A medication or device that is capable of inducing an abortion.
The termination of a pregnancy before the fetus is viable or capable of sustaining an independent life outside the uterus. It can be either a naturally occurring event, or a medically induced procedure.
It is a conscious decision to avoid certain activities or behaviors. Different people have different definitions of sexual abstinence. For some, it may mean no sexual contact. For others, it may mean no penetration (oral, anal, vaginal) or only low risk behaviors.
Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS)
The late stage of infection cause by the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). HIV steadily weakens the body's defense (immune) system until it can no longer fight off life-threatening illnesses. These include infections such as pneumonia and certain cancers. The term "AIDS" applies to the most advanced stages of an HIV infection.
The period of transition from childhood to adulthood, describing both the development to sexual maturity and to psychological and relative economic independence.
The absence of a period in young women who haven't started menstruating by age 16 or the absence of a period in young women who used to have a regular period.
Tests performed between the 16th and 18th week of pregnancy in order to determine the presence of birth defects in the developing fetus. It involves the insertion of a small needle into the amniotic fluid that surrounds the developing baby. The fluid is then screened for genetic conditions such as Down Syndrome.
A sexual act involving the insertion of a penis in, or external stimulation of, another person's anus.
One who is exhibiting both masculine and feminine characteristic.
Low levels of the oxygen-carrying material in the blood, resulting in decreased oxygen to body tissues.
Scraping of the vagina and surrounding tissues as a part of the harmful practice of female genital mutilation.
A sexual dysfunction in which the individual is not able to achieve orgasm.
The absence of ovulation.
Substances that are produced by specialized cells in the body, called B cells. These substances attack foreign material that enters the body in order to prevent or fight off infection.
A substance or combination of substances used to destroy a retrovirus (example, HIV) or suppress its replication.
Antibodies directed against sperm. It is produced by a woman that attaches to the sperm and inhibit both their movement and their ability to fertilize.
A food, drink, medication, or sometimes a thought that intensifies sexual desire.
A procedure that involves the placement of relatively large numbers of healthy sperm either at the entrance of the cervix or into a woman's uterus, bypassing the cervix, to have direct access to the fallopian tubes.
A person devoid of sexual drive.
Without signs or symptoms of disease or illness (i.e. where the patient doesn't complain of any symptoms)
Any sexual activity done by the person alone.
Inflammation of the vagina caused by a bacterial infection.
A common vaginal condition that includes a fishy-smelling discharge caused by overgrowth of bacteria normally found in the vagina.
Inflammation of the head (tip) of the penis and the mucous membrane beneath it.
Barrier contraceptive methods
Cervical caps, diaphragms, and condoms are some examples of barrier methods, which prevent sperm from reaching the uterus/fallopian tubes and fertilizing an egg.
Basal body temperature method
Involves a woman keeping track of her body temperature to help determine when she is fertile. Body temperature rises two days before ovulation.
Billings ovulaton method
A way to determine when a woman is fertile by observing the amount, look, and feel of the cervical mucus in the vagina.
A sexual orientation in which a person is sexually attracted to both men and women, although not necessarily of the same degree. They may or may not act on their feelings and attraction.
A triangle-shaped, hollow organ located in the lower abdomen that holds urine. It is held in place by ligaments that are attached to other organs and the pelvic bones. The bladder's walls relax and expand to store urine, and contract and flatten to empty urine through the urethra.
Irregular unexpected episodes of spotting, staining, or light bleeding between periods.
A common infection of the skin or mucous membranes caused by a yeast-like fungus (Candida albicans ) that commonly causes vaginitis.
Calendar rhythm method
Keeping track of your period on a calendar to predict when you may be the most fertile.
The surgical removal of a man's testes.
A small, rubber cup that fits inside the vagina and is placed against the cervix before sexual intercourse. It is similar to the diaphragm but smaller.
A thick fluid plugging the opening of the cervix. Most of the time the cervical mucous is thick enough to prevent sperm from entering the uterus. At midcycle, however, under the influence of estrogen, the mucous becomes thin and watery, and sperm can more easily pass into the uterus.
