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Terms to Know
Specialists at the Weill Cornell Medicine Fibroid and Adenomyosis Program support and empower patients throughout every step of their diagnosis, treatment, and recovery.
If you have been diagnosed with fibroids or adenomyosis — or suspect that you have these conditions — our team has compiled a list of terms that are useful to know as you navigate treatment options.
Fibroid and Adenomyosis Terms
Ablation: Ablation is the surgical treatment of tissue that typically uses heat to treat abnormal bleeding. Endometrial ablation removes the layer of tissue lining the uterus to stop or reduce heavy bleeding during menstruation.
Adenomyosis: A condition where the endometrium (uterine lining) grows in the muscular wall of the uterus.
Anemia: A deficiency or lack of red blood cells necessary to circulate oxygen throughout your body.
Benign: Not cancer or non-cancerous.
Biopsy: A sample of tissue taken from the body for analysis in a laboratory.
Catheter: A small, flexible tube used in various medical procedures.
Cervix: The narrow passage located at the bottom of the body of the uterus connecting the vagina and the uterus
Embolization: A surgical procedure using a catheter to inject particles into a blood vessel to stop blood flow.
Endocrinologist: A medical professional specializing in hormone-related conditions and treatments, including fertility.
Endometriosis: A condition where endometrial tissue (uterus lining) grows outside of the uterus.
Endometrium: The membrane lining the uterus. This lining thickens during the menstrual cycle to prepare for an embryo to implant in this tissue.
Estrogen: Female sex hormone.
Fibroids: Benign growths that develop in or on the uterus. They are also called leiomyomas or myomas.
GnRH: Gonadotropin-releasing hormone, a naturally occurring hormone used in the treatment of fibroids, adenomyosis, and endometriosis.
Hysterectomy: A surgical procedure to remove the uterus.
Hysterosalpingography: An x-ray utilizing contrast dye to exam the uterus and fallopian tubes.
Hysteroscopy: An examination of the cervix and uterus using a thin, lighted tube inserted through the vagina.
Hysterosonography: An ultrasound of the uterus using a catheter inserted through the vagina to inject a saline solution, also called sonohysterography or saline-infused sonogram (SIS).
Interventional Radiology: A specialized field of radiology using minimally invasive procedures to gather images from inside the body for examination and diagnosis.
Intramural Fibroids: Fibroids which grow in the muscular wall of the uterus.
IUD: Intrauterine device, inserted into the uterus to prevent pregnancy and control bleeding symptoms.
Laparoscopy: A minimally invasive surgical procedure of the abdomen or pelvis using fiber-optic instruments inserted through small incisions (cuts).
Leiomyoma: Also known as fibroids, these are benign growths in or on the uterus.
Menorrhagia: Unusually heavy or prolonged menstrual bleeding.
MRI: Magnetic resonance imaging, radiological procedure that uses magnetic fields and radio waves to obtain images of organs and tissues in the body for examination.
Myoma: Another term for fibroids, these are benign growths in muscular tissue.
Myomectomy: A surgical procedure to remove fibroids from the uterus.
Outpatient: A patient undergoing a medical procedure that does not require an overnight stay in the hospital.
Pedunculated fibroids: Fibroids that are attached to the uterine wall by a stalk.
Progesterone: A female sex hormone.
Radiologist: A medical professional who uses medical images, such as X-rays, MRIs, and ultrasounds for examination and diagnosis.
Saline infusion sonogram: Also called hysterosonography, sonohysterography, SIS, or SHG, this is an ultrasound of the uterus using a catheter inserted through the vagina to inject a saline solution.
SERMs: Selective estrogen receptor modulators are medications used to block the effect of estrogen on breast tissue in the treatment of osteoporosis and breast cancer.
Submucosal fibroids: Fibroids that extend into the uterine cavity.
Subserosal fibroids: Fibroids that grow in the outer layer of the uterus.
Transvaginal ultrasound: An ultrasound examination of female internal reproductive organs. Also referred to as an endovaginal ultrasound.
Ultrasound: An imaging technique using sound waves to generate images of the inside of a person’s body.
Uterine fibroids: Fibroids, or benign growths, found in or on the uterus.
Uterus: Female reproductive organ where a fetus (baby) develops during pregnancy. Also called the womb.