Female Reproductive System - Medical Terminology(Adaptive*)

The female reproductive system is composed of internal organs of reproduction and external genitalia. The internal organs are the ovaries, fallopian tubes (oviducts, uterine tubes), uterus, and vagina. External organs, also called the genitalia, are known collectively as the vulva. Included in the vulva are the mons pubis, labia majora, labia minora, clitoris, and Bartholin glands. (See Figure Female reproductive system.)

The combined organs of the female reproductive system are designed to produce and transport ova (female sex cells), discharge ova from the body if fertilization does not occur, and nourish and provide a place for the developing fetus throughout pregnancy if fertilization occurs. The female reproductive system also produces the female sex hormones estrogen and progesterone, which are responsible for development of secondary sex characteristics, such as breast development and regulation of the menstrual cycle.

Internal Structures

The female reproductive system is composed of internal and external organs of reproduction. The internal reproductive organs are the (1) ovaries, (2) fallopian tubes, (3) uterus, and (4) vagina. Label these organs in Figures Lateral view of the female reproductive system and Anterior view of the female reproductive system. The developing follicles are shown in the sectioned left ovary, fertilization in the sectioned left fallopian tube,and internal structures of the vagina and uterus. The red arrow indicates the movement of the ovum toward the uterus; the blue arrow indicates the movement of the sperm toward the fallopian tube. as you learn the names of the internal reproductive organs.

The main purpose of the ovaries is to produce ovum, the female reproductive cell. This process is called ovulation. Another important function of the ovaries is to produce the hormones estrogen and progesterone.

salping/omeans tube (usually fallopian or eustachian [auditory] tube) and is related to the female reproductive system. Eustachian(auditory) tubes are related to the sense of hearing

Approximately once a month, maturation of the ovum, or ovulation, occurs when the egg leaves the ovary and slowly travels down the fallopiantube to the uterus. (See Figure Anterior view of the female reproductive system. The developing follicles are shown in the sectioned left ovary, fertilization in the sectioned left fallopian tube,and internal structures of the vagina and uterus. The red arrow indicates the movement of the ovum toward the uterus; the blue arrow indicates the movement of the sperm toward the fallopian tube.) If union of the ovum with spermtakes place during this time, fertilization (pregnancy) results.

If the fertilized egg attaches to the wall of the fallopian tube (instead of the uterus), the tube must be removed to prevent serious bleeding in or possible death of the mother. When a fallopian tube is removed, the surgical procedure is called salping/ectomy

The uterus, also called the womb, is the organ that contains and nourishes the embryo and fetus from the time the fertilized egg is implanted to the time of birth. The CF hyster/o is used to form words about the uterus as an organ.

Lateral-view-of-the-female-reproductive-system

Lateral view of the female reproductive system.

Anterior view of the female reproductive system

Anterior view of the female reproductive system. The developing follicles are shown in the sectioned left ovary, fertilization in the sectioned left fallopian tube,and internal structures of the vagina and uterus. The red arrow indicates the movement of the ovum toward the uterus; the blue arrow indicates the movement of the sperm toward the fallopian tube.

The uterus is a muscular, hollow, pear-shaped structure located in the pelvic area between the bladder and rectum. (See Figure Female reproductive system.) The uterus is supported and held in place by ligaments. Weakening of these ligaments may cause a downward displacement, or prolapse, of the uterus.

A prolapsed uterus may be caused by heavy physical exertion, pregnancy, or an inherent weakness. The surgical procedure to correct a prolapsed uterus is known as hyster/o/pexyor uter/o/pexy.

Hysterectomy showing the excised structure shaded in purple

Hysterectomy showing the excised structure shaded in purple.

Hyster/o/cele, a protrusion of uter/ine contents into a weakened area of the uterine wall, may occur as a result of pregnancy. A Dx of herniation of the uterus would be documented in the medical chart as hyster/o/cele

Two important hormones, estrogen and progesterone, are secreted by the ovaries. These hormones play an important role in the processes of menstruation and pregnancy as well as the development of secondary sex characteristics. When ovaries are diseased and necessitate removal, the body becomes deficient in the hormones known as estrogen and progesteronec h

Men/o/pause, a natural process, is the gradual ending of the menstrual cycle, which also results in a estrogen hormone deficiency. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) given orally or as a trans/derm/al patch may be used to relieve uncomfortable symptoms of men/o/pause.a

The term pre/men/o/pause refers to a time period before men/o/ pause.p

A hemat/oma is a localized collection or swelling of blood, usually clotted, in an organ, space, or tissue, caused by a break in the wall of a blood vessel. T

cervic/omeans neck; cervix uteri (neck of uterus). In the female reproductive system cervic/o is used in reference to the cervix uteri.

