The Men­strual ABC by Vulvani

In this glos­sary you will find men­strual knowl­edge from A for ade­no­myosis to Z for zero waste.

Men­strual ABC

All | # A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
There are cur­rently 109 names in this directory
Ade­no­myosis
Wide­spread endometrio­sis in the uterus.

Agnus Cas­tus
Is a med­i­c­i­nal plant that is taken for the nat­ural treat­ment of irreg­u­lar, too fre­quent or too rare men­stru­a­tion. The extract of the ripe, dried fruits influ­ences the hor­monal bal­ance and is med­ically approved.

Amen­or­rhoea
Absence or lack of menstruation.

Anovu­la­tion
Absence or lack of ovulation.

Anovu­la­tory cycle
No egg is released dur­ing the men­strual cycle.

Anti-Mueller hor­mone (AMH)
The AMH level indi­cates how many egg cells are still in the body and whether ovu­la­tion has occurred. It is an impor­tant indi­ca­tor in repro­duc­tive health 

Basal body tem­per­a­ture
Body tem­per­a­ture mea­sured in the morn­ing imme­di­ately after wak­ing up and before get­ting up. The basal body tem­per­a­ture changes dur­ing the men­strual cycle. Shortly after ovu­la­tion, it rises by a few tenths of a degree for at least three days in a row. This way ovu­la­tion and fer­tile days can be deter­mined ret­ro­spec­tively. In this way, the fol­low­ing infer­tile days can be deter­mined as well. Mea­sur­ing the basal body tem­per­a­ture is part of the tem­per­a­ture method for nat­ural contraception.

Billings method
A method of nat­ural con­tra­cep­tion that observes the change in the com­po­si­tion of cer­vi­cal mucus dur­ing the men­strual cycle. Shortly before and around ovu­la­tion the con­sis­tency of the mucus changes, which allows the fer­tile days of the cycle to be determined.

Binary gen­der sys­tem
Assump­tion that there are only two sexes (male or female).

Cer­vi­cal mucus
The milky-white to trans­par­ent secre­tion con­sists of rejected cells and water and flows out of the vagina. The daily dis­charge is part of the nat­ural process of a healthy men­strual cycle and is pro­duced by glands in the cervix. Dur­ing the men­strual cycle, both colour and con­sis­tency of the cer­vi­cal mucus change. It pro­tects the uterus from germs. 

Cer­vi­cal smear
The cer­vi­cal smear is taken in the lower part of the cer­vi­cal canal, often dur­ing the annual check-up with the gynae­col­o­gist. Among other things, the smear is used for the early detec­tion of cer­vi­cal cancer.

Cervix
The cervix is the con­nec­tion between the uterus and the vagina. The nar­row sec­tion makes up the lower third of the uterus and projects as the open­ing of the cervix into the upper part of the vagina. The nar­row open­ing, sur­rounded by mucous mem­brane, pro­tects the uterus from germs.

Cervix open­ing
Open­ing of the uterus. The uter­ine canal opens into the vagina.

Cis-women or Cis-man
Peo­ple who iden­tify with the sex to which they were assigned at birth.

Cli­mac­teric
Years of hor­monal changes, before and after the menopause. It is the tran­si­tion from the fer­tile to the post­menopausal phase in the life of a men­stru­at­ing per­son. Due to the decreas­ing estro­gen level, menopause often brings about fluc­tu­a­tions in the men­strual cycle. 

Cli­toris
Sex­ual organ, the small part of which is vis­i­ble on the out­side at the upper end of the labia. It con­sists of two thighs which con­nect to the front of the body and lie inside the body. The cli­toris straight­ens up dur­ing sex­ual arousal due to the erec­tile tissue.

Cloth pad
Reusable pads are worn dur­ing men­stru­a­tion to absorb the men­strual blood out­side the body. They con­sist of dif­fer­ent lay­ers of absorbent mate­r­ial and are often made of cot­ton or hemp. They are washed after use and can be reused. Fab­ric pads are the sus­tain­able ver­sion of dis­pos­able pads because they can be used for many years. 

Cloth panty lin­ers
Reusable panty lin­ers are worn dur­ing light bleed­ing to absorb the men­strual fluid out­side the body. They are thin­ner and lighter than cloth pads and are also made of cot­ton. Fab­ric panty lin­ers are the sus­tain­able ver­sion of dis­pos­able panty lin­ers because they can be used for many years. 