Inflammation of the cervix, usually caused by gonorrhea or chlamydia.
The neck of the uterus, which is called the cervix, protrudes down into the back of the vagina. It is the entrance to the uterus and contains mucus-producing glands. The cervix feels like the end of a nose with a dimple in it.
An individual who is not sexually active.
The surgical act of removing the foreskin from a penis. Occasionally, the term is used to refer to the partial or complete removal of a girl's or woman's clitoris and/or clitoral hood and/or labia.
An STD caused by the bacterium, Chlamydia trachomatis, which can damage a woman's reproductive organs.
Is part of the female sex organ that is inside the labia and made up of spongy tissue that fills with blood during sexual excitement and is very sensitive to touch.
A birth control pill that contains the hormones, estrogen and progestin
A person acknowledging to themselves, their family, friends, and co-workers that they are homosexual or bisexual. This can extend to a considerable time interval.
The fertilization of an ovum by a spematozoa. Human life with a unique DNA is formed. Pro-lifers generally regard this event as the creation of a human person. Many pro-choicers believe that a personhood is attained by an embryo or fetus much later in the pregnancy.
The use of mechanical devices, foams, medication and/or creams to prevent pregnancy.
Sheaths worn over the penis to block sperm. Condoms are the only birth control method proven to prevent STDs. They're cheap, easy to get and effective. Often condoms are used wrong: They're too big or too small; there's not enough space left at the tip.
One (regardless of the motivation) who wears the clothes, makeup, etc. that is normally restricted to the other sex. There is a common mistaken belief among the public that cross-dressers are generally homosexuals.
A form of oral sex involving the stimulation of a woman's clitoris.
An injection containing progestin, medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA), which protects against pregnancy for three months
Clothes that are often unusual and dramatic, especially those considered appropriate to the other sex.
A male > female transvestite who employs dramatic clothes, makeup and mannerisms, often for other people's appreciation
Painful menstrual periods.
Painful sexual intercourse.
A toxic condition of late pregnancy, labor and the period immediately after delivery, occurring as a complication of pre-eclampsia, and characterized by convulsions. Serious cases can lead to coma and death.
The implantation of the embryo occurs outside the uterus. Such an abnormal pregnancy can be located in the tubes, ovaries, the cervix or inside the abdomen.
How well a birth control method protects a woman from becoming pregnant.
Exhibiting bahavior seen most commonly in women.
Each month, during the menstrual cycle, this is released from one ovary and then travels into the fallopian tube.
The act of expelling semen from the penis.
A form of life with a human DNA between the second and eight week after conception.
A condition in which an adult, usually male, is sexually attracted to young people about the age of puberty. They may or may not act on their feelings.
The growth in length, diameter and rigidity of a penis, as caused by sexual excitement. Sometimes used to refer to the swelling of a clitoris.
A female hormone produced by the ovaries. It plays an important role in a woman's ability to have children and also used in various methods of birth contol.
Thin tubes that carry eggs from the ovary to the uterus.
The conscious effort of couples or individuals to plan for and attain their desired number of children and to regulate the spacing and timing of their births.
Oral sex involving the stimulation of a penis.
Female genital mutilation
The term used to refer to the removal of part, or all, of the female genitalia.
The ability to become pregnant.
The joining of a sperm and egg--the first step in the process to produce a baby.
A hormone produced by the pituitary gland that controls estrogen production by the ovaries.
One who has significant sexual and romantic attractions primarily to members of the same sex, or one who identifies as a member of the gay community
Assault perpetrated against homosexuals because of their sexual orientation.
Refers to the economic, social and cultural attributes and opportunities associated with being male or female in a particular point in time.
Measurable equal representation of women and men. It does not simply imply that women and men are the same, but that they have equal value and should be accorded equal treatment.
Refers to how one thinks of one's own gender: whether one thinks of oneself as a man (masculine) or as a woman (feminine.)
