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We provide up-to-date, clear, medically accurate information that helps you better understand your sexual health. Or call Glossary We provide up-to-date, clear, medically accurate information that helps you better understand your sexual health. A Ableism Discrimination and prejudice against people living with mental, physical, cognitive, or intellectual disabilities.
Ableism can include negative actions, beliefs, and judgements against a person with a disability in social and professional settings. Ableism can also include creating structures and institutions that favor able-bodied people. Abortifacient A drug, herb, or device that can cause an abortion end a pregnancy. Abortion Ending a pregnancy. Abortion pill Describes the process of medication abortion, which includes the use of two medications, mifepristone and misoprostol, to safely end a pregnancy. Abstinence Not having sex with anyone.
See "abstinence-only-until-marriage programs. Acetaminophen A drug used for short-term relief of minor aches, pains, and fever. A common brand of acetaminophen is Tylenol, which you can buy at drugstores, convenience stores, and online. You take acetaminophen in pill or liquid form. Acquaintance rape Sexual assault by someone the victim knows. Adolescence The period of physical and emotional change between the beginning of puberty and early adulthood. Adrenarche The time in early puberty when secondary sex characteristics, like pubic hair, begin to develop.
The law is frequently called ACA, for short, or Obamacare. Afterbirth The placenta and other tissue that empty out of the uterus following childbirth. Age of consent The age at which state law considers a person old enough to decide to have sex with someone.
Agency Having the means to take action in a way that benefits you. Agender Not identifying with any gender. AIS androgen insensitivity syndrome A biological intersex condition that makes a fetus with XY chromosomes unable to develop male sex organs, causing female genitals at birth and throughout life. Usually raised as girls, individuals with AIS do not have reproductive organs, do not menstruate, are infertile, and can have vaginas that are too shallow for penis-in-vagina sex. Alfred Kinsey — Influential American sex researcher of the 20th century. His research was unique and groundbreaking.
Often used to describe someone who takes a stand against oppression or discrimination who is not a member of the oppressed group — for example, a white person who speaks out against racism or a straight person who speaks out against homophobia.
Alternative insemination See "donor insemination. Amniocentesis A prenatal test that examines the fluid that surrounds and protects the fetus. Amniotic fluid The liquid that surrounds the fetus within the amniotic sac. Anal be Small or large be — usually connected by a string — that are inserted into your anus for sexual pleasure. Anal sex Sex in which the penis or a sex toy goes in the anus.
Androgens Hormones that stimulate male genital development in the womb and secondary male sex characteristics during puberty. Large amounts are produced in testicles and small amounts are produced in ovaries. The most common androgen is testosterone. Androgynous Appearing to have both, neither, or in between traditionally male and female physical characteristics. Andropause A gradual decline in sex drive as people with penises age, due to decreasing levels of testosterone.
Similar to menopause. Androphobia Fear of men. Anesthesia Medicine that protects against pain during medical procedures. Topical anesthesia numbs the skin. Local anesthesia numbs a small area of the body, like the cervix. Conscious sedation numbs the body while allowing a person to remain awake, but deeply relaxed. Anorgasmia Inability to have an orgasm or difficulty in having an orgasm. Anti-choice Opposed to the belief that people have the right to make their own choices about whether and when to have. Antibiotics Medicines that are used to cure infections caused by bacteria.
Antibody A protein developed by the immune system in response to a toxin in the body. Antiretroviral A medicine that fights viruses. Anus The opening from the rectum butt from which solid waste poop leaves the body. Aphrodisiac A substance that increases sexual desire. Areola The dark area surrounding the nipple. Aroused The feeling of being turned on sexually. Your penis or clitoris may get erect hardswell, and feel more sensitive.
Your vulva, vagina, or the tip of your penis may feel wet. ART antiretroviral therapy A combination of medicines that works to keep people living with HIV healthy by lowering the amount of the virus in their bodies. Aspiration abortion A procedure that ends pregnancy by emptying the uterus with the gentle suction of a manual syringe or with machine-operated suction.
Aspirin works by reducing swelling in your body. Common brands containing aspirin include Alka-Seltzer, Bayer, and Excedrin, which you can buy at drugstores, convenience stores, and online. You take aspirin in pill or liquid form. Asymptomatic Having no s or symptoms. Many STDs are asymptomatic in their early stages. Atrophic vaginitis Vaginal irritation without any discharge caused by lowered levels of estrogen. Sometimes caused by menopause and more rarely, by breastfeeding.
Autoerotic Being turned on by yourself or something you think of in your own mind. Autoerotic asphyxiation Strangling or choking yourself for sexual arousal. It can be very dangerous. Hundreds of young people die of autoerotic asphyxiation every year. Some people also refer to emergency contraception as backup birth control. Things like douching or having sex with a new Message sex needin sum lickin attention can lead to BV. Balanitis An inflammation of the glans and foreskin of the penis that can be caused by infections including STDsharsh soaps, poor hygiene, etc.
Barrier methods of birth control Birth control that blocks sperm from passing through the cervix the barrier between the vagina and uterus. These include the condom, female condom, diaphragm, cervical cap, spermicide, and sponge. Located in the inner labia on each side of the opening to the vagina. Basal body temperature method A birth control method that involves tracking your body temperature over time to predict ovulation. Can be used to prevent pregnancy or to plan a pregnancy. Benign Not dangerous. Bigender Having two genders. Identifying as both a man and a woman, for example.
Bilateral mastectomy The surgical removal of both breasts. Biphobia Fear, hatred, or mistrust of Message sex needin sum lickin attention. Birth canal The passage from the uterus through the cervix and vagina through which a baby is born. Birth center A special health facility for people giving birth and their families. Birth control Something that prevents pregnancy. Birth defect A physical abnormality or health issue present at birth.
May be considered outdated or offensive. Bisexual Being sexually attracted to both men and women. Sometimes used to describe people who are sexually attracted to people of all genders, including non-binary genders. Bladder The organ that collects and stores urine pee. The bladder is emptied through the urethra. Blastocyst The developing hollow ball of cells that grows from a fertilized egg, before it implants in the uterus.
Body autonomy Your ability to decide what happens to your body without outside influence or control. Body diversity The range of ways bodies can look, inclusive of size and ability. Body fluids Liquids that come from your body, like blood, discharge, semen, and mucus. Body image Attitudes and feelings that a person has about their body and appearance. Boner Slang for an erect hard penis. Bottom surgery A general term for a variety of genital surgeries that transgender individuals may choose to get to align their physical body with their gender identity.
Can also be used as a birth control method for the first 6 months after birth, if done correctly. Breasts The two glands on the chest. Like mammary glands in other mammals, they produce milk during and after pregnancy. Bulbourethral glands The glands beneath the prostate gland that are attached to the urethra. They produce pre-ejaculate pre-cumpreparing for ejaculation by temporarily stopping the ability to urinate pee and making it easier for semen to move. Some people may call themselves butch, while others find the term offensive.
Butt plug A sex toy that goes in the anus. C C-section Giving birth when a doctor surgically removes the baby from the uterus. Short for cesarean section.
Calendar method A fertility awareness-based method for predicting fertility in which users chart their menstrual cycles on a calendar.Message sex needin sum lickin attention
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