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Sex Glossary

Abdominal hysterectomy: The surgical removal of the uterus through an incision in the abdomen.

Adenocarcinomas: Cancer that begins in the gland cells of the body. This term also applies to tumors showing a glandular type of growth pattern.

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Treatments for Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)

Don't try to treat a sexually transmitted disease, or STD, yourself. These diseases are contagious and serious. You must see a doctor. Bacterial STDs can be cured with antibiotics if treatment begins early enough. Viral STDs cannot be cured, but you can manage symptoms with medications. There is a vaccine against hepatitis B, but it will not help if you already have the disease. If you are given antibiotics to treat a STD, it is important that you take all of the drug prescribed to you, even if...

Read the Treatments for Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) article > >

Acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS): A syndrome -- caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) -- in which certain cells of the immune system are destroyed making it difficult to fight infections and certain cancers.  

Amenorrhea: When a woman does not get her monthly period.

Amputation of the penis: (See penectomy.)

Antibiotics: Drugs that kill certain infection-causing germs.

Antidepressants: Medications used to treat depression.

Anti-hypertensives: Medications used to treat high blood pressure.

Anti-inflammatory drugs: Drugs that reduce inflammation (pain and swelling) by modifying the body's immune response.

Anorgasmia: The absence of sexual climax (orgasm).

Anus: The opening of the rectum to the outside of the body.

Bacterial vaginosis: The most common vaginal infection in women of reproductive age. Bacterial vaginosis often causes a vaginal discharge that is thin and milky, and is described as having a "fishy" odor. Bacterial vaginosis is caused by a combination of several bacteria.

Balanitis: An inflammation of the head (glans) of the penis

Balanoposthitis: Inflammation of the head and the foreskin of the penis.

Bartholin's glands: The small, mucus-producing glands on either side of the vaginal opening.

Benign: Not cancer, as in a benign tumor.

Biological therapy: A treatment that uses the body's own immune system to fight cancer. It uses materials made by the body or made in a laboratory to boost, direct, or restore the body's natural defenses against disease. Biological treatment is sometimes called biological response modifier (BRM) therapy.

Biopsy: The removal of a small sample of tissue for testing.

Birth control: A way for men and women to prevent pregnancy.

Bisexual: A person who is attracted to members of either gender.

Bladder: The sac that holds urine.

Blood test: A procedure in which a sample of blood is taken and analyzed in a lab for evidence of infection or disease.

Bulbourethral glands (Cowper's glands): Pea-sized structures located on the sides of the urethra just below a man's prostate gland. These glands produce a clear, slippery fluid that empties directly into the urethra. This fluid serves to lubricate the urethra and to neutralize any acidity that may be present due to residual drops of urine in the urethra.

Cancer: A disease that occurs when abnormal cells in a part of the body divide and grow out of control.

Candida: A species of fungus that normally lives in small numbers in the vagina, as well as in the mouth and digestive tract of both men and women.

Carcinomas: A type of cancer that arises from the lining cells of the body, called epithelial cells. Epithelial cells form the outer layer of the skin, and the membranes lining the digestive tract, bladder, and uterus, as well as the tubes and ducts that run through the body's organs.

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