Cloth tam­pons
The slightly dif­fer­ent and less known tam­pon ver­sion. Like other tam­pons, cloth tam­pons are inserted into the vagina where they absorb the men­strual blood directly. They are then washed and can be used again.

Cycle apps
Cycle apps help you to observe and bet­ter under­stand your own cycle. Based on the data entered, the app cal­cu­lates the next period or the period for sev­eral months in advance. The first and last day of your men­stru­a­tion are marked in the apps. In the course of the men­strual cycle, other char­ac­ter­is­tics such as mood, symp­toms or tem­per­a­ture can also be noted.

Cycle aware­ness
Per­ceiv­ing the body as a cycli­cal being and learn­ing what influ­ence the cycle-related hor­mones have on needs and mood. To bet­ter under­stand the dif­fer­ent phases of the cycle and the asso­ci­ated qual­i­ties and to con­sciously inte­grate them into every­day life.

Cycle com­puter
Mea­sur­ing devices with which men­stru­at­ing peo­ple can deter­mine the fer­tile and infer­tile days. They dig­i­tally sup­port the meth­ods of hor­mone-free con­tra­cep­tion. For this pur­pose, var­i­ous body char­ac­ter­is­tics, such as basal body tem­per­a­ture, hor­mones in the morn­ing urine and the con­sis­tency of the cer­vi­cal mucus are recorded and analysed. Reg­u­lar and con­sci­en­tious use must be ensured so that the cycle com­puter can inter­pret the mea­sured val­ues correctly. 

Cycle dis­or­der
Changes in the nat­ural men­strual cycle that devi­ate from the norm. This includes the dura­tion, strength or rhythm of menstruation. 

Cycle length
Time from the first day of men­stru­a­tion to the day before the men­stru­a­tion starts again. Usu­ally it lasts between 25 and 34 days.

Cycle phases
The men­strual cycle is divided into two phases: The first half of the cycle is called the fol­lic­u­lar phase. It takes place between the begin­ning of men­stru­a­tion and the next ovu­la­tion. The sec­ond half of the cycle is called the luteal phase. It takes place between ovu­la­tion and the next menstruation. 

Cycle track­ing
Con­scious obser­va­tion of the men­strual cycle. In addi­tion to the begin­ning and end of men­stru­a­tion, other char­ac­ter­is­tics such as mood, symp­toms or tem­per­a­ture are also reg­is­tered. Cycle track­ing can be done either ana­log in a men­strual cal­en­dar or dig­i­tally in cycle apps. The aim of cycle track­ing is to gain a bet­ter under­stand­ing of your own body and the changes caused by your cycle. 

Dys­men­or­rhoea
Painful or dif­fi­cult men­stru­a­tion with symp­toms such as cramps and pain in the abdomen.

Egg
Sex cell con­tain­ing all the genetic mate­r­ial of a men­stru­at­ing per­son that is passed on to the chil­dren. With the begin­ning of puberty, an egg cell matures in the ovaries dur­ing each men­strual cycle. Eggs are fer­til­is­able for a max­i­mum of 24 hours.

Endometrio­sis
A chronic, very painful dis­ease of peo­ple with a uterus. Out­side the uter­ine cav­ity, uncon­trolled growths of the uter­ine lin­ing form. The causes for the devel­op­ment of the dis­ease are still unknown. 

Estro­gen
Impor­tant sex hor­mones that are mainly pro­duced in the ovaries. Estro­gen pro­mote the mat­u­ra­tion of the egg capa­ble of fer­til­i­sa­tion and ensure that the uter­ine lin­ing is well cir­cu­lated with blood. The con­cen­tra­tion of estro­gen in the body changes sig­nif­i­cantly dur­ing the men­strual cycle. 

Fal­lop­ian tubes
Paired part of the sex­ual organs, which start from the uterus on both sides and end near the respec­tive ovary. The fal­lop­ian tubes are lined with mucous membrane. 

Fer­til­ity
Abil­ity to get preg­nant per men­strual cycle and give birth to an offspring. 

Fer­til­iza­tion
The moment in which the sperm and egg merge together. Fer­til­iza­tion takes place in the fal­lop­ian tube

First period
The first men­strual bleed­ing is also called menar­che. The begin­ning of men­stru­a­tion takes place dur­ing puberty. 

