Glossary P


Glossary of Terms

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PCPs (polychlorinated biphenyls)

Highly toxic chemicals, now banned, but still present in the environment. PCPs were used in inks, paint, and as additives when making plastics.


A multifunctional organ in the body that has both exocrine and endocrine secreting capabilities. Exocrine secretion is enzymes involved in the digestion of proteins and fats, whereas endocrine secretion involves the hormones insulin, glucagon, somatostatin, and pancreatic polypeptides among others.

Pelvic congestion

The dilation (swelling) of the veins in the pelvis, causing pressure and pain.


Also called Repronex, one of a class of drugs called HMG (Human Menopausal Gonadotrophins) that stimulate the development and maturation of eggs in the ovaries. This drug is used in conjunction with HCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin) which induces ovulation of the matured egg. A common side effect is ovarian enlargement.


A thin membrane that covers the pelvis and abdomen walls, as well as the pelvic organs.


A health professional that treats disease and injury using physical methods (exercise and massage).

Polycystic ovaries

A symptom of PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome). A condition whereby the ovaries contain at least ten cysts and are 1.5 to 3 times larger than normal ovaries.

Polycystic Ovarian Disease (PCOD)

Another name for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), in addition to Sclerocystic Ovarian Disease, Stein-Leventhal Syndrome, and Chronic Anovulatory Syndrome. It is the most common female endocrine (hormonal) disorder and is characterized by multiple abnormal ovarian cysts. The classic triad of obesity, hirsutism, and irregular anovulatory cycles occurs in only one-third of women with PCOS.


A condition characterized by blood glucose (sugar) levels higher than normal but not high enough for a diagnosis of Diabetes.

Pregnancy (Pregnant)

The state of carrying a developing embryo or fetus within the female body.


Also known by its generic name, Chorionic Gonadotropin, this drug is used as an intramuscular injection. HCG, Human Chorionic Gonadotropin, is a hormone that stimulates the ovaries to produce progesterone and the testes to produce androgens. In some infertile women, it is used in combination with other medications to induce ovulation.


See Pregnyl.


Progesterone is responsible for changes in the mucus and inner lining of the uterus. Progesterone prepares the endometrium for implantation of the embryo, and once an embryo implants in the endometrium, i.e., pregnancy occurs, progesterone helps maintain the pregnancy.


Progestins are synthetic progesterone used in HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy). See Progesterone.


Secreted by the anterior pituitary gland, this hormone stimulates milk production, in addition to maintaining the body’s immune system. High levels of prolactin inhibit the release of other hormones from the anterior pituitary gland and therefore can interfere with ovulation, delay puberty, and decrease fertility. Low prolactin can cause menstrual disorders and ultimately, insufficient lactation.


A “natural” progesterone, used in HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy) that has been
micronized or broken down for easier metabolizing. This synthetic progesterone is chemically identical to progesterone made in the ovaries. See Progesterone.


A medication used in men to treat male pattern hair loss on the vertex (top of head) and anterior mid-scalp area (middle front of head). Propecia, also known as finasteride, inhibits the enzyme Type II 5-alpha reductase, which converts testosterone to its more potent relative, dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Women are cautioned not to handle crushed or broken Propecia tablets when they are pregnant due to the risk to a male fetus.


A naturally occuring hormone-like substance that cause the uterus to contract. This is responsible for period cramps.


See medroxyprogesterone acetate.

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Next Steps

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