Adenomyosis is a condition where the inner lining of your uterus (the endometrium) grows into the muscle layer of the uterus (the myometrium). Much like with endometriosis, the endometrial tissue in adenomyosis responds to the hormonal fluctuations of the menstrual cycle, thickening and then breaking down. As the old endometrial tissue has no way of leaving the myometrium, it can cause inflammation and pain.

    The adrenal glands are small glands placed at the top of each kidney. They're responsible for secreting hormones such as cortisol and male sex hormones like dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and testosterone.

    Acronyms meaning "assigned female/male at birth" (also designated female/male at birth or female/male assigned at birth). Whether cis or trans, no one gets to choose what sex they're assigned at birth. This term is preferred to "biological male/female", "male/female-bodied", "natal male/female", and "born male/female", which are defamatory and inaccurate.

    Commonly referred to as "male hormone" androgens are a group of hormones that play a crucial role in male traits and reproductive activity. Both men's and women's bodies produce androgens in different amounts.
  • B


    A common vaginal infection caused by the overgrowth of harmful bacteria naturally found in the vagina. BV causes unpleasant, foul - smelling discharge . 1 in 3 people with vaginas get it at some point in their life, and it 's common for the condition to come back.

    Bartholin glands are pea - sized glands found at both sides of the vaginal opening, at the bottom of your labia. They secrete mucus that helps lubricate the vagina, especially when aroused. The fluid travels down tiny tubes called "ducts" and into the vagina, but if the ducts become blocked, they can fill with fluid and form a cyst. This is also known as Bartholinitis.
  • C


    One of the most common STIs, it 's very easy to treat and cure. More than 2 in 3 women with chlamydia won't have any obvious signs or symptoms or will have symptoms so mild they go unnoticed. Symptoms can show up 1 & ndash;3 weeks after coming into contact with chlamydia and might include painful urination, unusual vaginal discharge, bleeding after sex or in between periods, and pelvic pain.

    A cisgender / cis person identifies with the sex / gender they were assigned at birth.

    Someone who is both cisgender and heterosexual.

    The mass of cells that forms in an ovary and is responsible for producing the hormone progesterone during early pregnancy.
  • D


    Dysbiosis is an imbalance in the types of organisms present in a person 's natural microbiome, especially that of the gut and vagina, which is thought to contribute to a range of illnesses and infections.

    A medical term for menstrual cramps.
  • E


    The endocrine system is your body 's collection of hormone-making glands. It's responsible for making sure your body works the way it 's supposed to and plays a massive role in your menstrual cycle.

    A condition where tissue similar to the uterus lining is found in other parts of the body, such as the ovaries and fallopian tubes. It can cause pelvic pain, fertility issues, pain during and after sex, and pain during bowel movements.

    The innermost lining layer of the uterus, shed during your period.

    The outermost layer of skin and the first line of defense against pathogens and STIs.
  • F

  • FGM

    Female genital mutilation(FGM) is a procedure where the female genitals in girls or teens are deliberately cut, injured, or changed for non - medical reasons. It 's used to control female sexuality and can cause long-lasting damage to physical and emotional health, often resulting in death.

    A phenomenon of drug metabolism whereby the concentration of a drug is significantly reduced before it reaches the systemic circulation, passing by the liver first.
  • FSH

    The hormone that stimulates the growth of ovarian follicles in the ovary before releasing an egg from one follicle at ovulation.
  • G


    An individual 's internal, innate sense of their gender (regardless of the sex/gender they were assigned at birth).
  • GP

    General practitioner, aka your doctor.
  • H

  • HPV

    Human papillomavirus(HPV) is a very common virus. Most people will get a form of HPV in their life. There are over 200 types of HPV, and while some do not cause any problems, others can cause genital warts or lead to cervical cancer. There is no treatment for HPV, however, a preventative vaccine exists. The HPV vaccine protects against the types of HPV that cause most cases of genital warts and cervical cancer, but it does not protect against all types of HPV.

    The hypothalamus is a small region of the brain that plays a crucial role in many vital functions, including releasing hormones, regulating emotional responses, and maintaining daily physiological cycles.

