Additional Medical Terms-female and male reproductive systems - Medical Terminology(Adaptive*)

The following are additional terms related to the female and male reproductive systems. Recognizing and learning these terms will help you understand the connection between a pathological condition, its diagnosis, and the rationale behind the method of treatment selected for a particular disorder.

Signs, Symptoms, and Diseases:

Female Reproductive System:


Vaginal fungal infection caused by Candida albicans; characterized by a curdy or cheeselike discharge and extreme itching


Inflammation of the uterine cervix

Cervicitis is usually the result of infection or a sexually transmitted disease. It may also become chronic, because the cervical lining is not renewed each month as is the uterine lining during menstruation.

ectopic pregnancy:

Implantation of the fertilized ovum outside of the uterine cavity (See Figure Ectopic pregnancy.)

Ectopic pregnancy occurs in approximately 1% of pregnancies, most commonly in the oviducts (tubal pregnancy). Some types of ectopic pregnancies include ovarian, interstitial, and isthmic.

Endometriosis endo: in, within metri: uterus (womb) -osis: abnormal condition; increase (used primarily with blood cells):

Presence of endometrial tissue outside (ectopic) the uterine cavity, such as the pelvis or abdomen (See Figure Endometriosis.)

fibroid fibr: fiber, fibrous tissue -oids: resembling:

Benign neoplasm in the uterus that is composed largely of fibrous tissue; also called leiomyoma

Uterine fibroids are the most common tumors in women. If fibroids grow too large and cause symptoms such as pelvic pain or menorrhagia, hysterectomy may be indicated.

Leucorrhea leuk/o: white -rrhea: discharge, flow

White discharge from the vagina

A greater than usual amount of leukorrhea is normal in pregnancy, and a decrease is to be expected after delivery, during lactation, and after menopause. Leukorrhea is the most common reason women seek gynecological care.


Ectopic pregnancy. (A) Types of ectopic pregnancy. (B) Various sites of ectopic pregnancy.


Scanty or infrequent menstrual flow



pregnancy-inducedhypertension (PIH):

Potentially life-threatening disorder that usually develops after the 20th week of pregnancy and is characterized by edema and proteinuria

PIH may occur in nonconvulsive or convulsive forms.

Nonconvulsive form of PIH


If left untreated, preeclampsia may progress to eclampsia. Treatment includes bed rest and blood pressure monitoring.

Convulsive form of PIH


Treatment for eclampsia includes bed rest, blood pressure monitoring, and antiseizure drugs.


Pus in the fallopian tube


Turning, or state of being turned back, especially an entire organ being tipped from its normal position (such as the uterus)

Uterine retroversion is measured as first-, second-, or third-degree, depending on the angle of tilt in relationship to the vagina.


Inability of a woman to become pregnant or for a man to impregnate a woman

toxic shock syndrome (TSS:)

Rare and sometimes fatal staphylococcus infection that generally occurs in menstruating women, most of whom use vaginal tampons for menstrual protection

In TSS, the normally harmless vaginal bacterium Staphylococcus aureus multiplies in the old blood in the tampon and releases toxins. The tampon itself creates small tears in the vaginal wall that allow the toxins to enter the blood.


Protozoal infestation of the vagina, urethra, or prostate

Male Reproductive System:


Congenital absence of one or both testes; also called anorchia


Inflammation of the skin covering the glans penis

Balanitis is caused by irritation and invasion of microorganisms. It is commonly associated with inadequate hygiene of the prepuce and phimosis.


Failure of one or both testicles to descend into the scrotum

Cryptorchidism is associated with a high risk of sterility, causing a low sperm count and male infertility. If testes do not descend on their own at an early age, orchiopexy is performed to bring the testicles into the scrotum.


