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

F

Fallopian Tubes
When the egg is released from the ovary, it travels through the fallopian tubes to the uterus.

False Labor
Sometimes occurring during pregnancy, it can feel like going into true labor as the womb’s muscles tighten. However, the cervix does not dilate.

Fascia
Fascia is a general term for the tissues that support the body’s muscles and organs.

Fecal Occult Blood Test
This is a test to see if there is blood hidden in a patient’s stool.

Fertile
When a woman is fertile, she can become pregnant.

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS)
Caused by alcohol abuse by a mother while pregnant, FAS refers to a pattern of problems physical, behavioral, and mental in nature as a result.

Fetal Growth Retardation (IUGR)
Also called intrauterine growth restriction, this refers to a baby not growing as fast as it should be in the womb. It is not necessarily a cause for alarm—it may require more monitoring than a trouble-free pregnancy, but will not necessarily result in long-term harm.

Fetal Monitor
This is a device used to monitor the fetal heartbeat while giving birth. It can be used through the mother’s abdomen or vagina.

Fetus
During pregnancy, the fetus is the baby growing to term inside the uterus of the woman.

Fibrocystic Changes
Occasionally, benign (non-malignant, non-cancerous) cysts form in the breast. These are called fibrocystic changes.

Fibroid Embolization
This procedure causes fibroids to shrink by cutting off their blood supply. It is a minimally invasive surgery. The jury is still out on the procedure’s effect upon fibroid regrowth and fertility.

Fibroids
Occurring mainly towards the end of reproductive life, fibroids are smooth muscle tumors that occur in the uterus. They are benign in nature, though are usually present with heavy periods. Black females suffer fibroids more often than other ethnicities.

Fistula
A fistula is an opening between two internal organs that is not supposed to be there, for example between the bladder and vagina.

Follicle
When an egg is formed, a saclike structure forms in the ovary. This is the follicle.

Follicle-Stimulating Hormone (FSH)
Produced and secreted by the pituitary gland, FSH stimulates sex hormone production in both men and women, resulting in the growth and maturation of eggs in women and sperm in men.

Forceps
Forceps are used to guide the baby’s head out of the birth canal during delivery. This tool is commonly used.

Foreskin
In uncircumcised men, this is the layer of skin that covers the head of the penis.

Fraternal Twins
When twins develop from more than one fertilized egg, they each have their own placenta and amniotic sac and are not genetically identical. These are fraternal twins.

Functional Cyst
Functional cysts are benign cysts occurring on the ovaries. They generally disappear with no treatment necessary.

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