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

H

Hemorrhoids
Hemorrhoids are varicose veins located on the inside or outside of the rectum. They often occur, or worsen, during pregnancy’s later months.

High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL)
Because it is composed of more protein than cholesterol as it travels through the blood, HDL decreases the risk of coronary heart disease by carrying plaque away from the vessel walls.

High Blood Pressure
Also called hypertension, high blood pressure occurs when pressure of blood flowing through the arteries has built to a higher-than-normal level.

High Risk Pregnancy
A pregnancy is termed high risk if there is an increased chance of either the mother or fetus suffering harm, damage, loss of pregnancy, or death. High risk pregnancies are usually still carried to term—it may just mean more visits to the obstetrician and careful monitoring.

Gestational Diabetes
A form of diabetes that occurs during pregnancy in women, it usually results from the effects of hormones released during pregnancy. It can cause the baby to grow too much, resulting in a difficult delivery. After delivery, gestational diabetes usually does not result in any postpartum diabetes symptoms or effects.

Hirsutism
This refers to excessive body hair growth. Women suffering from this may grow hair in unusual areas such as the chest, stomach, and back.

HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus)
The cause of AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome), HIV attacks cells present in the body’s immune system.

Hormone
The body produces hormones. Their purpose is to control various organ functions.

Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)
This treatment prescribes estrogen and sometimes progestin. These replacement hormones relieve symptoms caused by lowered hormone levels, like from menopause.

Hormone Therapy
See Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT).

Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG)
This is the hormone produced during pregnancy whose presence is the basis for most pregnancy tests.

Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
HPV is a virus that is transmitted sexually. It causes condylomas (genital warts) on or around the genitals, and can highly increase a woman’s risk for cervical cancer.

Hydration
Hydration, the administration of fluids, is used by obstetricians to help halt preterm labor.

Hyperglycemia
Glucose levels in the blood (blood sugar) are too high.

Hyperplasia
Hyperplasia is the possibly pre-cancerous, abnormal increase in the number of cells in an organ or tissue such as the uterine lining.

Hypoglycemia
Glucose levels in the blood (blood sugar) are too high.

Hysterectomy
This is the surgery to remove the uterus. When it is performed, sometimes the cervix, fallopian tubes, and ovaries are removed as well.

Hysterosalpingography
In this special procedure to take x-ray pictures of the uterus and fallopian tubes, fluid is used to determine whether the tubes are blocked. It can also help to indicate abnormal changes.

Hysteroscopy
The hysteroscope, a light-transmitting telescope, is placed through the vagina to view the uterus. This is used for examinations and to perform surgeries.

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