Glossary O


Glossary of Terms

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The state of being 20 percent over one’s ideal weight, or defined by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as having a BMI (Body Mass Index) of 30 (approximately 30 pounds) overweight. The BMI is a key for relating body weight to height and is based on a person’s weight in kg divided by their height in meters squared. Obesity is frequently based on both behavior and genetics and significantly increases the risk of health problems such as Type 2 Diabetes, hypertension, heart attack, stroke and certain types of cancer.


Infrequent or very light menstruation in a woman with previously normal periods.


Ovulating infrequently or irregularly. A woman usually ovulates, or releases a mature egg, once a month (about halfway through her cycle). Oligoovulation is seen in women with irregular cycles, or very long cycles (more then 50 days), and makes it very difficult to track their fertile days when trying to conceive.

Oral Contraceptives

Birth control pills containing some combination of synthetic estrogen and progestin to inhibit ovulation, thereby preventing pregnancy.

Oral Glucose Tolerance

A test to determine whether blood glucose (sugar) levels are within a normal range following a fasting state and at intervals following ingestion of a drink containing 75 grams of glucose.

Ovarian cysts (polycystic ovaries, endometriomas, dermoid cysts, cystadenomas, functional)

Ovarian cysts are fluid-filled sacs in the ovary usually resulting from the growth of a follicle (functional), a fluid-filled cyst that contains an egg. Any fluid-filled sac growing on or in the ovary.

Ovarian drilling

A laparoscopic procedure in which the ovary is punctured 4-10 times resulting in a lowering of male hormones. The treatment is often used on women with PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome).

Ovarian Wedge Resection

A surgical treatment for PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) whereby a section of the ovary containing cysts is removed.


The female gonad. The ovary is one of a pair of reproductive glands in women. The ovaries are located in the pelvis, one on each side of the uterus. Each ovary is about the size and shape of an almond. The ovaries produce eggs (ova) and female hormones. During each monthly menstrual cycle an egg is released from one ovary. This egg travels from the ovary through a fallopian tube to the uterus. The ovaries are the main source of female hormones, which control the development of female body characteristics (breasts, body shape, and body hair). These glands also regulate the menstrual cycle and pregnancy.


The release of the egg from the ovary. The egg is released when the cavity surrounding it breaks open in response to a hormonal signal. Ovulation occurs around 14-15 days from the first day of the woman’s last menstrual cycle. When ovulation occurs the ovum (egg) moves into the fallopian tube and is then available for fertilization.


A substance found in plant foods (including many vegetables). Some women eat a low oxalate diet to treat vulvodynia.

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Next Steps

  1. Take the PCOS Quiz!  Get your score and assess your hormone health risks.
  2. Join our Facebook Sisterhood Group Pose your questions to this group of like-minded women. Get the answers to your questions and the support you need.
  3. Checkout the Hormone Reset. Guided Practices to eliminate anxiety, lose weight and boost energy.

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