Wednesday, March 5, 2008

A list of Terms and Abbreviations

Müllerian Anomalies: Terms
This is a short list of abbreviations and specialized terms used when discussing Müllerian Anomalies on this site.
  • AF: "Aunt Flow" or menstrual period.
  • Anlage: The name for the undeveloped or rudimentary müllerian duct.
  • Arcuate: AU A variation of normal uterine development in which the top of the uterus has a slight dip. Rarely a problem.
  • AU: "Arcuate uterus"
  • BD: "Baby-dancing," or sex intended for conception.
  • BFN: "Big Fat Negative," on a home pregnancy test. "Fat" may be substituted by the F-word of one's choice.
  • Bicollis: Meaning "2 cervices." Many septate, bicornuate and didelphys uteri can have a double cervix. Eg. "uterus bicornis bicollis."
  • Bicornuate: BU Meaning "two horns," it describes a uterus with a distinct division (> 1 cm.) visible from the outside, caused by incomplete fusion of the two müllerian ducts. A.k.a. "uterus bicornis."
  • BMS: "Baby-making sex"
  • BU: See: Bicornuate uterus.
  • CC: See: Clomid
  • Clomid: Brand name of "clomiphene citrate," an oral fertility drug. A.k.a. CC.
  • Cornua: Term for the two horns of a uterus, normally united to form a cavity shaped like an upside-down triangle. The cornua are more separate and pronounced in müllerian anomalies.
  • DD: "Dear daughter."
  • DES: See: Diethylstilbestrol.
  • DH: "Dear husband."
  • Diethylstilbestrol: DES. Artificial hormone given to pregnant women in cases of threatened abortion, especially during the 1960s and early 1970s. DES was found to cause many reproductive abnormalities in the fetus, including a small uterus with a T-shaped cavity in the female.
  • DS: "Dear son."
  • DW: "Dear wife."
  • Dysmenorrhea: Painful menstrual cramps. Women with uterine anomalies frequently have painful menstruation, typically from associated endometriosis, outlet obstruction, retrograde menstruation and the disorganized muscle contractions caused by an intrauterine septum.
  • hCG: "Human chorionic gonadotropin." This is the hormone made by the embryo's placenta. The pregnancy hormone.
  • Hemihysterectomy: Removal of one uterine horn, commonly done for the tiny, undeveloped horn opposite a unicornuate uterus.
  • Horn: Common term for the hemi-uterine cavities found in bicornuate and septate uteri.
  • HPT: Abbreviation for "home pregnancy test."
  • HSC: "See: "Hysteroscopy"
  • HSG: See: "Hysterosalpingogram"
  • Hypoplastic: Term meaning small, or underdeveloped. The small uterus of a DES daughter is said to be hypoplastic.
  • Hysterosalpingogram: The x-ray "dye test" good for showing the shape of the uterine cavity and whether or not the oviducts are open.
  • Hysteroscopy: A minimally invasive surgery in which a lighted scope is inserted through the cervix of the uterus. It can be done just to check the uterine cavity ("diagnostic hysteroscopy") or to correct polyps, septa, adhesions, etc. ("operative hysteroscopy"). General anesthesia is used for the latter.
  • IC: See: incompetent cervix.
  • Incompetent cervix: IC. A condition in which the cervix opens up under the weight of a growing pregnancy, and and very common in women with müllerian anomalies. Sometimes the lack of uterine volume forces open an otherwise normal, competent cervix, but it is also the case that a cervix can be malformed or congenitally weakened, as in the case of DES daughters.
  • Intrauterine insemination: Placement of live, washed sperm inside the uterine cavity with a catheter. A.k.a. IUI.
  • Intravenous pyelogram: "IVP." This is an x-ray dye test of the kidneys, done in women with müllerian defects, most especially those with asymmetrical defects, such as uterus unicornis. Since the urinary and reproductive tracts form at the same time, it is not unusual for a woman with only one uterine horn to lack a kidney or ureter on the opposing side. Likewise, it is sometimes possible to have a "horseshoe kidney," that is a single large kidney extending from one side to the other, caused, much as a septum is, by the failure of some embryonic structure to deteriorate at the right time.
  • IUGR: "Intrauterine growth retardation," a condition common when uterine volume is diminished, in which the fetus does not obtain sufficient nutrition from a rapidly aging placenta and is small for gestational age. The placenta deteriorates more rapidly because it is overly compressed as the pregnancy progresses. IUGR also has other causes, such as autoimmune disorders and diabetes.
  • IUI: See: Intrauterine insemination.
  • IVP: See: "Intravenous pyelogram"
  • Jones & Jones metroplasty: A type of alteration of the uterus done through a laparotomy.
  • Lap/hyst: Abbreviation "Laparoscopy/hysteroscopy"—a combination of two operations in which the uterus is inspected inside and out, to determine the extent of the malformation. A lap/hyst is the `gold standard' of diagnoses in differentiating between a septate or bicornuate uterus. It is also commonly done during hysteroscopic septoplasty to monitor the operation and verify whether or not a uterine perforation has occurred in the course of the hysteroscopy.
  • Laparoscopy: The inflation of the abdomen with carbon dioxide gas and the insertion of a lighted scope through the navel, through a half-inch incision. Additional incisions for manipulating instruments may be made at the pubic hairline. Laparoscopy may be done to diagnose a uterine anomaly, to operate within the abdomen, or to monitor a hysteroscopic procedure. A laparoscopy is classified as major surgery, but recovery time is considerably shorter than that of a laparotomy. "Keyhole surgery."
  • Laparotomy: a surgical incision in the wall of the abdomen large enough to admit conventional surgical instruments.
  • MA: See: Müllerian anomaly. A.k.a.: Müllerian duct anomaly.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging: MRI A noninvasive test useful in seeing the contours of the uterus and differentiating between a septate and bicornuate uterus.
