Endometriosis From A to Z: 92 Terms to Know

Endometriosis is a disease that causes tissue similar to uterine tissue to grow outside of the uterus, causing various complications and symptoms. To help decipher the medical terminology, Endometriosis.uk has a useful glossary, defining the essential (and some of the more complicated) terms related to this disease.

MORE: Important conditions related to endometriosis

If you have endometriosis, or know someone who does, these are the terms you’ll hear most often:

  1. Abdominal hysterectomy: a hysterectomy through the abdominal wall
  2. Add-back: hormones given to substitute some hormones lost through hormone treatments
  3. Adenomyosis: when endometrial tissue grows into the uterus wall
  4. Adhesion: Fibrous scar tissue that is formed inside the body
  5. Aromatase inhibitors: medication which prevents the enzyme aromatase from working
  6. Benign: something that’s not life-threatening or dangerous
  7. Biopsy: taking a tissue sample for tests
  8. Bone density: how strong someone’s bones are
  9. Bowel: the part of the digestive system that connects the stomach to the rectum
  10. Bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy: surgical procedure to remove the ovaries and the fallopian tubes
  11. Bowel resection: removal of part of the bowel
  12. Cauterization:  laser removal of tissue
  13. Cervix: the opening between the uterus and the vagina
  14. Chocolate cysts (endometrioma): an ovarian cyst filled with old blood
  15. Chronic fatigue syndrome: persistent fatigue which has an impact of day-to-day life
  16. Cul-de-sac: area between the womb and the rectum
  17. Cystoscopy: a procedure in which a small telescope is inserted into the urethra to see the bladder
  18. Dioxin: poisonous chemical found in pesticides
  19. D&C (dilatation and curettage): a procedure, done under anaesthetic in which the lining of the womb is removed
  20. Dysmenorrhea: painful periods
  21. Dyspareunia: painful sex
  22. Ectopic pregnancy: when a fertilized egg grows inside the fallopian tube
  23. Endometrial ablation: the removal of the womb lining through lasers, heat and electrical currents, preventing future childbirth
  24. Endometrial hyperplasia: thickening and excessive growth of the womb lining
  25. Estrogen: female sex hormone
  26. Fallopian tube: tube between the ovary and the womb
  27. Fatigue: extreme tiredness
  28. Fibroid: a benign tumor in the womb
  29. Follicles: areas in the ovary which contain the egg
  30. Follicle stimulating hormone (FSH): one of the hormones which stimulates the growth of the follicles
  31. Gonadotropins: hormones which control ovary function
  32. Gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH): controls the release of gonadotropins from the pituitary gland
  33. Gynecologist: a doctor specialising in female conditions
  34. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT): medication that imitates estrogen
  35. Hysterectomy: surgery to remove the womb
  36. Hysteroscopy: examination of the womb under anaesthetic
  37. In vitro fertilization (IVF): fertilization which takes place outside of the womb, in a glass dish
  38. Infertility: when someone is unable to become pregnant
  39. Informed consent: an agreement between the patient and a healthcare professional, in which the patient understands and agrees to surgery or treatment, being aware of any risks involved
  40. Internal exam: a vaginal examination where the doctor puts their fingers inside the vagina and presses on the abdomen to feel the pelvic organs
  41. Intrauterine: inside the uterus
  42. Intrauterine device: a device which is put inside the womb to prevent pregnancy
  43. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS): a bowel disorder which causes cramps, bloating, constipation and diarrhea
  44. Laparoscope: an instrument used to examine inside the pelvis
  45. Leiomyoma: fibroids
  46. Lesion: abnormal tissue
  47. Luteal phase: the period of the menstrual cycle between ovulation and menstruation
  48. Luteinising hormone: the gonadotropin responsible for releasing the egg
  49. Laparoscopy: procedure conducted under general anaesthetic, where doctors insert a small telescope into the pelvis through the navel. This is the only effective method to diagnose endometriosis.
  50. Menopause: when the ovaries stop functioning and periods stop
  51. Menorrhagia: heavy periods
  52. Menstruation: the monthly cycle in which the uterus prepares for pregnancy
  53. Miscarriage: spontaneous loss of the foetus
  54. Neurectomy: nerve removal
  55. Neuropathic pain: pain cause by damage to nerves
  56. NSAIDS: painkillers containing menafemic acid (such as ibuprofen) stop the body from producing prostaglandins, which triggers pain in response to disease or injury. Women with endometriosis sometimes produce more prostaglandins than those without the disease.
  57. Obstetrician: a doctor that specializes in delivering babies
  58. Oligomenorrhea: infrequent periods
  59. Oophorectomy: removal of either one or both ovaries
  60. Osteoporosis: a disease where bones become brittle
  61. Ovaries: the female reproductive organs that produce eggs
  62. Ovarian cyst: a fluid-filled growth in or on the ovary
  63. Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome: when the ovaries produce too many follicles — often a side effect of fertility treatments
  64. Ovarian failure: when the ovaries no longer produce follicles as they are no longer responsive to FSH
  65. Ovulation: when the ovaries release an egg
  66. Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID): a general term to describe infection in the pelvic area
  67. Pituitary gland: the part of the brain that controls hormone function
  68. Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS): a condition in which excessive amounts of the male sex hormone are produced
  69. Polyp: a small growth which can be cancerous or non-cancerous
  70. Pouch of Douglas: the area between the womb and the rectum
  71. Premature menopause: when menopause occurs before the age of 40
  72. Premature ovarian failure: when the ovaries run out of eggs before menopause
  73. Presacral neurectomy: when the nerves behind the uterus are cut to reduce pain
  74. Progesterone: female sex hormone that thickens the uterus lining in order for pregnancy to occur
  75. Progestogens/progestins: synthetic hormones that behave in a similar way to progesterone
  76. Prostaglandin: lipid mediators that help with muscle relaxation and contraction, cell growth, dilation and constriction of blood vessels, blood pressure and inflammation
  77. Puberty: when the body begins to produce sex hormones
  78. Rectum: the last few inches of the small intestine.
  79. Reproductive age: the time in which a woman can conceive a child
  80. Retrograde menstruation: when some of the lining of the uterus flows backwards during a period into the abdomen
  81. Salpingectomy: surgery to remove the fallopian tubes
  82. Sigmoidoscopy: an investigative procedure in which a telescope is inserted through the back passage and into the colon
  83. Transvaginal surgery: surgery that is carried out through the vagina
  84. Transvaginal scan: an ultrasound carried out through the vagina
  85. Tumor: a mass of cells that grow inside the body, either benign or cancerous
  86. Ultrasound: a non- invasive procedure to see inside the body using high frequency sound waves
  87. Uterine fibroids: non-cancerous growths that grow within the wall of the uterus
  88. Uterine polyps: non-cancerous growths that grow from the inner surface of the uterus
  89. Uterosacral ligaments: the ligaments that hold the uterus in place
  90. Uterus: the womb
  91. Vaporization: destroying endometriosis deposits with lasers
  92. Womb: the uterus

MORE: Tips to help cope with endometriosis pain

Endometriosis News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.