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  Family Planning
Related Terms

Preparation and Compilation .

Mansoor Ali
(University of Karachi)
Abdul Razzaq
(University of Karachi)

Supervision .

Pasand Ali
(University of Sindh)

Dedication .

Professor Dr. F.M Burfat

(University of Karachi)
Dr. Kaneez Fatima
(University of Karachi)

Abnormal: (As in abnormal Pap smear or abnormal test result) outside of the normal;
not regular.

Abortion: Termination of a pregnancy. An abortion can be spontaneous (better known

as a miscarriage) or medically induced through surgery or by drugs.
Medically and surgically induced abortions should only be performed by a
trained clinician.
In Pennsylvania and some other states, there are certain requirements a
woman or a teen must follow before she can get an abortion.

Abstinence: Abstinence means to not have sexual intercourse of any type: oral, vaginal
or anal. Abstinence is a personal decision that can be chosen by anybody at
any point in his or her life. Some people choose to abstain from all sexual
contact. Others choose to not have intercourse, but engage in other sexual
activities. Not having intercourse (sex) does not mean you can't hold hands,
cuddle, kiss & talk! Abstinence is 100% effective in preventing pregnancy.
Not having sexual intercourse of any type: oral, vaginal or anal prevents you
from getting most STDs and HIV.

Adoption: Adoption is when a birth mother and a birth father legally give up the rights
to take care of a child and another person assumes responsibility for raising
the child. The laws governing adoption differ for every state.

AIDS: Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. It is a set of life-threatening

conditions that occur during the last stage of HIV disease. HIV disease is
caused by the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). A person is said to
have AIDS basically when the body looses its ability to fight off infections
as the result of HIV.
Anemia: Also called "Iron Deficiency" and "Low Iron Level". In the human body,
iron is present in all cells and has several important jobs. Too little iron can
interfere with these functions and lead to illness and death. According to the
United States Centers for Disease Control, Anemia is the most common
known form of nutritional deficiency. It is most common among young
children and women of childbearing age (particularly pregnant women).

Antibacterial Soap: This is a soap that contains chemicals that will kill bacteria when you wash
items with the soap. Look for the words "Antibacterial" on the label.

Barrier Method: A birth control method that provides a physical barrier between the sperm
and the egg. Examples of barrier contraceptive methods include condoms,
diaphragms, foam, sponges and cervical caps.

Basal Body Temperature A component of the Fertility Awareness Method of birth control. Known as
Method: BBT, this method uses daily temperature readings taken by a woman
immediately after waking, to identify the time of ovulation. In order to

perform BBT and the other components of Fertility Awareness, it is
important to take a class or read a book on the subject. The effectiveness
rate of BBT alone is low, but when used as a part of Fertility Awareness it
can be 80% to 99% effective in preventing pregnancy.

Birth Control Method: Also known as contraceptive method. A birth control method is an effective,
safe, comfortable method you use to prevent pregnancy. Birth control can be
temporary; meaning you can stop using the method and possibly become
pregnant. Temporary methods are birth control pills, Depo-Provera,
Norplant, IUD, diaphragm, cervical cap, condoms, contraceptive sponge,
spermicidal foam, film and cream. Birth control can be permanent; meaning
you can not reverse it if you decide you want to become pregnant.
Permanent methods are tubal ligation for women and vasectomy for men.

Birth Control Pills: Often called the Pill, this method of birth control uses certain female
hormones called estrogen and progestin to prevent pregnancy. A woman
must take one pill at the same time each day. The pill prevents pregnancy by
stopping the release of an egg and thickens the cervical mucus. With correct
use, the pill is up to 99.9% effective in preventing pregnancy.

Bladder Infection: See Urinary Tract Infection.

Breasts: Two glands on the chests of women. Men also have breast tissue. Breasts
are considered sex organs because they are often sexually sensitive and may
inspire sexual desire. They produce milk during and after pregnancy.

Breast Exam, Self: An exam that a woman or man should do each month to check for any
changes in breast tissue.

Celibacy: See Abstinence.

Cervical Cap: A thimble-shaped latex cap, approximately 2 inches long and 1 to 1-1/2 inch
in diameter, for which your clinician will fit you. You put spermicide in the
Cap and then you put the Cap in your vagina to cover your cervix. The Cap
must cover the cervix for 6 hours after sex, but can be left in place for up to
48 hours.

Chlamydia Trachomatis: Often called Chlamydia, it is a microorganism that is sexually transmitted.

Chlamydia is the most common STD reported today. You can be tested by
your gynecologist or at your local family planning clinic.