Fol­lic­u­lar phase
The first phase of the men­strual cycle in which the body pre­pares for fer­til­i­sa­tion of the mature egg. The fol­li­cle-stim­u­lat­ing hor­mone (FSH) increases dur­ing this phase, which even­tu­ally enables ovulation. 

Free bleed­ing
Dur­ing men­stru­a­tion, period prod­ucts such as tam­pons, pads or men­strual cups are vol­un­tar­ily not used. The blood is there­fore not col­lected by a for­eign object either inside or out­side the body. It is pos­si­ble to feel when blood is com­ing by con­sciously per­ceiv­ing one's own body. When free bleed­ing, the men­strual blood is finally dis­charged directly on the toi­let by relax­ing the pelvic floor.

Gen­der star (*)
The spelling with the gen­der star (*) is an attempt to include the diver­sity of gen­der iden­ti­ties in the Ger­man language.

Gynae­col­o­gist
Spe­cial­ist in gynae­col­ogy and obstetrics.

Hor­monal con­tra­cep­tion
Hor­monal con­tra­cep­tive meth­ods influ­ence the hor­mone lev­els and usu­ally sup­press ovu­la­tion. The var­i­ous con­tra­cep­tives are pre­scrip­tion-only. Even if they are used dif­fer­ently, they often have very sim­i­lar results and can have side effects. Hor­monal con­tra­cep­tive meth­ods include the pill, the vagi­nal ring, IUD or the con­tra­cep­tive patch. When used cor­rectly, hor­monal con­tra­cep­tives pro­tect against unwanted preg­nancy, but not against sex­u­ally trans­mit­ted diseases. 

Hor­mone test­ing
Test strips are used to mea­sure hor­mones in the morn­ing urine. This is often done to deter­mine ovulation.

Hor­mones
The body's own bio­chem­i­cal mes­sen­gers, which are pro­duced by glands and trans­ported by blood. Hor­mones reg­u­late var­i­ous processes in the body. 

Hyper­me­n­or­rhoea
Men­stru­a­tion that is too heavy. It is a form of men­strual dis­or­der char­ac­ter­ized by increased blood loss dur­ing men­stru­a­tion. This is the case when the blood loss per men­stru­a­tion is more than 80ml. 

Hypomen­or­rhoea
Men­stru­a­tion that is too light. It is a form of men­strual dis­or­der char­ac­ter­ized by a weak and short men­strual bleed­ing. This is the case when the blood loss per men­stru­a­tion is less than 25ml. Light bleed­ing is often spotting.

Hys­terec­tomy
Sur­gi­cal removal of the uterus.

Infer­til­ity
Inca­pac­ity to pro­cre­ate or con­ceive. In human med­i­cine, infer­til­ity occurs when a cou­ple does not con­ceive despite the desire to have chil­dren and have had at least one year of reg­u­lar unpro­tected sex­ual intercourse.

Inter­me­di­ate bleed­ing
Bleed­ing from the uterus out­side the actual menstruation. 

Inter­men­strual pain
Pain that may occur at the time of ovu­la­tion (mid­dle of the men­strual cycle). Usu­ally the pain is localised on one side of the lower abdomen. 

Irreg­u­lar cycle
Men­strual cycles that last less than 24 or more than 35 days. This also includes men­strual cycles that vary by more than eight days from cycle to cycle. 

Labia
Part of the exter­nal gen­i­tals. The term cov­ers both the outer and inner labia.

Luteal phase
Sec­ond phase of the men­strual cycle, which starts after ovu­la­tion and ends when men­stru­a­tion begins. It is an infer­tile men­strual phase. 

Menopause
Men­stru­a­tion stops per­ma­nently, which also ends fer­til­ity and the pos­si­bil­ity of pregnancy. 

Men­or­rha­gia
A men­stru­a­tion that is too long, which can last up to 14 days.

Men­strual Blood
Strictly speak­ing, men­strual blood is not just blood, but rather a mix­ture of blood, rejected uter­ine lin­ing, the unfer­til­ized egg and vagi­nal mucus. Other dead cells are also found in the tis­sue mix. Only about half of the fluid con­sists of blood. 

