Circumcision – Surgical Removal of The Foreskin

Definition of Circumcision Circumcision – the surgical removal of the foreskin (prepuce), the thin hood of skin that covers the end of the penis. The reason for circumcision may be therapeutic, religious, ceremonial, hygienic, cultural, or social. About two thirds of newborn boys in the United States are circumcised shortly after birth for nontherapeutic reasons. Nontherapeutic circumcision should take […]

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Epididymitis – Definition, Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Definition of Epididymitis and Causes Inflammation of the epididymis, nearly always due to infection. The epididymis is a tightly coiled tubule that begins at the base of the testicle and ends at the vas deferens. The epididymis incubates newly formed sperm, bringing them to maturation as they migrate through its coils on their journey to the vas deferens. Escherichia coli […]

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Hot Flashes – Causes, Treatment and Menopause

Definition of Hot Flashes, Causes and Menopause Sudden episodes of flushing and sweating that occur with the fluctuating hormone levels that precede menopause or as a consequence of hormone therapy such as to treat hormonedriven cancers. Though researchers do not know the precise mechanisms of hot flashes, they believe the sudden drops in estrogens affect the thermoregulatory centers in […]

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Menopause – Definition, Signs and Symptoms

Definition of Menopause A woman’s last menstrual period, the end of menstruation and the closure of a woman’s fertility. Though researchers understand the cascade of physiologic events that results in menopause, the triggering factors remain a mystery though many researchers believe a key triggering mechanism is the loss of viable eggs (ova). Doctors consider a woman to have […]

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Ovulation Cycle – Definition and Symptoms

Definition of Ovulation Cycle The maturation and release of an ovum (egg) during a woman’s monthly menstrual cycle. Ovulation establishes fertility (the physiologic ability to conceive a pregnancy); only during ovulation may pregnancy occur. Ovulation marks the transition from the proliferative phase to the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle, during which the pituitary gland’s release of luteinizing […]

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Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) – Symptoms and Treatment

Definition of Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) A constellation of symptoms that occurs in a regular pattern aligned with a woman’s menstrual cycle. Doctors believe PMS results from the hormonal shift in the balance between estrogens and progesterone that follows involution of the corpus luteum. This shift sets in motion the events that produce menstruation. PMS tends to begin during the […]

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Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) – Symptoms in Women and Men

Definition of Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) Infections that spread from one person to another during sexual activity, causing illness or damage to the body. The pathogens that cause STDs may be bacteria, viruses, or parasites. STDs, also called sexually transmitted infections (STIs), are significant concerns worldwide, diminishing overall health and quality of life. STDs infect […]

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Vaginitis – Vaginal Infection – Symptoms and Treatment

Definition of Vaginitis Inflammation of the vagina that may occur as a result of irritation or infection. Common causes of irritation-based vaginitis include douches, feminine hygiene products, spermicides, bubble bath, and soaps. Common causes of infection based vaginitis include candidiasis (yeast infection) and sexually transmitted diseases (stds) such as chlamydia and trichomoniasis. Viruses that may cause vaginitis include herpes simplex 2 (hsv-2), which causes genital […]

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Apgar Score Definition

Definition of Apgar Score Apgar score – A standardized measure of an infant’s health status, typically assessed one minute and five minutes after birth. Anesthesiologist Virginia Apgar (1909–1974) developed the scoring system that bears her name in 1953, assigning a point value of 0, 1, or 2 to each of five categories of vital function (breathing, heart […]

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Clitoris – Definition and Information

Definition of Clitoris An organ of the female genitalia, located at and partially beneath the junction of the upper folds of the labia. Made of erectile tissue and nerves, the clitoris arises from the same embryonic cells as the male penis and, though much smaller, contains parallel structures. Two fused corpora cavernosa (spongy, tubelike channels) form the […]

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