pros·ta·glan·din | \ˌprä-stə-ˈglan-dən \

Definition of prostaglandin 

: any of various oxygenated unsaturated cyclic fatty acids of animals that are formed chiefly by the action of cyclooxygenase on arachidonic acid and perform a variety of hormonelike actions (as in controlling blood pressure or smooth muscle contraction)

Examples of prostaglandin in a Sentence

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Your period can cause diarrhea because of prostaglandins, hormone-like substances from the cells in the lining of your uterus. Korin Miller, SELF, "Is Diarrhea Really a Sign of Early Pregnancy?," 16 June 2018 This tissue may also produce prostaglandins, hormone-like chemicals that cause cramping, further exacerbating the problem. Nina Bahadur, SELF, "6 Things That Could Be Causing Your Lower Back Pain, Based on How It Feels," 28 Mar. 2018 Its active ingredient is a prostaglandin analog that’s been used for years to treat glaucoma. Jolene Edgar, Town & Country, "4 New Ways to Anti-Age Your Eyes," 8 June 2017 Ibuprofen lowers your levels of prostaglandins, which are the hormone-like substances that trigger uterine cramping and cause pain and inflammation. Kara Wahlgren, Seventeen, "7 Ways to Make Your Cramps Suck Less," 9 Mar. 2017 By turning down the prostaglandin spigot, aspirin prevents thousands of heart attacks every year and probably stops a significant number of tumors from forming in the first place. Viviane Callier, Scientific American, "Aspirin May Prevent Cancer from Spreading, New Research Shows," 1 May 2017 Labor is a complicated process that involves the release of hormones like oxytocin and hormone-like chemicals called prostaglandins, both of which cause uterine contractions. Korin Miller, SELF, "Here’s the Surprising Truth About Flying When Pregnant," 16 Feb. 2018 That’s because the copper IUD increases inflammatory factors, such as prostaglandins, which are normally produced by your uterine lining and are responsible for monthly period cramps, Dr. Chisholm says. Ashley Oerman, Cosmopolitan, "18 Things Every Woman Should Know About Getting an IUD," 6 Feb. 2018 At very high doses, acetaminophen can damage the liver, perhaps by a different mechanism than suppressing prostaglandins. Sandy Bauers,, "Can ibuprofen and other NSAIDs be dangerous for weekend warriors?," 30 Jan. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'prostaglandin.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of prostaglandin

1936, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for prostaglandin

prostate gland + -in entry 1; from its occurrence in the seminal fluid of animals

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The first known use of prostaglandin was in 1936

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pros·ta·glan·din | \ˌpräs-tə-ˈglan-dən \

Medical Definition of prostaglandin 

: any of various oxygenated unsaturated cyclic fatty acids of animals that are formed as cyclooxygenase metabolites especially from unsaturated fatty acids (as arachidonic acid) composed of a chain of 20 carbon atoms and that perform a variety of hormonelike actions (as in controlling blood pressure or smooth muscle contraction)

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to reject or criticize sharply

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