Glossary

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A B C D E F G H I J L M N O P R S T U V W Y

mastitis

An inflammation of breast tissue due to infection that may cause fever, redness, and pain.

menarche

The beginning of cycles of monthly bleeding. Occurs during puberty after girls start producing estrogen and progesterone.

menopause

The time in a woman's life when monthly bleeding stops permanently. Occurs when a woman's ovaries stop producing eggs (ova). A woman is considered menopausal after she has had no bleeding for 12 months.

menorrhagia

menses, menstrual period, menstruation

menstrual bleeding, monthly bleeding

Bleeding that takes place, on average, for 3-7 days about every 28 days.

menstrual cycle

A repeating series of changes in the ovaries and endometrium that includes ovulation and monthly bleeding. Most women have cycles that each last between 24 and 35 days (see The Menstrual Cycle).

migraine aura

A nervous system disturbance that affects sight and sometimes touch and speech (see Identifying Migraine Headaches and Auras).

migraine headache

A type of severe, recurrent headache (see Identifying Migraine Headaches and Auras).

minilaparotomy

A female sterilization technique performed by bringing the fallopian tubes to a small incision in the abdomen and then usually tying and cutting them.

miscarriage

Natural loss of pregnancy during the first 20 weeks.

monthly bleeding

Monthly flow of bloody fluid from the uterus through the vagina in adult women, which takes place between menarche and menopause. Also, the monthly vaginal flow of bloody fluid that women have while using combined hormonal contraceptives (a withdrawal bleed).

mucous membrane

Membrane lining passages and cavities of the body that come in contact with air.