Men­strual cup
Small reusable con­tain­ers that directly col­lect the men­strual blood inside the body. They mostly have a cup-like shape, are made of med­ical sil­i­cone and are inserted into the vagina. 

Men­strual cycle
The men­strual cycle begins with the first day of men­stru­a­tion and ends with the day before the next period. It usu­ally lasts between 25 and 34 days. It is a reg­u­larly occur­ring process in the body of a men­stru­at­ing per­son, which is repeated about 400 times from puberty to menopause. The men­strual cycle is char­ac­ter­ized by hor­monal changes. 

Men­strual irreg­u­lar­i­ties
Irreg­u­lar­i­ties of the bleed­ing rhythm in the men­strual cycle. A dis­tinc­tion is made between too fre­quent and too infre­quent men­stru­a­tion. / Irreg­u­lar­i­ties of the bleed­ing pat­tern in the men­strual cycle. A dis­tinc­tion is made between too heavy and too light menstruation. 

Men­strual prob­lems
Var­i­ous symp­toms that can occur before and dur­ing men­stru­a­tion. These include, for exam­ple, cramps, nau­sea, headaches, a feel­ing of ten­sion in the breasts, gen­eral malaise.

Men­strual sponges
Pure nat­ural prod­uct for men­stru­a­tion that can be reused. Basi­cally, the appli­ca­tion is sim­i­lar to that of tam­pons, because they are inserted into the vagina where they directly col­lect the men­strual blood. 

Men­stru­at­ing peo­ple
Term for all peo­ple who expe­ri­ence men­stru­a­tion. Because not all women men­stru­ate and not all men­stru­at­ing peo­ple iden­tify them­selves as women.

Men­stru­a­tion
Dur­ing men­stru­a­tion, the lin­ing of the uterus is shed each month and the men­strual blood is dis­charged through the vagina. It is a nat­ural, reg­u­lar and bio­log­i­cal process that sym­bol­izes the health and fer­til­ity of a men­stru­at­ing per­son. The men­strual period lasts on aver­age about 5 days. Men­stru­a­tion is also called period or bleeding.

Mons pubis
Slight hilly ele­va­tion just above the labia, caused by an accu­mu­la­tion of fatty tis­sue. From puberty onwards, hair grows on here.

Mood swings
Dur­ing the men­strual cycle, var­i­ous hor­mones are involved to vary­ing degrees, result­ing in nat­ural mood swings. Depend­ing on the phase of the cycle a per­son is in, the emo­tional sit­u­a­tion also changes. 

Nat­ural fam­ily plan­ning (NFP)
Includes all con­tra­cep­tive meth­ods that do not affect hor­mones or the body in gen­eral. There are there­fore no side effects. Nat­ural con­tra­cep­tive meth­ods are based on the men­strual cycle and deter­mine both the fer­tile and infer­tile days of a men­stru­at­ing per­son. Fer­til­i­sa­tion of the egg is pre­vented with­out the help of arti­fi­cial hor­mones. Exam­ples of hor­mone-free con­tra­cep­tion include the symp­to­her­mal method, tem­per­a­ture method, cycle com­puter or bar­rier methods.

Non-binary
Peo­ple whose gen­der iden­tity lies out­side the binary gen­der sys­tem and who iden­tify nei­ther as a man nor as a woman (e.g. queer)

Oligomen­or­rhoea
Men­stru­a­tion occurs too infre­quent. It is a form of men­strual dis­or­der char­ac­ter­ized by a men­strual cycle that is too long. This is the case when the total cycle is more than 35 days (max­i­mum 90). Due to changes in hor­monal bal­ance, oligomen­or­rhoea occurs mainly after the menar­che or before menopause and is nor­mal dur­ing this period. 

Ovar­ian cyst
A sack-like cav­ity formed in or on the ovaries and filled with fluid, which is usu­ally harm­less The ovar­ian cyst can have a diam­e­ter of a few mil­lime­tres to over 15 cm. 

Ovaries
Part of the pri­mary sex­ual char­ac­ter­is­tics where eggs and sex hor­mone are produced. 

Ovu­la­tion
The moment in which the unfer­tilised egg is ejected from the ovary and then received by the fal­lop­ian tube. In a healthy and nat­ural men­strual cycle, ovu­la­tion takes place peri­od­i­cally and is often in the mid­dle of the cycle. Around ovu­la­tion are the fer­tile days.

