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

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Identical Twins
Identical twins are two fetuses that have developed from a single fertilized egg. Unlike fraternal twins, they are usually genetically identical, they often share the same placenta and amniotic sac.

Imaging
Medical tests that produce images of areas within the body are referred to as imaging.

Immune System
The immune system makes up the body’s natural defense system. It protects against foreign substances and invading organisms, such as bacteria and viral infections.

Immunotherapy
Sometimes called biological therapy, immunotherapy takes advantage of the body’s natural defenses to fight cancer.

Impotence
Impotence refers to a man’s inability to achieve an erection, or maintain an erection throughout sexual intercourse and ejaculation.

Incompetent Cervix
An incompetent cervix cannot support a baby on its own. It may dilate or open earlier than it should in pregnancy. It can be detected using an exam or ultrasound.

Incontinence
Incontinence is involuntary loss of urine. It can occur during pregnancy.

Induced Abortion
An induced abortion is the planned termination of a pregnancy before term.

Infertility
Infertility is usually defined by a couple’s inability to conceive after one year of unprotected sex, or a woman’s inability to carry a pregnancy to term. Somewhere between ten and fifteen percent of the population is infertile.

Insulin
Insulin, used in treatment of diabetes, is a hormone controlling blood sugar (glucose) levels.

Interferon
This modifier stimulates disease-fighting blood cells in the body’s immune system.

Interleukin-2
Interleukin-2 is a response modifier located within the body. It stimulates cancer-fighting blood cells.

Intrauterine Device (IUD)
This form of contraceptive is a small device, such as a plastic or metallic loop, ring, or spiral, placed and left inside the uterus to prevent pregnancy.

Intrauterine Growth Restriction (IUGR)
IUGR refers to a fetus that is not growing at the rate it is supposed to within the womb.

Intravenous Pyelography
This test detects defects or abnormal structures within the urinary tract, including the urethra, bladder, and ureters.

Invasive
In cancer terms, invasive cancer attacks and actively destroys surrounding cells. It begins in one area and spreads deeper into that area’s tissues.

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