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    Sex Glossary


    Clinical trial: An organized research program conducted with patients to evaluate a new medical treatment, drug, or device.

    Clitoris: The small structure at the front of the vulva. The clitoris is very sensitive to stimulation and helps a woman reach sexual climax.

    Clitorectomy: The removal of the entire clitoris and the adjacent labia (the external and internal folds of skin, or lips, that protect the vaginal opening).

    Colposcopy: An examination of the cervix (lower part of the uterus) and the wall of the vagina. It is performed using a special microscope (colposcope) that gives a magnified view of the tissue lining the cervix and vagina. A special solution may be applied to the cervix that causes abnormal cells to turn white or yellow so that they may be more easily viewed.

    Computed axial tomography (CAT or CT scan): A technique in which multiple X-rays of the body are taken from different angles in a very short period of time. These images are collected by a computer and give a series of cross-sectional "slices" of the body.

    Conception: The fertilization of an egg by a sperm.

    Condom: A device usually made of latex (a type of rubber), plastic, or animal membrane that is used for birth control and to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases. Male condoms are fitted over the erect penis. Female condoms are inserted into the vagina. The closed end of the condom covers the cervix, and the open end covers the area around the opening of the vagina.

    Condyloma (genital warts): Growths or bumps on the penis, vagina, vulva (vaginal lips), cervix (the opening between the vagina and womb), rectum, or groin. Genital warts are spread by a sexually transmitted virus.

    Connective tissue: A group of supporting body tissues that connect fat, muscle, blood vessels, nerves, bones, and cartilage.

    Corpus luteum: The structure formed during the luteal phase of a woman's menstrual cycle. The corpus luteum secretes progesterone which prepares the uterus with the rich lining needed for the fertilized egg to implant.

    Cowper's glands (bulbourethral 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.

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