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Menopause Glossary of Terms

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    Estrogen: A female sex hormone that stimulates and maintains female sex characteristics. They are either natural or synthetic. Estrogens are used to treat menstrual and menopausal disorders and are also used in oral contraceptives.

    Evista (Raloxifene): A drug that belongs to the family of drugs called selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs) and is used in the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women. Raloxifene is also being studied as a cancer prevention drug.

    Fallopian tubes: Narrow, muscular tubes attached to the upper part of the uterus that serve as tunnels for the ova (egg) to travel from the ovaries to the uterus. Conception, the fertilization of an egg by a sperm, normally occurs in the fallopian tubes.

    Fibroids: Common benign tumors made up of muscle cells and connective tissue that develop within the wall of the uterus.

    Fimbriae: The finger-like projections on the end of the fallopian tubes. The fimbriae sweep the egg into the fallopian tube.

    Fibrinogen: A protein in the blood that helps it clot.

    Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH): A hormone produced by the pituitary gland (located at the base of the brain). In women, FSH stimulates the growth of follicles, the small, cysts that hold the eggs and the supporting cells responsible for the growth and nurturing of the egg. In men, FSH is necessary for sperm production.

    Forteo: An injectable bone-building medication.

    Fosamax: Also known as alendronate, Fosamax is a drug that has been shown to increase bone mass and reduce bone fractures(bisphosphonate). It is used to prevent and treat osteoporosis.

    Gynecologist: A doctor who specializes in the care and health of the female reproductive organs.

    HDL cholesterol: Referred to as "good" cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein is a type of cholesterol that protects against heart disease.

    Heart disease: A condition that affects the heart muscle or the blood vessels of the heart.

    Hormone replacement therapy (HRT): Also known as hormone therapy (HT). The use of hormones, usually a combination of estrogen and progesterone (or estrogen only in women who no longer have their uterus), as a therapy that may be used to treat the discomforts of menopause.

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