Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Teen Girls' Health

Font Size
A
A
A

A Young Woman's Gyn Health Glossary

Translation, Please!

You might not find it easy to talk about your "equipment," the stuff that makes you female. But if you hold back on asking questions, you can't get answers.

This guide matches up street slang with correct names and straight facts about your body.

Recommended Related to Teen Girls

Where's Your Spot on the Range?

Before you look at the chart below, repeat after me: “Normal is a range. Being outside the range doesn’t mean there’s a problem—but I should see a doctor.” Normal Not Normal Bleeding lasts 1 to 7 days. Bleeding lasts longer than 7 days. Cycles (the time between Day 1 of one period and Day 1 of the next) last about 21 to 40 days. The middle range is 28...

Read the Where's Your Spot on the Range? article > >

Menstruation Facts and Terms

Formal: Menstruation, of course!

Slang: Time of the month, the crimson tide, on the rag, riding the cotton pony, Aunt Flo (as in "My Aunt Flo is visiting.")

Most common: Your period

Basics: The menstrual cycle is a month-long series of events that prepares your body for pregnancy. If there's no fertilized egg growing in your uterus (womb), it sheds the inner lining. You lose blood for five to seven days.

Periods usually start around age 11 or 12. For most girls and women, they cause only a few days of hassle, maybe mild cramping.

Your choices for absorbing flow have colorful nicknames, too.

Formal: Sanitary pad

Slang: Cotton airplane, mattress, napkins, hammock

Basics: Pads can be made of cotton or other absorbent materials. Sticky tape on one side holds them in your panties to soak up menstrual blood. They can be thin or very thick. "Wings" on the sides help stop the pad from bunching.

Formal: Tampon

Slang: Cork, plug, wick, pen (as in ''My Aunt Flo needs a pen.'')

Basics: Tampons are plugs of cotton or other materials that you slide into your vagina with a cardboard or plastic tube to guide it into place. Once inside, your vagina hugs it so it stays put. You shouldn’t be able to feel it. Sizes range from light to super-absorbent.

Tampons have a string, or wick, that you gently pull to remove them. You should change a tampon every four to six hours to prevent leakage and infection.

PMS and Ovulation

Formal: Premenstrual Syndrome

Slang: Part Monster Syndrome, Pass My Sweatpants, Perpetual Munching Spree

Most common: PMS

Basics: PMS refers to unusual feelings you may have for one to two weeks before your period starts. Your hormones shift during this time. This may cause mood swings, bloating, tender breasts, headaches, or symptoms of depression. Some women have a lot of symptoms, and others don't have much trouble at all.

Formal: Ovulation

Slang: Egg chute, egg shoot, egg bowl, or "O" (not Oprah's magazine)

Basics: Your ovary releases a mature egg about two weeks after your period starts. PMS symptoms can start around this time. It's also the most fertile time of the month -- when you're most likely to get pregnant. 

The egg travels through the fallopian tube and toward the uterus. If the egg unites with a man's sperm, it can be fertilized, attach to the uterus, and grow into a baby. When the egg is not fertilized, it passes out through the vagina during your period.

WebMD Medical Reference

Today on WebMD

Teen BMI Calculator
fitTool
teen girl with lotion on face
Slideshow
 
dancing
fitArticle
Young couple holding hands
Quiz
 
Blemish Blasters Tips For Acne Free Skin
Slideshow
teen girl on swing
Quiz
 
Abused woman
Article
Taylor Swift
fitSlideshow
 
The Pill Myths And Facts
Article
Hair illustration
New
 
teen sleeping
fitArticle
Eye make-up closeup
Quiz