Ovu­la­tion bleed­ing
Inter­me­di­ate bleed­ing that can occur at the time of ovu­la­tion (mid­dle of the men­strual cycle). 

Pad
Inserts made of absorbent mate­r­ial to absorb men­strual fluid out­side the vagina. Pads are worn in the under­wear There are both dis­pos­able pads and wash­able cloth pads.

Panty lin­ers
Inserts made of absorbent mate­r­ial to absorb men­strual fluid out­side the vagina. It is a smaller and nar­rower ver­sion of pads and are there­fore not as absorbent. Panty lin­ers are worn in the under­pants. There are both dis­pos­able panty lin­ers and wash­able cloth panty liners.

Pelvic floor
Tis­sue-mus­cu­lar floor of the pelvic cav­ity in humans.

Per­i­menopause
Time between pre- and post­menopause, which is a sign of phys­i­o­log­i­cal aging. It lasts one to two years before and after the actual menopause. 

Period
see men­stru­a­tion

Period cal­en­dar
A men­strual cal­en­dar helps you to observe and bet­ter under­stand your own cycle. It can also be used to cal­cu­late the next period or your period for a few months in advance. The first and last day of your period are recored in the period cal­en­dar. Dur­ing the men­strual cycle, other char­ac­ter­is­tics such as mood swings or tem­per­a­ture can also be registered.

Period pain
Pain that occurs dur­ing men­stru­a­tion. They are a form of cycle irregularities. 

Period poverty
Period poverty exists when men­stru­at­ing peo­ple can­not afford men­strual prod­ucts for finan­cial rea­sons. The lack of afford­able prod­ucts leads to peo­ple resort­ing to other alter­na­tives such as (dirty) pieces of fab­ric or grass. This can have health consequences.

Period under­wear
Men­strual under­wear has sev­eral lay­ers of fab­ric in the crotch area and there­fore has addi­tional func­tions. It is, so to speak, a pair of under­wear with a wash­able pad sewn into it. The dif­fer­ent fab­rics ensure that the inti­mate area remains dry and the men­strual blood is absorbed. The men­strual under­wear is wash­able like nor­mal under­wear and there­fore reusable.

Peti­tion "The period is not a lux­ury - lower the tam­pon tax"
Nanna-Josephine Roloff and Yasemin Kotra together launched the peti­tion and found over 190,000 sup­port­ers on the change.org plat­form. The peti­tion demands that men­strual prod­ucts be con­sid­ered basic needs in Ger­many and be taxed at the sim­pli­fied VAT rate of seven per­cent. This is because the increased tax rate of 19 per­cent dis­crim­i­nates against all men­stru­at­ing peo­ple. The peti­tion and the tire­less efforts of the two men­strual activists were suc­cess­ful and from Jan­u­ary 2020, men­strual prod­ucts will be taxed at only the seven per­cent rate in Germany.

Pill
Hor­monal con­tra­cep­tive which use is wide­spread. There are dif­fer­ent types of pills that must be taken orally at the same time every day (except for the week-long pill breaks). The hor­mones in the pill sup­presses the mat­u­ra­tion of the egg and thus also ovulation.

Poly­cys­tic Ovar­ian Syn­drome (PCOS)
Hor­monal meta­bolic dis­or­der caused by a com­plex hor­monal imbal­ance. The PCO syn­drome can be the cause of infer­til­ity due to the cycle alterations. 

Poly­men­or­rhoea
A too fre­quent men­stru­a­tion. It is a form of men­strual dis­or­der char­ac­ter­ized by a men­strual cycle that is too short. This is the case when the total of the men­strual cycle is less than 24 days.

Post­menopause
Dura­tion of about twelve months after the last menstruation.

Post­men­strual bleed­ing
Spot­ting after men­stru­a­tion is a men­strual disorder. 

Preg­nancy
Period of time dur­ing which a fer­tilised egg cell in the body matures into a child. The preg­nancy cal­cu­lated from the first day of the last men­stru­a­tion lasts an aver­age of 40 weeks. Tra­di­tion­ally, the dura­tion of a preg­nancy is given as nine months. How­ever, the fluc­tu­a­tion range cov­ers sev­eral weeks.

Pre­menopause
First irreg­u­lar­i­ties in the men­strual cycle and occa­sional absence of men­stru­a­tion. These changes in the men­strual cycle are trig­gered by the decline in prog­es­terone levels.