    A hysterectomy is an invasive surgical procedure to remove the uterus.
  • I

  • IBS

    Irritable Bowel Syndrome(IBS) is a common condition that affects the digestive system and can cause symptoms such as stomach cramps, bloating, diarrhea, and constipation.
  • IUD

    The IUD, or copper coil, is a small plastic and copper device that sits inside your uterus and has two strings that stick out of your cervix. It works by releasing small doses of copper that alter your cervical mucus and makes it more difficult for sperm to survive in your uterus. It can also stop a fertilized egg from implanting in the uterus. It is a method of long - acting reversible contraception(LARC), also known as "fit and forget, " and is 99% effective. Although it's one of the safest and most effective forms of contraception, it's probably the most misunderstood.
  • IUS

    The intrauterine system(IUS) is a hormonal form of contraception and a LARC(long - acting reversible contraception). Similar to the copper coil(IUD), it 's a small T-shaped device that sits in your uterus. Unlike the IUD, however, it releases progestogen.
  • L


    Lactobacilli are the good bacteria present in your vagina. The two most common are Lactobacillus crispatus and Lactobacillus iners. They keep the vaginal pH acidic, preventing the growth of harmful pathogens like E. coli, staph, and candida, and are responsible for fighting infections like thrush and BV.

    An acronym for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, intersex, asexual. The plus sign stands for all other sexualities, sexes, and genders that aren't included in these few letters.

    The lymphatic system is an extensive network of vessels that passes through almost all our organs and tissues. It 's a drainage system that allows the movement of lymph, a fluid containing white blood cells called lymphocytes, which fight infection, making it a vital part of our immune system. Lymph circulates through the body similarly to blood and is transported from body tissues into the blood circulation. The lymphatic system maintains the balance of fluid between the blood and tissues (fluid homeostasis), helps defend against bacteria and other intruders, and facilitates the absorption of fats and fat-soluble nutrients in the digestive system.
  • M


    Your first period, which typically starts during puberty.

    The normal stage of life when a woman stops having periods and can no longer get pregnant.

    AKA your period, the normal vaginal bleeding occurs as part of your monthly cycle.

    A microbiome is a community of microorganisms, including billions of bacteria and fungi, that live in the same environment and are essential to overall health. Microbiomes exist all over your bodies: in your GI tract, nasal passage, skin & hellip; and even your vagina.
  • N


    An umbrella term for someone who doesn't fit exclusively into one of the binary gender categories ("man" or "woman"). A non-binary or genderfluid person may have: a single fixed gender position other than male or female, no gender, a combination of male and female or different genders, or move between male, female and other genders – or they might not identify or agree with the concept of gender entirely.

    Norethisterone is a synthetic version of the naturally occurring hormone progesterone. Norethisterone is the main component of the period delay pill.

    Non - steroidal anti - inflammatory drug(s), such as ibuprofen.
  • O


    An oophorectomy is a surgical procedure to remove one or both of your ovaries. When oophorectomy involves removing both ovaries, it 's called bilateral oophorectomy. When the surgery involves removing only one ovary, it's a unilateral oophorectomy. An oophorectomy can also be done as part of an operation to remove the uterus(hysterectomy).

    The process usually happens 12 - 16 days before your period, when hormone changes trigger an ovary to release an egg. Ovulation is triggered by a rise in the luteinizing hormone, which stimulates the follicles for the release of the egg.
  • P

  • PCOS

    Polycystic ovary syndrome(PCOS) is a common condition caused by the higher production of androgens that affects how your ovaries work. It 's characterized by polycystic ovaries (which contain many follicles surrounding the eggs), irregular periods, and excess facial and body hair.

    An infection of the female upper genital tract, including the uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries. The condition is pretty common and causes mild symptoms such as fever, pelvic pain, discomfort during intercourse, post - coital bleeding or bleeding between periods, heavy or painful periods, and unusual vaginal discharge.

    Having little or no access to sanitary products due to financial constraints.

    A pheromone is a chemical that animals(including humans) produce that changes the behavior of another animal of the same species. They are similar to hormones but function outside the body.