Clinician: Also called a Provider or Doctor. A clinician can be a doctor, (in a family
planning clinic you usually see a gynecologist, and in an STD clinic you

may see a urologist) a nurse practitioner, aphysician's assistant, or a
midwife. A clinician is a medical professional who has received specialized
medical training to perform physical, testicular and pelvic exams, prescribe
birth control and diagnose & treat STDs and are licensed to provide health

Colposcopy: A colposcopy is an examination of your cervix using a colposcope, an

instrument like a high-powered microscope that magnifies your cervix. If
you have abnormal Pap smears your doctor will refer you for a colposcopy.
A colposcopy is performed by a trained clinician. During the colposcopy the
clinician will look for any abnormal cells. If they find anything that should
not be on the cervix, they may take a biopsy, or a sample of the abnormal
cells that will be looked at under a microscope. If the clinician decides to
remove all the abnormal cells they may use one of several different
methods. They may use Cryotherapy, which means they freeze the abnormal
cells. Or Laser therapy, which uses a carbon dioxide laser to create a tiny
beam of light to vaporize (turn into steam) the abnormal cells.

Condoms: There are male and female condoms.

Male condoms: A sheath (a case or cover that protects) made of thin latex,
rubber, polyurethane plastic or animal tissue that covers a man's penis. It
prevents sperm from reaching the egg.

Female condoms: A pouch made of polyurethane that is inserted into the

vagina. It prevents sperm from reaching the egg. 77% effective in
preventing pregnancy.
To become pregnant.

Contraceptive: See Birth Control Method.

Contraceptive sponge: This barrier method of birth control is a small pillow-shaped polyurethane
sponge, about 2 "+ inches around and inches thick and contains Nonoxynol
9. The sponge is inserted into a woman's vagina and has a concave dimple
on one side that will fit over the cervix.

Contraceptive Foam: Foam is a white cream that is the consistency of shaving cream and contains
nonoxynol-9, which will kill sperm. You insert it into a woman's vagina no
more than 30 minutes before you have sex. 74% to 94% effective in
preventing pregnancy. Foam is 99% effective when used with condoms.

Contraceptive Film: Vaginal Contraceptive Film (VCF) is a thin square of material the dissolves
quickly when inserted into your vagina. When it dissolves it releases
nonoxynol-9, which kills sperm on contact. 74% to 94% effective in
preventing pregnancy. VCF is 99% effective when used with condoms.

Dental Dams: A square piece of thin latex that is used during vaginal-oral, and anal-oral
sex. By placing the dental dam over the labia or the anus and licking the
dental dam, not their partner's skin, a person can prevent passing bodily
fluids that may contain STDs and HIV. A dental dam can be used to cover
the penis during oral sex, but using a condom is easier.

Depo Provera: Also called the Shot or Depo, Depo Provera is a shot of progestine you get
from your doctor or clinician every 12 weeks. Like the pill, it prevents
pregnancy by stopping the release of an egg and thickening the cervical
• Advantages: For Depo Provera one shot works for 12 weeks. No
need to remember a pill every day. Can be used while breastfeeding.
Some women don't get a period after a few months on Depo.
• Problems: You have to return to the clinic or doctor's office every 12
weeks to get the next shot. Some women have irregular bleeding,
weight gain, hair loss, headaches, & depression. These side effects
can last a short amount of time like a few weeks, they can last for as
long as you use Depo or it may take some time after you stop Depo
for the problems, especially the hair loss and weight gain to correct

Diaphragm: A shallow latex cup for which your clinician will fit you. You put
spermicidal jelly or cream in the Diaphragm and then you put the
Diaphragm in your vagina. The Diaphragm covers your cervix, preventing
pregnancy by keeping sperm from entering the cervix and traveling to the
egg. You must use the diaphragm every time you have sex and leave it in for
6 to 8 hours after sex. The Diaphragm is 82% to 94% effective.

• Advantages: Can last several years. No major health risks. You use it
only when you have sex.
• Problems: Allergies to latex or spermicide. Some users consider it
messy. Can increase the risk of a Urinary Tract Infection. You must
be comfortable touching your vagina.

Doctor: A doctor is a person who has gone to and graduated from medical school. In
medical school the student, called a "med student", works in all areas of
health care. The med student then decides what area they want to work in,
and does a residency. In their residency they develop their skill in their
special area. A doctor must have a current license to practice medicine.

Domestic Violence: Abusive physical or emotional acts between husbands and wives or between
individuals in intimate relationships.

Egg: Also called an ovum. Eggs are a woman's reproductive cells and are released
by the ovary. When the egg joins with a sperm, it can begin a pregnancy.

