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Sexual Conditions Health Center

Sex Glossary

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Epididymitis: Inflammation of the epididymis.

Epithelial cells: The cells that 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.

Erectile dysfunction (impotence): The inability to attain and/or maintain an erection suitable for intercourse.

Exhibitionism: A disorder characterized by intense, sexually arousing fantasies, urges, or behaviors involving exposure of the individual's genitals to an unsuspecting stranger.

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.

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