePlus, 2021). For more information, visit the CDC’s web page on HPV.
Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV)
Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted disease that is caused by a virus called the herpes simplex virus (HSV). There are two types of herpes simplex viruses:
- Type 1- oral herpes or cold sores (HSV-1)
- Type 2- genital herpes (HSV-2).
Signs and symptoms might include , enlarged glands, , and fever. Once a patient is infected with HSV, the virus remains in their body even after the symptoms are gone and can cause recurring outbreaks. When the virus becomes active again, the symptoms return but are usually less painful and heal faster (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, n.d.-f).
Herpes is spread through direct contact with the sores or blisters of an infected person. Contact (and transfer of the virus) can occur from genitals-to-genitals, mouth-to-genitals, or mouth-to-mouth. Herpes can also be passed to the anal area. Herpes spreads easily during sexual contact while symptoms are present or just before an outbreak of symptoms. An infected person may spread herpes even when they have no symptoms; this is called shedding. One can spread the herpes virus to other parts of their body after touching the sores. The fingers, eyes, and other body areas can accidentally become infected in this way. Hand washing after touching sores and blisters is recommended to prevent spreading the virus (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, n.d.-f).
There is no cure for herpes. Antiviral pills help to reduce symptoms and speed the healing of blisters or sores and are prescribed by a doctor. All sexual partner(s) should be informed. The only way to reduce the risk of transmission of herpes is to avoid direct contact with the sores and to use condoms. Condoms will reduce but not eliminate risk, as the virus can be present and shed from the skin in the genital area (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, n.d.-f).
Common Abbreviations for Reproductive Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)
Medical Terms in Context
Medical Specialties and Procedures Related to the Female Reproductive System
Obstetrics and Gynecology
Obstetrics and gynecology, also known as OB/GYN, is a branch of medicine focusing on the diagnosis, treatment, management, and prevention of diseases and disorders of the female reproductive system, as well as the care of women during pregnancy and childbirth. Subspecialties in women’s health include contraception, reproductive , and infertility (National Cancer Institute, n.d.-a). To learn more, visit the American College of Surgeons’ web page on obstetrics and gynecology.
A is performed to stage or treat endometriosis, cancers, and precancers of the female reproductive tract, and some non-cancerous conditions that have not responded to other forms of treatment. There are three types of hysterectomy:
- A total hysterectomy removes both the uterus and the cervix.
- A subtotal hysterectomy removes the uterus only.
- A radical hysterectomy removes the uterus, cervix, part of the vagina, and ligaments (Office on Women’s Health, 2019b).
Sometimes the ovaries and fallopian tubes are removed at the same time that a hysterectomy is done. A salpingo-oophorectomy (BSO) removes both ovaries and fallopian tubes. A salpingo-oophorectomy removes one ovary and one fallopian tube (National Cancer Institute, n.d.-b, n.d.-c). For more information, visit the Cleveland Clinic’s web page on hysterectomy.
Female Reproductive System Vocabulary
A disorder that causes darkening and thickening of the armpit and other body folds.
Common benign skin growths that appear as small, raised, brown or skin-colored bumps; also called skin tags.
Absence of menstruation.
Male sex hormones; for example, testosterone.
Substances that keep androgens (male sex hormones) from binding to proteins called androgen receptors. Preventing this binding blocks the effects of these hormones in the body.
A drug used to treat infections caused by bacteria and other microorganisms.
Drugs that inhibit the ability of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or other types of retroviruses to multiply in the body.
Having no signs or symptoms of disease.
The underarm or armpit.
Glands that produce a thick mucus that maintains moisture in the vulva area; also referred to as the greater vestibular glands.
Affecting both the right and left sides of the body.
Inflammation of the cervix.
A lighted magnifying instrument used to check the cervix, vagina, and vulva for signs of disease.
A procedure in which a lighted, magnifying instrument called a colposcope is used to examine the cervix, vagina, and vulva.
The use of drugs, devices, or surgery to prevent pregnancy.
Washing the vagina with fluid.
Genital pain before, during, or after intercourse.
A specialty in the field of medicine that focuses on the treatment of endocrine system disorders.