Dilation and curettage (D&C) is a surgical procedure to widen (dilate) the cervic/al canal of the uterus and scrape (curet) the endo/metri/um of the uterus. The instrument used to scrape the endo/metri/um is known as curet

Review Figure Dilation and curettage of the uterus. to learn about the surgical procedure and instruments used to perform D&C.e

Dilation-and-curettage-of-the-uterus

Dilation and curettage of the uterus. (A) Examination of the uterine cavity with a uterine sound, which measures the innermost part of the uterus to prevent perforation during dilation. (B) Dilation of the cervix with a series of dilators of increasing size to allow insertion of a curet into the uterus. (C) Scraping (curettage) of the uterine lining with a serrated uterine curet and collection of tissue samples for diagnostic purposes.

The vagina is a muscular tube that extends from the cervix (neck of the uterus) to the exterior of the body. (See Figure Anterior view of the female reproductive system. The developing follicles are shown in the sectioned left ovary, fertilization in the sectioned left fallopian tube,and internal structures of the vagina and uterus. The red arrow indicates the movement of the ovum toward the uterus; the blue arrow indicates the movement of the sperm toward the fallopian tube.) In addition to serving as the organ of sexual intercourse and the receptor of semen, the vagina discharges menstrual flow and acts as a passageway for the delivery of the fetus. R

A vesic/o/vagin/al fistula is another type of path/o/logy that can develop in the female reproductive system. This is an an abnormal passage between the urinary bladder and the vagina. (See Figure Vesicovaginal fistula.)

Vesicovaginal fistula

Vesicovaginal fistula. (A) Lateral view of female reproductive system with vesicovaginal fi stula. (B) Frontal view of the urinary bladder and vagina with vesicovaginal fistula repair.

An abnormal connection that develops between the bladder and vagina is known as a vesic/o/vagin/al fistula

The term fistularefers to an abnormal passage from one epithelial surface to another epithelial surface. It can occur in any body system. Thus, a vesic/o/vagin/al fistula is only one type of fistula. A ureter/o/vagin/al fistula occurs between the lower ureter and the vagina

Women who have had several vagin/al childbirths may suffer from herniation of the bladder, or colp/o/cyst/o/cele. When the uterus is removed through the vagina, the surgical procedure is known as a vagin/al hyster/ectomyor a colp/o/hyster/ectomy.

The vagina is lubricated by mucus.

External Structures

The external structures, or genitalia, include the (5) labia majora(the outer lips of the vagina), (6) labia minora(the smaller, inner lips of the vagina), (7) clitoris, and (8) Bartholin glands. Label Figures Lateral view of the female reproductive system and Anterior view of the female reproductive system. The developing follicles are shown in the sectioned left ovary, fertilization in the sectioned left fallopian tube,and internal structures of the vagina and uterus. The red arrow indicates the movement of the ovum toward the uterus; the blue arrow indicates the movement of the sperm toward the fallopian tube. to locate the structures of the genitalia.

vulv/orefers to the vulva, the combined external structures of the female reproductive system. The (9) cervix is the neck of the uterus and extends into the upper portion of the vagina. Examine the position of the cervix in the lateral and anterior view as you label Figures Lateral view of the female reproductive system and Anterior view of the female reproductive system. The developing follicles are shown in the sectioned left ovary, fertilization in the sectioned left fallopian tube,and internal structures of the vagina and uterus. The red arrow indicates the movement of the ovum toward the uterus; the blue arrow indicates the movement of the sperm toward the fallopian tube.

When cervic/o is used in a word, you can determine whether it refers to the neck or the cervix uteri by reviewing the other parts of the word. A colp/o/scope, an instrument with a magnifying lens, is used to examine vagin/al and cervic/al tissue. Visual examination of vagin/al and cervic/al tissue using a colposcope is called colp/o/scopy

The term gynec/o/logy means study of females or women and is the medical specialty for treating female reproductive disorders. A specialist in study of female reproductive disorders is called agynec/o/logist

GYN is the abbreviation for gynec/o/logy. OB-GYN refers to obstetrics and gynec/o/logy

men/omeans menses or menstruation, which is the monthly flow of blood and tissue from the uterus.

Dys/men/o/rrhea is pain associated with menstruation. Primary dys/men/o/rrhea is menstrual pain that results from factors intrinsic to the uterus and the process of menstruation. It is extremely common, occurring at least occasionally in almost all women. If the painful episode is mild and brief, it is considered functional and normal and requires no treatment.

