MENSTRUAL CYCLE GLOSSARY

Glossary A to Z

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Amenorrhea

Absence of menstrual periods.

Primary amenorrhea is defined as the absence of menstruation at puberty: the menstrual cycle never starts.

Secondary amenorrhea is defined as a condition whereby a woman's menstrual period stops due to an underlying medical cause.

Anovulation

Absence of ovulation.

Anovulatory Cycle

A menstrual cycle in which ovulation does not occur.

Artificial Insemination

Refers to placing semen into a female's body for the purpose of conception.

In reproductive medicine, Artificial Insemination (AI) is most often performed via intrauterine insemination (IUI) but can also be done via intracervical or intrafallopian injection.

Basal Body Temperature

Temperature of a body at full rest; basal refers to baseline. Basal Body Temperature (BBT) measurements are often used to chart and track women's fertility, as temperature fluctuations generally follow the ovulatory cycle.

For purposes of trying to conceive, it is recommended that women take their temperature immediately upon waking and before they rise or ingest anything. Though not absolutely necessary, a special BBT thermometer provides the most accurate reading.

C-section; Caesarean

Delivery of a baby by surgical incision through the abdominal wall and uterus. It is believed that Julius Caesar was born this way.

Catamenia

Another word for menses or menstruation.

Cervical Mucus

Fluid secreted by the cervix. Its main role is to assist sperm in living for several days and to help transport sperm to the fallopian tubes.

Cervix

Opening into the uterus.

Cilia

Hair-like projections inside the fallopian tubes that move the egg up the tubes into the uterus.

Corpus Luteum

A yellow mass of cells that forms from the follicle that releases the egg at ovulation. The corpus luteum produces the hormone progesterone that is important for preparing the endometrium for implantation of the fertilized egg.

Coverline

Coverline is a term used in BBT charting. A line drawn on a fertility graph that represents a measurable shift in the ovulatory cycle from the follicular phase to the luteal phase (with ovulation occurring in between.) Once 6 days of temperatures have been noted on a graph, the first BBT that is charted at .2 (two-tenths) degree higher is considered a 'thermal shift'. The coverline is then drawn one-tenth degree over the previous six temps. If following temps are above the coverline for at least three days, ovulation is assumed to have taken place.

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Disclaimer: All information provided in this glossary is for educational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for advice provided by a medical doctor or qualified healthcare provider. You should not use this information for self-diagnosis or for treating a health problem or disease. If you have any questions whatsoever about your medical health or believe you have a medical problem or disease, you should contact your medical doctor or healthcare provider. You should never disregard medical advice or delay seeking medical advice or treatment because of something you have read in this glossary. No guarantee is made about the accuracy, completeness, or relevance of the information contained herein.