A disease characterized by the presence of endometrial-like tissue found outside the uterus.
Inflammation of the endometrium.
The innermost layer of the uterus. It provides the site of implantation for a fertilized egg and sheds during menstruation if no egg is fertilized.
A procedure that uses an endoscope to examine the inside of the body.
An abnormal opening or passage between two organs or between an organ and the surface of the body.
The superior portion of the vagina.
A specialized sex cell carrying 23 chromosomes.
A doctor who has special training in diagnosing and treating diseases of the female reproductive organs.
A medical-surgical specialty concerned with the physiology and disorders primarily of the female genital tract, as well as female endocrinology and reproductive physiology.
A condition in which women and children have excess coarse body hair of an adult male distribution pattern as a result of elevated androgen levels.
The state of steady internal conditions maintained by living things.
Surgery to remove the uterus and, sometimes, the cervix.
A radiographic image of the uterus and fallopian (uterine) tubes.
An endoscope used for examining the interior of the uterus.
Endoscopic examination of the uterus.
A position below or lower than another part of the body proper.
Within or into muscle.
A procedure that uses a laparoscope, inserted through the abdominal wall, to examine the inside of the abdomen.
White discharge from the vagina.
Acute or chronic pain in the lumbar or sacral regions.
The use of film or a computer to create a picture of the breast.
Radiographic image of the breast.
Surgical reconstruction of the breast, including both augmentation and reduction.
Pain or discomfort in one or both breasts.
The surgical procedure to remove all or part of a breast.
A condition in which breast tissue is inflamed.
First menstruation in a pubertal female.
The cessation of the menstrual cycle; is considered complete when a woman has not menstruated in a full year.
Excessive bleeding at menstruation.
Excessive bleeding from the uterus not related to menstruation.
Abnormally infrequent menstruation.
Immature egg cell.
Surgery to remove one or both ovaries.
Inflammation of the ovary.
Release of a secondary oocyte and associated granulosa cells from an ovary.
Papanicolaou smear (Pap test)
A procedure in which a small brush is used to gently remove cells from the surface of the cervix and the area around it so they can be checked under a microscope for cervical cancer or cell changes that may lead to cervical cancer.
The transitional period before and after menopause wherein the menstrual cycle is irregular and hormone levels widely fluctuate.
Excessive urine production.
The protrusion of an organ or part of an organ into a natural or artificial orifice.
The ability to reproduce rapidly.
Time directly after childbirth.
Excision of one or both of the fallopian (uterine) tubes.
Inflammation of a fallopian (uterine) tube.
Surgical removal of the fallopian (uterine) tubes and ovaries.
Creation of an artificial opening in the fallopian (uterine) tube.
An instrument used to widen an opening of the body to make it easier to look inside.
A position above or higher than another part of the body proper.
Excision of the cervix.
Surgical closure of the fallopian (uterine) tubes for sterilization.
Pertaining to one side.
Inflammation of the urethra.
Pertaining to the vagina.
Abnormal condition of the vagina.
Excision of the vulva.
Inflammation of the vulva and vagina.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (n.d.-a). Breast cancer statistics. https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/breast/statistics/index.htm
CrashCourse. (2015, October 2015). Reproductive system, part 1 – female reproductive system: Crash course A&P #40 [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFDatCchpus
MedlinePlus. (2021). Endometriosis. U.S. National Library of Medicine. https://medlineplus.gov/endometriosis.html
National Cancer Institute. (n.d.-a). Definition of obstetrics and gynecology. National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. https://www.cancer.gov/publications/dictionaries/cancer-terms/def/obstetrics-and-gynecology
National Cancer Institute. (n.d.-b). Definition of bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy. National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. https://www.cancer.gov/publications/dictionaries/cancer-terms/def/bilateral-salpingo-oophorectomy
National Cancer Institute. (n.d.-c). Definition of unilateral salpingo-oophorectomy. National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. https://www.cancer.gov/publications/dictionaries/cancer-terms/def/unilateral-salpingo-oophorectomy
National Cancer Institute. (2021a). Breast cancer treatment (adult) (PDQ®)–Patient version. National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
National Cancer Institute. (2021b). Cervical cancer treatment (adult) (PDQ®)–Patient version. National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
National Cancer Institute. (2021c). Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines. National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/infectious-agents/hpv-vaccine-fact-sheet
Office on Women’s Health. (2019a). Endometriosis. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. https://www.womenshealth.gov/a-z-topics/endometriosis
Office on Women’s Health. (2019b). Hysterectomy. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. https://www.womenshealth.gov/a-z-topics/hysterectomy
Figure 17.1 image description: This figure shows the structure and the different organs in the female reproductive system. The top panel shows the lateral view with labels (clockwise from top): uterus, ovary, fornix of uterus, cervix, rectum, vagina, anus, labia majora, labium minora, clitoris, urethra, mons pubis, pubic symphysis, bladder; and the bottom panel shows the anterior view with labels (clockwise from top): ovary, ovarian ligament, broad ligament, labia minora, labia majora, vagina, cervix, uterine tube, uterus, fimbriae. [Return to Figure 17.1].
