OBGYN Glossary

The following are a list of terms that may be used during the course of your OB/GYN care.

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

E

Eclampsia
This is a name for hypertension-related seizures that occur during pregnancy.

Ectopic Pregnancy
Ectopic pregnancy occurs when the fertilized egg begins to grow in the fallopian tubes or somewhere else abnormal (outside the uterus).

EDC (Estimated Date of Confinement)
This is the due date for the birth of the baby. It is estimated by counting 280 days from the last menstrual period.

Edema
Edema refers to body parts swelling with water. In pregnancy, it often occurs in the angles and feet.

Effacement
This is when the cervix thins and shortens late during pregnancy or labor.

Electrocautery
Electric current is used to destroy tissue during this procedure.

Electrode
In terms related to obstetrics, electrodes are small wires attached to the scalp of the fetus to transmit electronic impulses. These are used in testing.

Electronic Fetal Monitoring
This method uses artificially induced contractions of the uterus in order to monitor the fetus’ heartbeat in response to those contractions.

Electrosurgery
With this method, heat is introduced and used to destroy abnormal or cancerous cervical tissue.

Electrosurgical Excision
Electric energy is transmitted through a thin wire loop to remove abnormal growths from the cervix, vulva, or vagina.

Emphysema
Emphysema is a lung disease often resulting from long-time smoking that destroys the elasticity of the lungs.

Endocervical Curettage (ECC)
A companion biopsy to the colposcopic biopsy, this procedure uses a narrow curette to obtain tissue from the endocervical canal.

Endometrial Ablation
This procedure destroys the uterine lining; it is used to control heavy bleeding.

Endometrial Biopsy
This is an examination where tissue is scraped or suctioned from the uterine lining and observed under a microscope.

Endometrial Hyperplasia
Excessive cell growth causes this abnormal thickening of the uterine lining.

Endometrial Implants
Occasionally, fragments of the uterine lining relocate outside of the uterus. These deposits, in the muscular wall of the uterus, ovaries, vagina, fallopian tubes or intestines, are referred to as endometrial implants.

Endometrial Resection
This procedure removes the uterine lining; it is used to control heavy bleeding.

Endometriosis
Endometriosis occurs when tissue similar to that of the uterine lining is found in other pelvic structures such as the ovaries or fallopian tubes.

Endometrium
The endometrium is the mucus membrane that forms the uterine lining; it is shed during menstruation.

Endoscopy
This is a type of exam that uses a flexible tube with a lens or camera on the end to examine hollow organs like the uterus. Sometimes, the tube is used to take biopsy samples.

Enterocele
This is what occurs when the intestine bulges into the upper part of the vagina; it is usually caused by pregnancy or childbirth.

Enuresis
This is the medical term for urinating while asleep (bed-wetting).

Epidural Block
Often used during childbirth, the epidural block is an anesthetic that is used to prevent pain in the lower half of the body. It also dulls sensation, making the lower half of the body numb.

Episiotomy
During childbirth, the vaginal opening is widened for delivery by incising the perineum. This is referred to as an episiotomy.

Estrogen
Produced in the ovaries, estrogen is a female hormone that stimulates the growth of the uterine lining.

Estrogen Therapy (ERT)
After medical or surgical menopause, ERT is used to replace estrogen that the body no longer naturally makes.

Excisional
Excisional surgeries involve the removal of cancerous tissues (and often some tissues around them) using a scalpel or other cutting instrument.

Expectant Management
Also called expectant therapy, expectant management involves monitoring of a disease; watchful waiting rather than immediate treatment.

Extragenital
Extragenital means unrelated to the genital organs. Some pelvic injuries or diseases are extragenital, meaning they have no relation to the reproductive organs.

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