Common OB/GYN Terms

Common OB/GYN Terms Explained

The complexity of the human body brings about so many questions and areas that need clarity. Women’s bodies introduce additional realities such as pregnancy and gynecology that for many people, are foreign subjects and may leave you questioning how to ask your doctor about these topics or understand what they are saying completely. Orange Coast Women’s Medical Group believes that it is important for patients to have the opportunity to take control of their health, and we recognize that the first step in doing so is to gain knowledge about their bodies and medical terms that they may hear. We invite you to continue reading and gain a better understanding of your body and health, while ensuring you get the most out of your OB/GYN visits with Orange Coast Women’s Medical Group. 

First Visit

Whether it is your first visit to an Orange Coast Women’s Medical Group location, or your first gynecological visit in your women’s health journey, it is safe to expect a conversation between you and your doctor that covers a lot of questions about you and your family history. 

Common terms include:

  • Menstrual Cycle: The monthly cycle of changes in the ovaries and the lining of the uterus, starting with the preparation of an egg for fertilization. 
  • Pap Test: A medical test in which cells are taken from the cervix to look for abnormalities. 
  • Birth Control: Devices or medications used to prevent pregnancy.
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases: Infections that are spread by sexual contact. 


Pregnancy and childbirth are exciting times, and bring a plethora of questions and terms that doctors and patients should be on the same page about. Be prepared for your pregnancy by reviewing these terms and more

Common terms include:

  • Amniotic Fluid: The liquid that surrounds a baby in the uterus. 
  • Anaesthetic: A drug that provides total or partial loss of sensation of a part or the whole of the body.
  • Birth Canal: The passageway that the baby travels through during birth.
  • Caesarean Section: A surgical procedure in which a baby is delivered through a cut in the abdomen and uterus (also called a ‘C-section’)
  • Embryo: A fertilised egg from the time of conception until the eighth week.
  • Postnatal Depression: A medical condition that affects some mothers following birth. 
  • Ultrasound: A scan of a woman’s uterus and baby during pregnancy. 

Other Common Terms

Routine health visits to your women’s doctor is a great opportunity to take charge of your health by finding problems, or preventing health problems before they occur! Taking action can make treating issues easier, and possibly pose less serious risks to your health. Check out terms below and a more extensive list here

Common terms include:

  • Biopsy: When medical professionals do a biopsy, they remove a small tissue sample using a scalpel or hollow needle. 
  • Estrogen: A set of hormones emitted by the ovaries. These hormones affect a woman’s menstrual cycle. 
  • Fibroid: A common term referring to “leiomyoma,” which is uterine tumor that is benign. Fibroids can be painful, and they may cause heavy bleeding. 
  • Menopause: The time when menstruation has ended. 
  • Hysterectomy: A surgery that doctors perform to remove the uterus. 

Make An Appointment Today 

Routine health appointments can feel like a flurry of terms and examinations, and you may leave with terms or a diagnosis you don’t fully understand. Orange Coast Women’s Medical Group understands the power that comes with patients taking their care into their own hands, and the healthy doctor/patient relationship it creates. Contact us today and visit our Tustin, Laguna Hills, San Clemente, Tustin or Foothills location to begin the journey to better understand your body and overall health! 

Dear Patient,

We are here for you. Due to COVID-19 and staff shortage, you may experience longer wait times on the phone and in the lobbies. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we try to service you as effectively as possible!

Your safety and our staff’s safety are important to us, we have made changes to accommodate and provide high-quality care.

PLEASE NOTE: All patients are required to wear a face mask prior to entering the office. Please refer to our COVID-19 Page for our updated Visitor Policy.

Thank you for understanding.

In Good Health,

OCWMG Physicians