Pre­men­strual bleed­ing
The spot­ting before men­stru­a­tion is a men­strual disorder. 

Pre­men­strual Syn­drome (PMS)
Pain and dis­com­fort a few days before the start of men­stru­a­tion. These can be very dif­fer­ent com­plaints, such as stom­ach or headaches, as well as mood swings.

Prog­es­terone
Is a cor­pus luteum hor­mone and belongs to the group of sex hor­mones. Prog­es­terone is mainly pro­duced in the sec­ond phase of the cycle. It pro­motes the growth of the uter­ine lin­ing so that a fer­tilised egg can suc­cess­fully nest there. The con­cen­tra­tion of prog­es­terone in the body changes greatly dur­ing the men­strual cycle. 

Puberty
Part of ado­les­cence, where the body changes and grad­ual devel­op­ment takes place. Dur­ing this time the increased pro­duc­tion of sex hor­mones begins. They cause the repro­duc­tive organs to become functional. 

Seed cycling
It is a nat­ural form of nutri­tional sup­ple­men­ta­tion. The intake of cer­tain seeds is intended to gen­tly sup­port the hor­mone bal­ance in case of imbal­ance. The aim is to bring the nat­ural men­strual cycle into a healthy bal­ance and to relieve men­strual prob­lems. The four dif­fer­ent seeds (pump­kin seeds, flax seed, sesame, sun­flower seeds) are taken in the dif­fer­ent phases of the cycle. The oils, vit­a­mins and nutri­ents con­tained in the seeds sup­port the body's own pro­duc­tion of estro­gen or progesterone. 

Soft cup
Mod­i­fi­ca­tion of the men­strual cup, which is also used to col­lect the men­strual blood inside the vagina. It is a plas­tic ring cov­ered by a flex­i­ble foil. Due to the flex­i­bil­ity and mate­r­ial of the soft cup it takes up less space than a men­strual cup and can also be worn dur­ing sex. Many designs have to be thrown away after only wear­ing them once. The reusable alter­na­tive is made of med­ical sil­i­cone and can be used for up to two years. 

Spot­ting
Light bleed­ing, which can occur between two peri­ods. It is often an unex­pected brown­ish dis­charge that lasts one to three days. Regard­less of the actual men­stru­a­tion, spot­ting can start at any time. The cause is usu­ally a hor­monal shift in the body.

Symp­tother­mal method
Hor­mone-free con­tra­cep­tive method, which is part of nat­ural fam­ily plan­ning. This method is based on deter­min­ing the fer­tile days in the nat­ural men­strual cycle. For this pur­pose, both the changes in basal body tem­per­a­ture and the cer­vi­cal mucus are analysed together. It is a com­bi­na­tion of the tem­per­a­ture method with the Billings method. The analy­sis and doc­u­men­ta­tion can be sup­ported by a con­tra­cep­tion com­puter or software. 

Tam­pon tax
Men­strual prod­ucts were taxed in Ger­many until the end of 2020 with the increased tax rate, also known as the lux­ury tax, of 19 per­cent. After much lob­by­ing and a peti­tion, two men­strual activists from Ham­burg man­aged to change the tax rate for men­strual prod­ucts. As of Jan­u­ary 2020, all men­strual prod­ucts (except panty lin­ers, as they are con­sid­ered every­day items) in Ger­many will be sub­ject to the lower tax rate of only seven per­cent, which counts for basic necessities.

Tam­pons
Tam­pons are used dur­ing men­stru­a­tion and usu­ally con­sist of com­pressed cot­ton wool. They are inserted into the vagina to directly absorb the men­strual blood inside the body. They are used once and thrown away afterwards.

Tem­per­a­ture method
Hor­mone-free con­tra­cep­tive method, which is part of nat­ural fam­ily plan­ning. This method is based on deter­min­ing the fer­tile days in the nat­ural men­strual cycle. For this pur­pose the basal body tem­per­a­ture is mea­sured every morn­ing. Based on the cycli­cal fluc­tu­a­tions of the basal body tem­per­a­ture, the time of ovu­la­tion and thus also the fer­tile and infer­tile days can be determined.

Toxic Shock Syn­drome (TSS)
Severe cir­cu­la­tory and organ fail­ure caused by bac­te­r­ial tox­ins. More com­monly the Toxic Shock Syn­drome is also known as 'tam­pon disease'. 

