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Sex Glossary


Fallopian tubes: The narrow, muscular tubes attached to the upper part of the uterus that serve as tunnels for the ova to travel from the ovaries to the uterus. Conception, the fertilization of an egg by a sperm, normally occurs in the fallopian tubes.

Female circumcision: The removal of part of a female's external genitalia (reproductive organs), usually the clitoris. Also called female genital mutilation. Female circumcision is usually part of a religious ritual.

Fetishism: A disorder in which a person has sexual urges and engages in behavior associated with non-living objects.

Fibroids: Nodules of smooth muscle cells and fibrous connective tissue that develop within the wall of the uterus (womb). Medically, they are called uterine leiomyomata (singular: leiomyoma).

Fimbriae: The finger-like projections on the end of the fallopian tubes. The fimbriae sweep the egg from the ovaries and into the tube.

Flank: The fleshy side of the body between the ribs and hip.

Fluorouracil: A chemotherapy drug that when used in cream or solution form can be applied directly to the skin. It is used to treat certain skin problems, including cancer and conditions that could become cancerous if not treated. Fluorouracil works by interfering with the growth of abnormal cells.

Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH): A hormone produced by the pituitary gland (at the base of the brain). In men, FSH is necessary for sperm production (spermatogenesis). In women, FSH stimulates the growth of follicles (the small, fluid-filled cysts that hold the eggs) and the supporting cells responsible for the growth and nurturing of the egg.

Foreskin: The loose skin that covers the head of the penis.

Frotteurism: A disorder in which the focus of a person's sexual urges is related to touching or rubbing their genitals against the body of a non-consenting, unfamiliar person.

Gender: Being male or female.

Gender identity disorder: A disorder in which a male or female feels a strong identification with the opposite sex.

Genital warts (condyloma): Growths or bumps on the penis, vagina, vulva (vaginal lips), cervix (the opening between the vagina and womb), rectum, or groin. Genital warts are a sexually transmitted disease (STD) which means that they are spread by having sex with an infected person.

Glans: The head of the penis.

Gonorrhea: A serious bacterial infection that is caught by having sex with an infected person. A person can become infected when the bacteria enter any opening in the body, including the penis, anus, vagina, or mouth. Gonorrhea also is called "clap" or "drip."

Hepatitis: A disease involving inflammation of the liver. Most types of hepatitis are caused by viruses, but alcohol, drugs, and other factors also can cause the disease. Hepatitis can cause long term damage to the liver.

Hepatitis B: A type of hepatitis that can be spread from another person who has the virus. Most commonly, it is spread by having sex with an infected person or by sharing a needle.

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