  • Malpresentation: Common in women with decreased uterine volume, malpresentation is the position of a fetus in the uterus such that some other part besides the head will be coming out first. "Breech presentation," in which the feet or buttocks present first, is the most common malpresentation in women with uterine anomalies, and a common reason for birth by c-section.
  • M/c: "Miscarriage."
  • Metroplasty: A general term for the surgical alteration of the uterus, be it surgery to remove a septum or to unite the two horns of a bicornuate uterus. A subset of metroplasty is septoplasty.
  • MDA: Abbreviation for müllerian duct anomaly. a.k.a. müllerian anomaly.
  • MRI: See: Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Müllerian anomaly: A developmental abnormality of the internal female sex organs resulting from the failure of the müllerian ducts to either fuse and/or resorb properly. Müllerian anomalies include hypoplastic uterus, arcuate uterus, septate uterus, bicornuate uterus, unicornuate uterus, T-shaped (DES) uterus, uterus didelphys, Rokitansky Syndrome, and others.
  • Müllerian ducts: Two long tubular structures found in both the male and the female embryo. In the male, these ducts dissolve, but in the female, they unite to form the uterus and oviducts.
  • OPK: Abbreviation for the home test kit that predicts ovulation.
  • Retrograde menstruation: The reversal of menstrual flow; it goes from within the uterus to the pelvic cavity by way of the Fallopian tubes. It is thought to be one cause of endometriosis, which is more common in women with MAs. Retrograde menstruation is also more common in cases of MA.
  • Rokitansky Syndrome: The congenital absence of a uterus and upper vagina—the most severe form of Müllerian defect. Also known as "müllerian agenesis."
  • Rudimentary horn: the small, undeveloped horn of a unicornuate, didelphic or bicornuate uterus. A.k.a. anlagen.
  • Septate: SU. Adjective describing a uterus with an extra fibrous/muscular band in the middle of its cavity, giving it two horn shaped hemi-uterine cavities. This is the most common müllerian anomaly, and results from the partial or total failure of the wall between the united müllerian ducts to dissolve. A.k.a. "uterus septus." Subcategories of the septate uterus include "total," or "complete," in which the septum involves the cervical canal and even the vagina, and "subseptate," in which the septum's lower end stops short of the cervical canal.
  • Septoplasty: Surgery to remove a uterine septum, usually done by operative hysteroscopy.
  • Septum: The name for the fibrous wall dividing the cavity of a septate uterus.
  • SHG: See: Sonohysterogram
  • Sonohysterogram: SHG. Ultrasound of the uterus and its cavity, aided by the distention of the uterine cavity with saline solution.
  • SSU: "Subseptate uterus"
  • Strassman metroplasty: A type of alteration of the uterus done through a laparotomy.
  • SU: See: Septate uterus.
  • Subseptate: SSU. A form of septate uterus in which there has been a partial dissolution of the embryonic structure dividing the uterine cavity in two. The septum does not run the full length of the uterus.
  • T-shaped uterus: The characteristic shape of the cavity of a uterus affected by diethylstilbestrol.
  • Tompkins metroplasty: A type of alteration of the uterus done through a laparotomy.
  • TTC: "Trying to conceive"
  • UD: See: Uterus didelphys
  • Ultrasound: "US." A tool which can reveal the inner and outer contours of solid bodily organs such as the uterus and kidneys. Sometimes useful in distinguishing between septate and bicornuate uteri. Synonymous with "sonogram."
  • Unicollis: Term meaning "one cervix." Most müllerian anomalies involve the presence of only one cervix. Two cervices are most commonly associated with uterus didelphys, but not always. E.g.: "uterus didelphys unicollis."
  • Unicornuate: UU. An asymmetrical uterine anomaly in which one of the two müllerian ducts has failed to form properly. The hemiuterus is a small, banana-shaped organ frequently accompanied by an anlage, or rudimentary uterine horn or bud, which may or may not have an open endometrial cavity. Pregnancies in the smaller horn almost invariably rupture, and to prevent this, a hemihysterectomy may be recommended. Women with UU usually have bilateral ovaries, and may have an associated kidney anomaly on the side with the anlage.
  • US: Abbreviation for "ultrasound."
  • Uterus Didelphys: Term for the existence in a woman of two separate hemi-uteri, usually each with its own cervix. Some degree of vaginal duplication may also be present. Literally means "two wombs."
  • UU: Abbreviation for unicornuate uterus, a.k.a. "uterus unicornis."
  • Vaginoplasty: Any surgery done to alter the shape of the vagina. With some müllerian anomalies, especially UD and total SU, there may be a septum present in the upper end of the vagina.

8 comments:

Frank and Izzy said...

I've noticed the abbreviations TVC and TAC in the MA Yahoo Group. I search the internet to find what those mean; is it TVC for transvaginal cerclage; and TAC for transabdominal cerclage?

Awesome blog!! Thank you for all this information!

Islem

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army said...

Just wanted to say what a fantastic blog you have! I am a student midwife and have chosen this subject for my essay because I was stunned at how little information there is out there on MDAs, anything I could find has been limited to the physical gynaecological aspect and there is no discussion of how it affects womens lives. This has been a really valuable rersource, my thoughts are with all the women who find themselves here and keep up the good work!

Melany Flemmings said...

looks cool. just dropping by here... have a nice day! Thank you, and I look forward to reading more.

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moni kumari said...

Nice Posting! Keep it up!!Main Problems Faced by Women Trying to Conceive.First you must determine the length of your menstrual cycle from ovulation calendar, which commences on the first day of bleeding or spotting and ends on the day before your next period starts.

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