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Sex Glossary

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Dilation and curettage (D & C): A procedure in which the opening of the cervix is stretched with a special instrument, and the walls of the uterus are gently scraped.

Douche: A liquid used to clean a woman's genitals and vagina.

Dysmenorrhea: The medical term for the painful cramps that may occur during a woman's menstrual period.

Dyspareunia: Pain during intercourse.

Dysplasia: Abnormal growth of cells and tissues. Considered a pre-cancerous condition.

Ectopic (tubal) pregnancy: A pregnancy that occurs outside the uterus, often in the fallopian tubes.

Ejaculate: The fluid that is expelled from a man's penis during sexual climax (orgasm).

Ejaculation: When sperm and other fluids come from the penis during sexual climax (orgasm).

Ejaculatory ducts: The structures formed by the fusion of the vas deferens and the seminal vesicles. The ejaculatory ducts empty into the urethra.

Embryo: A fertilized egg.

Emergency contraception: Also called emergency post-coital oral contraception (EPOC) or the "morning after pill." It is a form of birth control that may be used by women after having unprotected sex. The most commonly used emergency contraception consists of a pill form in which two doses of hormone pills are taken in one day 12 hours apart within 72 hours of unprotected sex. Another form uses an intrauterine device (IUD) inserted by a doctor within five to seven days of unprotected sex.

Endometrial biopsy: A procedure in which a small sample of tissue from the lining of the uterus (endometrium) is removed for evaluation and testing.

Endometrial cancer: Cancer that occurs when abnormal cells in the endometrium -- the lining of the uterus (womb) -- divide and grow uncontrolled.

Endometriosis: A condition in which tissue that looks and acts like endometrial tissue is found outside the uterus, usually inside the abdominal cavity.

Endometrium: The tissue that lines the inside of the uterus.

Epididymis: The long, coiled tube that rests on the back side of each testicle. It transports and stores the sperm cells produced in the testes. The epididymis also brings the sperm to maturity, since the sperm that emerge from the testes are immature and incapable of fertilization. During sexual arousal, contractions force the sperm into the vas deferens.

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