The world of women’s health is full of confusing terminology that most people wouldn’t dare use in everyday conversation, says Marla Ahlgrimm. In the following brief post, the retired women’s healthcare expert simplifies a few of the most confusing terms tossed about the doctor’s office.
Advance directive. According to Marla Ahlgrimm, an advance directive is a set of written instructions outlining a patient’s wishes should he or she become too ill to direct their medical care. A healthcare power of attorney is an example of an advance directive.
Alveolar cells. These are the tiny glands within the breast that produce milk.
Cirrhosis. Cirrhosis is a condition affecting the liver and results from chronic liver disease. Liver cirrhosis happens when the liver is no longer able to function properly due to scarring, explains Marla Ahlgrimm. Cirrhosis can cause bleeding disorders and fluid buildup in the abdomen.
Diaphragm. A diaphragm is a type of birth control that Marla Ahlgrimm describes as a flexible thin disk designed to occlude sperm from the uterus.
Endometriosis. This is a reproductive disorder that results when uterine tissue grows outside of the uterus but continues to function as though it were properly placed. During the menstrual cycle, bloodshed from this tissue can cause inflammation which results in scar tissue. Common symptoms of endometriosis include irregular bleeding and pain from menstrual cramps felt in the abdomen and/or lower back.
Herpes simplex virus (HSV). Herpes is a viral infection that can cause blisters around the mouth and/or genitals. The most common is type I, which often causes cold sores. Type II is a sexually transmitted disease and primarily affects genital tissue, says Marla Ahlgrimm.
Infertility. Infertility is defined as the inability to conceive after 6 – 12 months of unprotected sexual intercourse, depending on age. Women who experience multiple miscarriages may also be diagnosed as infertile. Infertility affects men and women.