    The pituitary gland is a small pea - sized gland found at the base of your brain that plays a significant role in regulating vital body functions and general wellbeing. It is referred to as the body 's "master gland" because it controls the activity of most other hormone-secreting glands, including the thyroid and adrenals, the ovaries, and testicles.
  • PMDD

    Premenstrual dysphoric disorder(PMDD) is a very severe form of PMS that causes emotional symptoms like depression, irritability, and anxiety. It affects 5 - 10 % of people who menstruate.
  • PME

    Premenstrual exacerbation(PME) refers to the premenstrual exacerbation / worsening of the symptoms of another disorder, such as depression or anxiety.
  • PMS

    Premenstrual syndrome(PMS) is the physical and emotional symptoms that occur one to two weeks before your period.

    Primary ovarian insufficiency(POI), sometimes called premature ovarian failure, happens when the ovaries stop generally functioning before age 40. When this happens, your ovaries don 't produce average amounts of estrogen or release eggs regularly. This condition often leads to infertility. POI is sometimes confused with premature menopause, but these conditions aren't the same. People with POI can have irregular or occasional periods for years and might even get pregnant, but those with premature menopause stop having periods and can 't become pregnant.
  • S


    A soothing ointment.

    Techniques and general lifestyle changes or habits that help manage the symptoms of many mental health problems.

    A cervical screening(or smear test) checks the health of your cervix. It looks out for abnormal cell changes in your cervix and some types of HPV. Smear tests are one of the best ways to protect you from cervical cancer.

    A substance or product that claims to be a medical remedy but has no healing properties.
  • STIS

    Sexually transmitted infections. Often referred to as STDs, sexually transmitted diseases.

    A product or way of life that is ethical, eco - conscious, and prioritizes the planet 's health.
  • T


    Thrush is a yeast infection caused by an overgrowth of Candida albicans, a fungus that lives naturally in the body. It 's not a sexually transmitted infection, but it can be passed on during sex. Common symptoms are white, cottage cheese-like discharge, vaginal itching and irritation, and discomfort and/or burning during intercourse and urination.

    The thyroid is the endocrine gland in your neck that regulates your metabolism and heart and digestive function, muscle control, brain development, mood, and bone maintenance.

    Topical application of a medicine, drug, or substance, typically by using an adhesive patch, so that it is absorbed slowly through the skin and into the body.

    People who do not identify with the sex / gender they were assigned at birth.
  • TSS

    Toxic shock syndrome(TSS) is a rare but life - threatening condition caused by bacterial toxins. It is often associated with tampon use, but it can affect all genders.
  • U


    The ducts that connect your kidneys to your bladder.

    The uterus is made of 3 parts: The endometrium(the inner layer that lines the uterus) and the myometrium(the middle and thickest layer of the uterus wall), and the perimetrium(the outer serous layer of the uterus).
  • V


    The internal part of the vagina.

    The vaginal microbiome is the ecosystem of bacteria, yeasts, and other microorganisms inside your vagina. It 's mostly made up of lactobacilli: good bacteria that produce lactic acid and keep the vaginal pH acidic to prevent infections. Your vaginal flora — sometimes referred to as vaginal microbiota — is crucial for overall health. It affects everything from your ability to fight off infections to your likelihood of getting pregnant, miscarrying, and even developing certain cancers.

    A condition where the vagina involuntarily tightens up when you try to insert something into it. It can make sexual intercourse, tampon insertion, and many gynecological check - ups painful or distressing.

    The vulva is the female external genitals, made up of the labia majora, clitoris, labia minora, and vaginal opening. The vulva is the correct term for what most people mean when they say "vagina. "

    Vulvodynia is chronic pain or discomfort of the vulva. Vulvodynia causes burning, stinging, or irritation, that doesn't have an identifiable cause and isn't visible. It can affect the entire vulva(generalized vulvodynia) or only affect a specific part of the vulva, such as the clitoris or vaginal opening(localized vulvodynia). Penetrative sex, inserting a tampon, sitting for an extended period of time, or even simply wearing tight - fitting trousers can cause vulvodynia to flare up in some people.