PAP TEST (PAP SMEAR): A test in which cells are taken from the cervix and vagina and examined under a microscope.
PELVIC EXAM: Examination of a woman’s internal and external reproductive organs.
PELVIC INFLAMMATORY DISEASE (PID): An infection that involves that fallopian tubes and nearby pelvic structures.
PERFORATION: An injury to the wall of the uterus; it can be caused by an intrauterine device or by an instrument used in a D & C.
PERITONEUM: The membrane that lines the abdominal cavity and surrounds the internal organs.
PLACENTA: Tissue that connects mother and fetus and provides nourishment to and takes away waste from the fetus.
POP: Progestin Only Pills, commonly known as the mini-pill.
POSTPARTUM: Intense feelings of sadness, anxiety, or despair after childbirth that interfere with a new mother’s ability to function and that do not go away.
POSTPARTUM BLUES: Feelings of sadness, fear, anger, or anxiety occurring about 3 days after childbirth and usually fading within 1-2 weeks.
POSTPARTUM STERILIZATION: An operation that prevents a woman from becoming pregnant, preformed immediately after the birth of her last child.
PREMENSTRUAL SYNDROME (PMS): The term used to describe a group of physical or behavioral changes that some women experience before their menstrual periods every month.
PROGESTERONE: A female hormone that is produced in the ovaries and prepared the lining of the uterus during the second half of the menstrual cycle to nourish a fertilized egg.
PROSTAGLADIN: A chemical that is made by the body and causes the muscle of the uterus to contract, usually causing cramps.