The application of fairness and justice in all gender issues. This applies both to the composition of power structures and to social divisions of labour.
Arbitrary rules, assigned by society, that define what clothing, behaviors, thoughts, feelings, relationships, etc. are considered appropriate and inappropriate for members of each sex. Which things are considered masculine, feminine, or neutral varies according to the location, social class and other factors.
It is the reorganization, improvement, development and evaluation of policy processes, so that a gender equality perspective is incorporated in all policies at all levels and at all stages, by those normally involved in policy-making.
Any act that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual, or psychological harm or suffering to women. It includes threats of such acts, coercion, or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether in public or private life.
Medicine that has the same dosage, safety, quality, performance, and strength as the brand-name drug but is not marketed under a brand name.
An STD caused by a virus. The warts appear on a person's genitals or around the anus.
The sex organs on the outside of a person's body, such as the penis and clitoris.
A common sexually transmitted disease caused by a bacterium, which can lead to infertility in women.
An STD caused by a virus that infects the liver.
One who has both a penis and a vagina.
A virus that causes infection that can be, but not always, sexually transmitted.
One who has significant sexual and romantic attractions primarily to the members of the opposite sex.
The assumption that identifying as heterosexual and having sexual or romantic attractions to the opposite sex is good and acceptable, and that other sexual identities and attractions are bad and unacceptable.
A pregnant woman who is below 18 years of age or more than 34 years; or who has already had three or more live births; or when birth would occur within 24 months of a previous live birth.
A virus that causes AIDS.
Originally, an irrational fear of sexual attraction to the same sex. It developed into a term for the oppression of lesbians, gays and bisexuals.
Formal or clinical term for gays or a person who is attracted sexually and romantically to a person from the same sex.
Systemic methods of contraception based either on a progestagen combined with estrogen or progestagen alone. The methods of delivery include pills, injectibles and implants. All are reversible.
Chemical messengers that control hundreds of specific body functions. Some hormones, like estrogen in women and testosterone in men, have a role in producing the sex differences between men and women.
Human Papilloma Virus
An STD caused by a virus that sometimes causes genital warts but in many cases infects people without noticeable symptoms.
Often, but not always, a small web of skin called the hymen partly covers the opening of the vagina. For centuries, people mistakenly believed that if this web were torn or missing, a woman is not a virgin. Actually, the hymen hardly exists in some women.
How one thinks of oneself. One's internal self, as opposed to what others observe or think about.
A kind of birth control in which small, soft tubes are placed under a woman's skin and then very slowly release hormone that prevents a woman from getting pregnant.
Also called erectile dysfunction. The inability to achieve an erection, and/or dissatisfaction with the size, rigidity, and/or duration of erections.
It is the inability of a woman to become pregnant.
A voluntary decision to use, or not to use, a contraceptive method after receiving adequate information regarding options, risks, advantages and disadvantages of all available methods.
Intrauterine device (IUD)
A small, T-shaped device, containing either copper or a hormone that is inserted into the uterus to prevent pregnancy. IUDs are the most effective method primarily because there's no user error. And they're reversible. It's not good in the sense that it sometimes causes a heavy and painful menstrual flow
Special exercises to tighten the pelvis muscles, which can relieve some forms of urinary incontinence and pelvic discomfort.
Two sets of soft folds of skin that cover the clitoris and the openings to the urethra and vagina.
A substance that makes something slippery and smooth. Water-based lubricants are often used with condoms.
A hormone that causes the ovary to release a mature egg, which occurs during ovulation.
The touching or rubbing of any part of the body's sex organs for pleasure.
The time in a woman's life--in her late 40's or early 50's--when she stops ovulating (producing eggs), and her period stops for good.
It is the first menstrual period, or first menstrual bleeding. From both social and medical perspectives it is often considered the central event of female puberty, as it signals the possibility of fertility.
Bleeding that occurs as part of a woman's mentrual cycle when she is not pregnant. The menstrual blood is partly blood and partly tissue from the inside of the uterus.