Trans­gen­der
Peo­ple who do not iden­tify with the sex to which they were assigned at birth.

Uter­ine lin­ing
The thin, pink-coloured mucous mem­brane forms the inner wall of the uterus to pro­tect it and enable the implan­ta­tion of a fer­tilised egg. Dur­ing the men­strual cycle, hor­mones influ­ence the con­sis­tency and quan­tity of the mucous mem­brane. Dur­ing men­stru­a­tion, the upper layer of the uter­ine lin­ing is bro­ken down and dis­charged. Dur­ing preg­nancy, the lin­ing of the uterus is called decidua.

Uterus
Part of the gen­i­tal organs that extends from the outer cervix to the open­ing of the fal­lop­ian tubes. The uterus is sim­i­lar in shape to an upside-down pear and is a hol­low organ in which the egg nests and devel­ops after fer­til­i­sa­tion. The uterus is also involved in the birth of the child due to its pro­nounced mus­cle layer.

Vagina
Pri­mary sex­ual organ, which has a tubu­lar shape and con­nects the outer cervix with the vagi­nal vestibule. The vagina opens into the vagi­nal vestibule of the vulva and is between eight and twelve cen­time­tres long. It pro­tects the sex­ual organs that lie deeper in the body. As part of the birth canal, it is flex­i­ble. In every­day lan­guage the term vagina is often used incor­rectly to refer to the vulva as a whole. 

Vagi­nal flora
Nat­u­rally exist­ing micro­bial col­o­niza­tion of the vagina, which con­sists mainly of dif­fer­ent types of lac­tic acid bac­te­ria. It is respon­si­ble for ensur­ing that harm­ful germs can­not mul­ti­ply dis­pro­por­tion­ately. The nat­ural pH value of the vagi­nal flora pre­vents germs from multiplying. 

Vagi­nal vestibule
Part of the vulva that lies between the labias. Around the vagi­nal vestibule there are glands that are respon­si­ble for moist­en­ing the vagina. 

Vagin­is­mus
Sex­ual dys­func­tion or pain dis­or­der, which can be both organic and psy­cho­log­i­cal. It is a per­sis­tent or recur­rent invol­un­tary cramp­ing or ten­sion of the pelvic floor and the outer third of the vagi­nal mus­cles, mak­ing the vagi­nal entrance appear very nar­row or as if closed. The tight mus­cle con­trac­tion makes vagi­nal inter­course or a gynae­co­log­i­cal exam­i­na­tion painful or even impossible. 

Vulva
The entirety of the exter­nal pri­mary sex­ual organs. The vulva con­sists of the mons pubis, the labia, the open­ing of the ure­thra, the vagi­nal vestibule and the cli­toris. A large part of the vulva is cov­ered by hair start­ing at the begin­ning of puberty. In every­day lan­guage, the vulva is often incor­rectly called the vagina. 

Yoni
Tantric term for the entirety of the vulva, vagina and uterus. The word also has other mean­ings, such as source or ori­gin. Yoni is under­stood as a spir­i­tual cen­tre that con­nects the outer world with the inner darkness. 

Yoni steam­ing
Steam bath for the vulva. Also called vulva steaming.

Zero waste men­stru­a­tion
Use of reusable prod­ucts dur­ing men­stru­a­tion in order to avoid waste. The men­strual period is designed to be plas­tic-free and with­out dis­pos­able products. 

Your glos­sary all about menstruation

In our Men­strual ABC you will find short and easy expla­na­tions of col­lo­quial expres­sions and med­ical terms relat­ing to men­stru­a­tion, hor­mone-free con­tra­cep­tion and the anatomy of the gen­i­tals. Here you will find men­strual knowl­edge from A for ade­no­myosis to Z for zero waste men­stru­a­tion.
Are you still miss­ing impor­tant terms in our glos­sary or have we explained some­thing not quite under­stand­able? Then send us a mes­sage with your ideas and feed­back so that we can make the Men­strual ABC even more com­pre­hen­sive and com­plete together.

If you would like to read more about a spe­cific topic, you will find an overview of all our pub­lished arti­cles in the archive, sorted by key­words. In our Peri­od­ico you will find all arti­cles in chrono­log­i­cal order.

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