Congenital defect in which the urethra opens on upper side of the penis near the glans penis instead of the tip


Congenital defect in which the male urethra opens on undersurface of the penis instead of the tip


Inability of a man to achieve or maintain a penile erection; commonly called erectile Dysfunction


Stenosis or narrowness of the preputial orifice so that the foreskin cannot be pushed back over the glans penis

sexually transmitteddisease (STD):

Any disease that may be acquired as a result of sexual intercourse or other intimate contact with an infected individual and affects the male and female reproductive systems; also called venereal disease

STD caused by infection with the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis

Chlamydia is the most prevalent and among the most damaging of all STDs. In women, chlamydial infections cause cervicitis with a mucopurulent discharge and an alarming increase in pelvic infections. In men, chlamydial infections cause urethritis with a whitish discharge from the penis.

genital warts:

Wart(s) in the genitalia caused by human papillomavirus (HPV)

In women, genital warts may be associated with cervical cancer

Contagious bacterial infection that most commonly affects the genitourinary tract and, occasionally, the pharynx or rectum


Gonorrheal infection results from contact with an infected person or with secretions containing the causative organism Neisseria gonorrhoeae. In men, symptoms include dysuria and a greenish yellow discharge from the urethra. In women, the chief symptom is a vaginal greenish yellow discharge. Gonorrhea can be transmitted to the fetus during delivery


Infection in females and males of the genital and anorectal skin and mucosa with herpes simplex virus type 2

This viral infection may be transmitted to the fetus during delivery and may be fatal


Infectious, chronic STD characterized by lesions that change to a chancre and may involve any organ or tissue

Syphilis usually exhibits cutaneous manifestations and relapses are common without treatment. It may exist without symptoms for years and can be transmitted from mother to fetus.

Diagnostic Procedures:

Female Reproductive System:


Obstetric procedure that involves surgical puncture of the amniotic sac under ultrasound guidance to remove amniotic fluid

In amniocentesis, cells of the fetus found in the fluid are cultured and studied chemically and cytologically to detect genetic abnormalities, biochemical disorders, and maternal-fetal blood incompatibility. (See Figure Amniocentesis using transabdominal puncture of the amniotic sac with ultrasound guidance to remove amniotic fluid for laboratory analysis.)


Amniocentesis using transabdominal puncture of the amniotic sac with ultrasound guidance to remove amniotic fluid for laboratory analysis.


Examination of the vagina and cervix with an optical magnifying instrument (colposcope)

Colposcopy is commonly performed after a Papanicolaou test to obtain biopsy specimens of the cervix.


Radiography of the uterus and oviducts after injection of a contrast medium


Visual examination of the abdominal cavity with a laparoscope through one or more small incisions in the abdominal wall, usually at the umbilicus (See Figure Laparoscopy.)

Laparoscopy is used for inspection of the ovaries and fallopian tubes, diagnosis of endometriosis, destruction of uterine leiomyomas, myomectomy, and gynecologic sterilization.




Radiography of breast; used to diagnose benign and malignant tumors

Papanicolaou (Pap) test:

Microscopic analysis of cells taken from the cervix and vagina to detect the presence of carcinoma

Cells are obtained for a Pap test via insertion of a vaginal speculum and the use of a swab to scrape a small tissue sample from the cervix and vagina.

ultrasonography (US):

Imaging technique that uses high-frequency sound waves (ultrasound) that bounce off body tissues and are recorded to produce an image of an internal organ or tissue

Pelvic US is used to evaluate the female reproductive organs and the fetus during pregnancy. Transvaginal US places the sound probe in the vagina instead of across the pelvis or abdomen, producing a sharper examination of normal and pathologic structures within the pelvis.

Male Reproductive System:

digital rectal examination(DRE):

Examination of the prostate gland by finger palpation through the anal canal and the rectum (See Figure Digital rectal examination.)

DRE is usually performed during physical examination to detect prostate enlargement. It is also used to check for problems with organs or other structures in the pelvis and lower abdomen.

prostate-specific antigen(PSA) test:

Blood test to screen for prostate cancer

Elevated levels of PSA are associated with prostate enlargement and cancer.

