Common Word Roots for Female Reproductive System

Review Flashcards

By reviewing this flashcard review list, you will be able to identify and understand the female reproductive system’s combining forms and root words.

#1 amni/o

amni/o is a combining form that refers to "amnion (amniotic sac)".

A thin-walled sac surrounds the fetus during pregnancy called an amniotic sac. In the amniotic sac, there is liquid (amniotic fluid) and a membrane enclosing the placenta on the fetal side (amnion). It safeguards the fetus from injury and maintains its temperature.

#2 cervic/o, trachel/o

cervic/o or trachel/o is a combining form that refers to "cervix (also refers to neck)".

The cervix is the section of the uterus that lies at the bottom; it is the part that connects the uterus to the vagina, providing a passage between the two.

#3 clitor/o, clitorid/o

clitor/o or clitorid/o is a combining form that refers to "clitoris".

The clitoris is the female's primary erogenous area and is generally associated with female sexual pleasure.

#4 embry/o

embry/o is a combining form that refers to "embryo".

As part of the reproductive process, an embryo is the development of an egg that is fertilized by sperm that takes place before the fetus develops into a full-fledged human being.

#5 endometri/o

endometri/o is a combining form that refers to "endometrium".

The endometrium is the inner layer of tissue that lines the uterus.

#6 fet/o

fet/o is a combining form that refers to "fetus".

The fetus is a human embryo after the eighth week of its development.

#7 gravid/o

gravid/o is a combining form that refers to "pregnant woman".

The term gravida refers to a woman's current state of pregnancy; usually it is followed by a roman numeral specifying how many times she has been pregnant in the past.

#8 gyn/o, gynec/o

gyn/o or gynec/o is a combining form that refers to "woman".

Gynecology deals with the treatment of diseases associated with women, especially those affecting their reproductive organs.

#9 hymen/o

hymen/o is a combining form that refers to "hymen".

A hymen is a thin, mucosal piece of tissue that wraps around or covers a portion of the external opening of the vaginal canal. It makes up a part of the external genitalia, also known as the vulva, and is structurally similar to that of the vagina.

#10 lact/o, galact/o

lact/o or galact/o is a combining form that refers to "milk".

For infants, breastmilk is the most nutritious food. With its safe, clean, and reliable antibodies, it can prevent several common childhood illnesses. For the first few months, breastmilk provides all the energy and nutrients an infant needs. It continues to do so for more than half of a child's nutritional needs for the second half of the first year.

#11 mamm/o, mast/o

mamm/o or mast/o is a combining form that refers to "breast (mammary gland)".

Mammary glands are highly evolved and specialized organs located on either side of the chest wall. Its primary function is to secrete milk. Despite being present in both sexes, it's more developed in women and much less developed in men.

#12 men/o

men/o is a combining form that refers to "menstruation".

Menstruation, or periods, are normal vaginal bleeding that happens every month. A woman's body prepares for pregnancy every month. In the absence of pregnancy, the uterus sheds it's lining. Menstrual blood is a mix of blood and some tissue from inside the uterus. Through the vagina, it leaves the body.

#13 nat/i

nat/i is a combining form that refers to "birth".

Birth, also known as childbirth or parturition is the event of delivering a child from the uterus, or womb.

#14 oo, ov/o, ov/i

oo, ov/o or ov/i is a combining form that refers to "ovum" or "egg cell".

Ovum is a single cell found in one of the female reproductive organs, the ovaries, capable of developing into a fetus when fertilized with sperm. The egg is about 30 times wider than sperm.

#15 ovari/o, oophor/o

ovari/o or oophor/o is a combining form that refers to "ovary".

The ovary is a female reproductive organ that releases eggs (ovum) and the hormones estrogen and progesterone. Female traits such as hair growth, breast development, and body shape are shaped by these hormones. Additionally, these hormones affect the cycle of menstruation and fertility.

#16 para

para is a combining form that refers to "has given birth" or "parity". (**Note: this is different from the prefix Para- which means nearby or alongside)

Parity refers to the number of times a woman has given birth to a fetus who is 24 weeks or older. This is whether the child is alive or dead.

#17 pelv/i

pelv/i is a combining form that refers to "pelvis", "pelvic bones" or "pelvic cavity".

The pelvis is a basin-shaped bone that protects the abdominal organs and supports the spinal column. In the bony pelvis, there are two parts: the anterior and the posterior. In the anterior part of the pelvis, you find the pubis, the ischium, and the ilium. It is attached posteriorly to the pelvic spine. Coccyx and sacrum make up the pelvic spine.

#18 salping/o

salping/o is a combining form that refers to "uterine tube" or "fallopian tube".

The fallopian tubes connect the ovaries to the uterus. Through the fallopian tubes, eggs move from the ovaries to the uterus. Fertilization takes place at these sites as well.

#19 toc/o

toc/o is a combining form that refers to "labor".

The process of labor is characterized by continuous, progressive contraction of the uterus that assists in dilation (opening) and efface (thinning) of the cervix. In this way, the fetus can move through the birth canal.

#20 uter/o, metr/o, metr/i, hyster/o

uter/o, metr/o, metr/i or hyster/o is a combining form that refers to "uterus".

Uterus is a muscular hollow organ situated between the bladder and rectum in females. During pregnancy, a fetus (unborn baby) develops and grows in the uterus. The uterus is also called the womb.

#21 vagin/o, colp/o

vagin/o or colp/o is a combining form that refers to "vagina".

The vagina is an essential passage that plays a role in sexual activity, menstruation, pregnancy, and childbirth.

#22 vulv/o, episi/o

vulv/o or episi/o is a combining form that refers to "vulva".

An outer part of a female's genital system is the vulva. There are three parts to the vulva: the opening of the vagina, the labia majora (outer lips), and the labia minora (inner lips). In addition to protecting female reproductive organs (labia majora and minora), the vulva also plays a role in sexual arousal and stimulation (clitoris) and facilitates sex through the provision of lubrication (Bartholin's glands) and cushioning (mons pubis).