British Fibroid Trust Woman2Woman Fibroid Support Fibroids: Patient Guide
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AdhesionWeb-like growths of scar tissue that can bind any of the pelvic organs to one another; may be caused by surgery, injury or endometriosis; commonly causes pelvic pain
AmenorrhoeaAbsence of menstrual bleeding.
AnaemiaA low red blood cell count, caused by heavy menstrual bleeding or other blood loss; the most obvious symptom is fatigue.
Anaesthetic a drug used to prevent pain during surgery or other procedures. A general anaesthetic makes the person unconscious. A local anaesthetic numbs the area where the surgery is to be performed. Local anaesthetics may be combined with sedatives to make a person relax and sleepy but not unconscious.
AntibioticsDrugs used to kill bacterial infections.
BenignAn abnormal growth that is not cancer and will not spread to other areas of the body.
Cesarean sectionThe surgical removal of an infant from the uterus when vaginal delivery is not possible.
CoagulationWhen used to refer to a surgical procedure, coagulation means the destruction of tissue with an electrical current.
Cul-de-sacA pouch formed by the space between the uterus and the rectum.
DysmenorrhoeaPainful periods.
DyspareuniaPainful sex.
Ectopic pregnancyWhen an ovum is fertilised and begins to develop inside the Fallopian tubes; a dangerous condition that can be fatal to a woman if left untreated.
EndoShort term for endometriosis.
Endocrine systemA network of glands and ducts that produce and release hormones inside the body.
Endometrial ablationThe removal of the endometrium (lining of the womb) using a variety of procedures including laser, microwave, electric current, or heated fluid and freezing. This is a treatment for heavy menstrual bleeding that permanently stops menstruation and prevents future childbearing.
EndometriumThe inner lining of the uterus. Menstrual flow is derived from the endometrium. After each menstrual period, the endometrium grows to replace the part of the surface that has been lost.
ExcisionTo surgically cut out and remove tissue using any surgical tool including a laser.
Fallopian tubesTubes through which the egg passes from the ovary to the uterus.
GnRHStands for Gonadotropin-releasing hormone; one of the hormones that regulates the female menstrual cycle
GnRH agonists (gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists)A group of drugs which reduce a woman's estrogen levels; these drugs are used to treat endometriosis and reduce the size of fibroids. These drugs prevent ovulation and cause an artificial menopause. They may cause symptoms similar to menopause and can also cause bone mineral loss eventually leading to osteoporosis. For these reasons, GnRH agonists are most often a temporary treatment, relieving symptoms until other approaches can take effect.
HRTHormone Replacement Therapy.
HypertensionPersistent high blood pressure.
HysterectomyThe removal of the uterus. During a simple hysterectomy only the uterus and cervix are removed, during a total hysterectomy the uterus and cervix are removed along with the ovaries and fallopian tubes. The more extensive procedure is usually used in cancer treatment, to treat fibroids and other pelvic health conditions, only a simple hysterectomy is usually required. To learn more about this topic, visit the fibroid treatment section or the endometrial cancer treatment section.
Hysteroscopic resectionThe removal of fibroids from the inner wall of the uterus with a fiberoptic device called a hysteroscope.
ImplantsSmall, flat patches of endometrial-like cells growing outside the uterus
InfertilityThe inability to have children; not being able to acheive pregnancy after one year of regular, unprotected sex, or the inability to carry a pregnancy to a live birth.
IntravenousInjection of a substance directly into a vein
LaparoscopyThis procedure uses a fiberoptic device called a laparoscope to examine the inside of the pelvic cavity. The laparoscope is inserted through a small incision in the abdomen.
LaparotomyTraditional abdominal surgery.
LeiomyomasThe medical term for fibroids.
LesionA small area of damaged tissue.
Luteal phaseThe portion of a woman's menstrual cycle between ovulation and menstruation
MyomectomyThe surgical removal of a fibroid.
NoduleA small lump or cluster of tissue.
OestrogenA hormone that regulates the female menstrual cycle.
OpioidsA group of drugs, which include morphine and opium, that relieve pain and cause sedation, constipation and slower breathing
OsteoporosisA disease in which the bones become thin, porous and break easily.
OvariesFemale glands that produce eggs and the hormones oestrogen and progesterone.
Ovulate/ovulationThe release of an egg from the ovary.
Pelvic congestionDilation (swelling) of the veins in the pelvis causing pressure and pain.
PeritoneumThe thin membrane that covers the pelvis and abdomen walls, as well as the pelvic organs.
PhysiotherapistA health professional who deals with exercise, activity and physical function.
ProgesteroneA hormone produced by the ovaries which is necessary to protect the thickening of the uterine lining in response to oestrogen.
ProgestogensNaturally-occuring substances that shrink endometrial tissue; they are used as an endometriosis treatment but can have severe side effects.
ProstaglandinsNaturally-occuring substances that cause the uterus to contract and are responsible for period cramps.
Reproductive ageFrom the first period until the onset of menopause; all the years a woman is able to conceive a child.
ResectionThe surgical removal of an organ or other structure.
Retrograde bleedingThe backward flow of menstrual discharge through the fallopian tubes into the pelvis, which occasionally occurs during a woman's period.
Transvaginal surgerySurgery where the incision is inside the vagina; transvaginal surgery may be used for surgery that affects the bladder such as cystocele or stress incontinence
TumourA mass of cells that may be benign or cancerous.
UltrasoundAn ultrasound is used to visualise soft body tissues by directing high frequency sound waves. The 'echoes' produce an on-screen image. Thicker tissue appears lighter on the ultrasound screen. Ultrasound technology has been used for over 35 years and studies show it is safe. It does not use radioactive material to produce an image.
Urethral syndromePain and inflammation of the urethra (the tube which carries urine from the bladder to the outside of the body). These symptoms are often regarded as a specific sub-group of interstitial cystitis.
Uterosacral ligamentsLigaments that attach the uterus and cervix to the base of the spine.
UterusThe female organ that holds and sustains the fetus.
VaporisationA way to surgically treat endometriosis by destroying endometrial tissue with a laser.
 
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