Figure 17.2 image description: This figure shows the parts of the vulva. The right panel shows the external anterior view and the left panel shows the internal anterolateral view. The major parts are labeled (from top): prepuce, glans clitoris, labia minora, corpus cavernosum, bulb of vestibule, urethral opening, labia majora, vaginal opening, the opening of right Bartholin’s gland, Bartholin’s glands, anus. [Return to Figure 17.2].
A specialized sex cell carrying 23 chromosomes (Betts et al., 2013)
The superior portion of the vagina (Betts et al., 2013)
Glands that produce a thick mucus that maintains moisture in the vulva area; also referred to as the greater vestibular glands (Betts et al., 2013)
A measure of how acidic or alkaline a substance is, as determined by the number of free hydrogen ions in the substance (Betts et al., 2013)
Washing the vagina with fluid (Betts et al., 2013)
Immature egg cell (Betts et al., 2013)
A position above or higher than another part of the body proper (Betts et al., 2013)
A position below or lower than another part of the body proper (Betts et al., 2013)
The ability to reproduce rapidly (Betts et al., 2013)
The state of steady internal conditions maintained by living things (Betts et al., 2013)
A disease characterized by a decrease in bone mass that occurs when the rate of bone resorption exceeds the rate of bone formation (Betts et al., 2013)
The underarm or armpit (National Cancer Institute, n.d.)
The surgical procedure to remove all or part of a breast (National Cancer Institute, n.d.)
The innermost layer of the uterus. It provides the site of implantation for a fertilized egg and sheds during menstruation if no egg is fertilized (Betts et al., 2013)
Painful menstruation (National Library of Medicine, 2021)
Genital pain before, during, or after intercourse (National LIbrary of Medicine, 2021)
A procedure that uses a laparoscope, inserted through the abdominal wall, to examine the inside of the abdomen (National Cancer Institute, n.d.)
Surgery to remove the uterus and, sometimes, the cervix (National Cancer Institute, n.d.)
Surgery to remove one or both ovaries (National Cancer Institute, n.d.)
Male sex hormones; for example, testosterone (Betts et al., 2013)
Abnormally infrequent menstruation (National Library of Medicine, 2021)
Absence of menstruation (National Library of Medicine, 2021)
Common benign skin growths that appear as small, raised, brown or skin-colored bumps; also called skin tags (National Cancer Institute, n.d.)
A disorder that causes darkening and thickening of the armpit and other body folds (National Library of Medicine, 2021)
A condition in which women and children have excess coarse body hair of an adult male distribution pattern as a result of elevated androgen levels (National Library of Medicine, 2021)
Substances that keep androgens (male sex hormones) from binding to proteins called androgen receptors. Preventing this binding blocks the effects of these hormones in the body (National Cancer Institute, n.d.)
pertaining to within the muscle
Having no signs or symptoms of disease (National Cancer Institute, n.d.)
Painful urination (National Library of Medicine, 2021)
Pain in a muscle or group of muscles (National Cancer Institute, n.d.)
A specialty in the field of medicine that focuses on the treatment of endocrine system disorders (Betts et al., 2013)
Affecting both the right and left sides of the body (National Cancer Institute, n.d.)
Pertaining to one side (Betts et al., 2013)