Medical and Surgical Procedures:

Female Reproductive System:


Obstetric procedure in which a nonabsorbable suture is used for holding the cervix closed to prevent spontaneous abortion in a woman who has an incompetent cervix

dilation and curettage:

Surgical procedure that widens the cervical canal of the uterus (dilation) so that the endometrium of the uterus can be scraped (curettage) (See Figure Dilation and curettage of the uterus.)

D&C is performed to stop prolonged or heavy uterine bleeding, diagnose uterine abnormalities, and obtain tissue for microscopic examination. It is also performed to remove tumors, rule out carcinoma of the uterus, remove retained placental fragments after delivery or after an incomcomplete abortion, and determine the cause of infertility.


Digital rectal examination.


Surgical removal of a uterus, a fallopian tube, and an ovary


Excision of a small primary breast tumor (“lump”) and some of the normal tissue that surrounds it (See Figure Lumpectomy, with the primary tumor highlighted black and the surrounding tissue removed during lumpectomy highlighted pink.)

In lumpectomy, lymph nodes may also be removed because they are located within the breast tissue taken during surgery. All tissue removed from the breast is biopsied to determine whether cancer cells are present in the normal tissue surrounding the tumor. Lumpectomy is the most common form of breast cancer surgery today.


Complete or partial excision of one or both breasts, most commonly performed to remove a malignant tumor

Mastectomy may be simple, radical, or modified depending on the extent of the malignancy and amount of breast tissue excised. Excision of an entire breast, nipple, areola, and the involved overlying skin; also called simple mastectomy


In total mastectomy, lymph nodes are removed only if they are included in the breast tissue being removed.

modified radical:

Excision of an entire breast, including lymph nodes in the underarm (axillary dissection) (See Figure Modified radical mastectomy)


Most women who have mastectomies today have modified radical mastectomies. Excision of an entire breast, all underarm lymph nodes, and chest wall muscles under the breast

Modified radical mastectomy  reconstructive breast

Modified radical mastectomy

reconstructive breast:


Reconstruction of a breast that has been removed due to cancer or other disease

Reconstruction is commonly possible immediately following mastectomy so the patient awakens from anesthesia with a breast mound already in place.

tissue (skin) expansion:

Common breast reconstruction technique in which a balloon expander is inserted beneath the skin and chest muscle, saline solution is gradually injected to increase size, and the expander is then replaced with a more permanent implant (See Figure Tissue expander for breast reconstruction.)

transverse rectusabdominis muscle(TRAM) flap:

Surgical creation of a skin flap (using skin and fat from the lower half of the abdomen), which is passed under the skin to the breast area, shaped into a natural-looking breast, and sutured into place (See Figure TRAM flap.)

The TRAM flap procedure is one of the most popular reconstruction options.

tubal ligation:

Sterilization procedure that involves blocking both fallopian tubes by cutting or burning them and tying them off

tubal ligation

Tissue expander for breast reconstruction.

Tissue expander for breast reconstruction.

TRAM flap.

Male Reproductive System

Surgical removal of the foreskin or prepuce of the penis, usually performed on the male as an infant

transurethral resection ofthe prostate (TURP):

Surgical procedure to relieve obstruction caused by benign prostatic hyperplasia (excessive overgrowth of normal tissue) by insertion of a resectoscopeinto the penis and through the urethra to “chip away” at prostatic tissue and flush out chips (using an irrigating solution)

The pieces of prostatic tissue obtained through TURP are sent to the laboratory to be analyzed for possible evidence of CA. (See Figure Benign prostatic hyperplasia (A) and transurethral resection of the prostate (B)) Although TURP relieves the obstruction, overgrowth of tissue may recur over several years. Lasers may also be used to destroy prostatic tissue and relieve obstruction.



Hormonal preparation used to increase sperm count in infertility cases

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