The length time from the beginning of one period to the beginning of the next.
The urban male of any sexual orientation who has a strong aesthetic sense and spends a great deal of his time and money on his appearance and lifestyle.
A progestin-only tablet that thickens the cervical mucus to keep sperm from reaching an egg, preventing fertilization. It's good for women who shouldn't take estrogen and those who've had breast cancer.
Means having only one sexual partner.
The fatty tissue over the pubic bone.
Morning after pill
Uses a high dose of combined oral contraceptives to prevent conception. This method is effective if used within 72 hours after unprotected sexual intercourse. Also known as emergency contraception.
All sexual activities that involve the use of the mouth, tongue, etc., to stimulate genitalia. It may be used as foreplay before intercourse, or as climax of a sexual act. Ingestion of semen or vaginal fluids, w/o physical mouth-to-genital contact, is not considered to be oral sex. Common slang terms for oral sex include to "go down on", "give head to" a partner.
A condition in which the bones break easily.
Love making without sexual intercourse. It can include cuddling, kissing, and touching.
A pair of glands--one on each side of the uterus--where eggs are formed and estrogen is produced.
The point in the woman's menstrual cycle when an egg is released from one of her ovaries.
Pap smear test
A medical procedure that checks for changes in the cells of a woman's cervix. A sample of cells is taken from a woman's cervix and examined under a microscope. The Pap test can tell if a woman has an infection, abnormal cells, or cancer.
A small adhesive patch that is worn on the skin. It delivers a contraceptive through the skin to prevent pregnancy.
Pelvic inflammatory disease
Infection in the uterine lining, uterine wall, fallopian tube, ovary, uterine membrane, broad ligaments of the uterus, or membranes lining the pelvic wall. May be caused by a variety of infectious organisms including gonorrhea and chlamydia.
The male organ.
A small gland located at the base of the brain, which produces female hormones.
The organ that nourishes a growing fetus. Also known as "afterbirth," it is expelled from the uterus within a few minutes after the birth of the baby.
A condition in pregnancy manifested by hypertension, plus excess protein in the urine and/or swelling after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Can progress to eclampsia.
This occurs when a fertilized egg plants itself in the uterus and grows into a baby.
This occurs when semen leaks out of the penis before ejaculation.
A female hormone whose primary role is to prepare the body for pregnancy, helping to create a soft lining in the uterus for a fertilized egg.
A drug that has some of the same effects as progesterone, a female hormone, which plays an important part in pregnancy.
A sex gland for men. It is about the size of a walnut, and surrounds the neck of the bladder and the urethra, the tube that carries urine from the bladder. This contributes a secretion to semen.
Hair in the genital region.
The span of ages at which individuals are capable of becoming parents.
It is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity, in all matters relating to the reproductive system and to its functions and processes. Reproductive health therefore implies that people are able to have a satisfying and safe sex life and that they have the capability to reproduce and the freedom to decide if, when and how often to do so.
These rights rest on the recognition of the basic right of all couples and individuals to decide freely and responsibly the number, spacing and timing of their children and to have the information and means to do so, and the right to attain the highest standard of sexual and reproductive health. It also includes their right to make decisions concerning reproduction free of discrimination, coercion and violence, as expressed in human rights documents.
Uterus that is flexed severely forward or backward.
A man with a generally poor sense of style -- not necessarily a boor, but someone who rejects being finicky about his appearance. It's the opposite of a metrosexual.
Any sexual practice that aims to reduce the risk of unwanted pregnancy and of passing HIV from one person to another.
Is the sexuality exuded by a person's intelligence rather than any other physical attribute or gender.
The scrotum controls the temperature of the testicles. Scrotal temperature is about six degrees below body temperature. This is ideal for producing sperm. In warm weather, the scrotum becomes somewhat larger and more limp
The thick fluid that a man ejaculates in sex and which contains sperm.
Refers to the biological characteristics that define humans as male or female.