The symptomatic term that literally means bad, painful, difficult menstruation dys/ men/ o/ rrhea

The terms post/men/o/paus/al and pre/men/o/paus/al refer to bleeding occurring at times other than during the normal menstrual flow.

Breasts

The breasts, also called mamm/ary glands, are present in both sexes but they normally function only in females. The biological role of the mammary glands is to secrete milk for the nourishment of the infant, a process called lactation.

To prevent spread of CA, a malignant breast tumor may be treated with a partial or complete excision. When a breast has to be removed, the patient has a mast/ectomy

During puberty, the female’s breasts develop as a result of periodic stimulation of the ovarian hormones estrogen and progesterone.

Estrogen is responsible for the development of (1) adipose tissue, which enlarges the size of the breasts until they reach full maturity around age 16. Breast size is primarily determined by the amount of fat around the (2) glandular tissue, but is not a factor in the ability to produce and secrete milk. Label the adipose and glandular tissues in Figure Structure of mammary glands.

During pregnancy, high levels of estrogen and progesterone prepare the mammary glands for milk production. Each breast has approximately 20 lobes. Each (3) lobe is drained by a (4) lactiferous duct that opens on the tip of the raised (5) nipple. Circling the nipple is a border of slightly darker skin called the (6) areola. Label the structures of the mammary glands in Figure Structure of mammary glands.

During pregnancy, the breasts enlarge and remain so until lactation ceases. At menopause, breast tissue begins to atrophy. The ability of mammary glands to secrete milk for the nourishment of the infant is a process called lactation

Mamm/o/graphy, an x-ray examination of the breast, is used in the Dx of CA. Correction of pendulous breasts can be performed by reconstructive cosmetic surgery to lift the breasts.

Structure-of-mammary-glands-(A)-Sagittal-section-of-breast -(B)-Anterior

Structure of mammary glands. (A) Sagittal section of breast. (B) Anterior view showing lymph nodes and structures of the breast.

When a small primary tumor is localized, the surgeon performs a lumpectomy. In these instances, the tumor and some of the normal tissue surrounding it are excised. All tissue removed from the breast is biopsied to determine if CA cells are present in the normal tissue surrounding the tumor. (See Figure Lumpectomy, with the primary tumor highlighted black and the surrounding tissue removed during lumpectomy highlighted pink.)

Neo/nat/o/logy is the study and treatment of the neonate (newborn infant). A physician who specializes in the care and treatment of the neonate is called a neo/nat/o/logist

Gravidais used to describe a pregnant woman, as is the suffix -gravida. A primi/gravidais a woman pregnant for the first time; a multi/gravidais a woman who has been pregnant more than once. Whenever you see gravidain a word, you will know it denotes a pregnant woman

The word pararefers to a woman who has given birth to an infant, regardless of whether or not the offspring was alive at birth.It also may be followed by numbers to indicate the number of deliveries, as in para 1, 2,3, or 4 (or I, II, III, or IV).

Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is a collective term for inflammation of the uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries, and adjacent pelvic structures, usually caused by bacterial infection. The abbreviation for pelvic inflammatory disease is PID

Lumpectomy, with the primary tumor highlighted black

Lumpectomy, with the primary tumor highlighted black and the surrounding tissue removed during lumpectomy highlighted pink.

In the female reproductive system, an infection may be confined to a single organ or it may involve all of the internal female reproductive organs. Path/o/gens generally enter through the vagina during coitus, induced abortion, childbirth, or the postpartum period. As an ascending infection, pathogens spread from the vagina and cervix to the upper structures of the female reproductive tract.

The two most common causes of PID are gonorrhea and chlamydia, both of which are sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Unless treated promptly, PID may result in sterility because the fallopian tubes and ovaries become scarred. Widespread infection of reproductive structures may also lead to fatal septicemia.

Because regions of the fallopian tubes have an internal diameter as small as the width of a human hair, the scarring and closure of the tubes caused by PID is one of the major causes of female sterility (infertility).Chlamydia and gonorrhea are two main causes of PID. The abbreviation PID means pelvic inflamatory disease

A pelvic infection confined to the uterine or fallopian tubes is known as salping/itis; a pelvic infection confined to the ovaries is known as oophor/itis. Dx of a cyst or tumor in a fallopian tube may necessitate the surgical procedure known as salping/ectomy. When the abbreviation Dxis used in a medical report, it means diagnosis

Abdominal incision of the uterus (hyster/o/tomy) is performed to remove the fetus during a cesarean section (CS), also called C-section.


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Medical Terminology(Adaptive*) Topics