Basic education about reproductive processes, puberty, sexual behavior, etc. It may include other information such as contraception, protection from STDs and parenthood.
The integration of the somatic, emotional, intellectual and social aspects of sexual being, in ways that are positively enriching and that enhance personality and communication.
Refers to the primary sexual attraction to the same, opposite or both sexes.The use of this term helped promotes the view that sexual desire was a not a matter of "preference" but inherent and unchangeable.
It encompasses heterosexual and homosexual desire. It was used in the late 20th century by gay rights advocates who sought to promote the view that each person should have the right to seek out the partner they prefer, whether of the opposite sex or the same sex.
The right to have control over and decide freely and responsibly on matters of sexuality, including sexual and reproductive health, free from discrimination, coercion and violence.
The sexual knowledge, beliefs, attitudes, values and behaviors of individuals.
Sexually Transmitted Infection
Disease resulting from bacteria or viruses and often acquired through sexual contact. The term "STI" is slowly replacing "STD" in order to include HIV infection. Most STIs, like HIV, are not acquired from partners who are obviously ill, but rather through exposure to infections that are asymptomatic or unnoticeable at the time of transmission.
Cells in a man's semen that, if joined with a woman's egg, can make the woman pregnant.
It is inserted into the vagina where it kills the sperm.
Colloquial term for heterosexual. Because "straight" has connotations of "unadulterated," "pure," and "honest," some members of the sexual identity community object to the implication that one who is not straight is "bent," "impure," or "dishonest"
The most common type of incontinence that involves the leakage of urine during exercise, coughing, sneezing, laughing, lifting heavy objects, or other body movements that put pressure on the bladder.
As a form of birth control, this small, solid form that contains a spermicide and is placed in a woman's vagina. It dissolves and releases the spermicide once in the vagina.
A sexually transmitted disease cause by a bacteria. The initial symptom is a painless open sore that usually appears on the penis or around or in the vagina. If untreated, syphilis may go on to more advanced stages, including a transient rash and, eventually, serious involvement of the heart and central nervous system.
Glands that produce sperm. Also called testes.
A male sex hormone, which controls the growth and dev't. of a man's sex organs, like the penis, and plays other roles in a man's growth and sexual behavior.
One who switches gender roles, whether once, or many times at will.
One who switches physical sexes. Primary sex change is accomplished by surgery.
One who mainly cross dresses for pleasure in the appearance and sensation. The pleasure may not be directly erotic. It may be empowering, rebellious. or something else.
Is a term used to describe a man so perfect that it leaves little margin for error or fallacy.
A long, narrow tube that carrys urine from the bladder to the outside of the body. In the male, semen also passes through the urethra.
Urinary tract infection
Infection in any part of the urinary tract, including the kidney, ureter, bladder, and urethra; usually bacterial in nature.
A hollow, muscular organ that is connected to both fallopian tubes and the vagina. It holds and nourishes the fetus until birth and is where the blood comes from during a period.
It is an elastic muscular passage extending from the woman's outer sexual organs (the vulva) to the uterus. The vagina is about 4 inches long and can receive a man's penis during sexual intercourse. It is also called the birth canal.
Inflammation of the vagina.
A flexible, plastic ring that is placed in the upper part of the vagina. The ring releases estrogen and progestin continuously to prevent pregnancy.
Tubes in a man's body that carry sperm from the testicles to the penis.
A medical procedure in which a doctor blocks the tube through which a man's sperm passes.
The area on the outside of a woman's body that surrounds the vagina.
Also known as seminal or nocturnal emissions in males, are erotic dreams that cause sexual excitement during sleep and lead to orgasm (climax). Because males ejaculate fluid during orgasm, such dreams have come to be known as "wet dreams."
One of the oldest known methods of contraception in which the man withdraws his penis from the vagina before ejaculation. Also known as coitus interruptus.
The womb is where a baby lives for the nine months it develops inside a female's body. Most of the time, obviously, one haven t got a baby inside. But the female body gets prepared just in case.
An egg that has been fertilized but not yet divided.