Effectiveness Rate: This information is given when discussing birth control methods. The
following formula tells us how well a birth control method prevents
pregnancy. The formula is: If 100 people use a birth control method
correctly, the given percent will not get pregnant.

Emergency Contraception: Also called morning-after pill, ECP or post-coital birth control. The most
common form of Emergency Contraception is the use of birth control pills,
generally in a higher dose, to be used following unprotected vaginal sex to
prevent pregnancy. The pills must be taken within 72 hours of having
unprotected sex. If you are already pregnant, this medication will not work.

Ectopic Pregnancy: Also called a tubal pregnancy, this is when a fertilized egg grows outside of
the uterus, usually in the fallopian tube, but it can also occur in the ovary or
intestines. A pregnancy occurring outside of the uterus cannot continue for
very long before it becomes a health risk to the woman. An ectopic
pregnancy is a life threatening condition.

Erection: A male gets an erection when the nervous system increases the blood flow
to the veins and spongy tissues of the penis, causing the shaft to get
temporarily longer, thicker and harder. It is normal for an erection to occur
without sexual stimulation.

Estrogen: A hormone usually made in a woman's ovaries. Estrogen's major effects are
seen during puberty, menstruation, and pregnancy.

Evra: Also called "the patch", Evra is a new birth control method introduced in the
spring of 2002. The patch is about the size of a matchbook, "pink-beige"
flesh colored and contains estrogen and progestin. The patch can be worn on
your buttocks, abdomen, or upper arm. It is changed each week for 3 weeks,
and then you are patch-free for a week before starting the cycle over. The
patch, like the pill, prevents pregnancy by stopping the release of an egg and
thickens the cervical mucus. With correct use, the patch is up to 99.9%
effective in preventing pregnancy.

Family Planning Clinic: A family planning clinic is a place where you can go to get reproductive
health care. Available services might be a routine gynecological exam,
including a Pap Smear, breast cancer screening, STD screening and
treatment, information about and methods of birth control, and pregnancy
testing. Family planning clinics have services for men and women and teens.

Fertility Awareness: Also called Natural Family Planning or Periodic Abstinence. The Fertility
Awareness method of birth control requires a woman (with help from her
partner) to pay attention to and keep notes on the changes in 3 areas of the
body: cervical mucus, basal body temperature, & cervix changes. Many
women use fertility awareness in combination with a barrier method during
the fertile time of each menstrual cycle. Other women abstain from sex
during the fertile time. In order to perform Fertility Awareness effectively, it
is important to take a class or read a book on the subject.

• Advantages: No side effects. It can be used when planning a

• Problems: It can be hard to keep good records of your period and
physical changes.

Genitals, Genital Tract: This is the medical term for our reproductive organs.

Genital Warts: Also called condyloma, genital warts are usually caused by the slow
growing Human Papillomavirus (HPV) and are a sexually transmitted
disease. Symptoms of genital warts are the appearance of a small, painless,
hard spot much like regular warts. Women can get HPV on the labia,
vaginal opening, and on the cervix, as well as other areas of the genital area.
Men get warts mainly on the head and shaft of the penis. Genital Warts can
be treated by a doctor or family planning clinician.

Gonorrhea: Also called "getting burnt", the drip, the clap and GC, Gonorrhea is a
sexually transmitted disease caused by bacteria. You can easily be tested and
treated for GC at your gynecologist or your local family planning or STD
clinic. Women don't always get early symptoms of GC, but may notice an
abnormal vaginal discharge. If GC is not treated it can lead to Pelvic
Inflammatory Disease in women. Men sometimes get pain or burning when
they urinate and a thick discharge from the penis.

Gynecological Exam: Also called a Gyn exam. An exam that checks a woman's reproductive
system. A Gyn exam is performed by a doctor or clinician and may include
a breast exam, and a pelvic exam. The pelvic exam has several parts, but is
usually over quickly. The pelvic exam includes a speculum exam, a Pap
Smear, testing for STDs, and a bimanual exam. During a bimanual exam,
the clinician inserts one or two gloved fingers into the vagina and presses on
your stomach with their other hand. By doing this they can feel your uterus,
fallopian tubes and ovaries and make sure they feel normal.

Gynecologist: A doctor who specializes in the care and treatment of the genital tract of

Hepatitis: As of the beginning of 2001, there are 6 types of Hepatitis: A, B, C, D, E,

and G. Hepatitis A, B, and C are considered sexually transmitted diseases.
Each causes an inflammation of your liver.

Herpes: Also called HSV and Herpes Simplex Virus. Herpes is a sexually
transmitted disease caused by a virus. Once you have Herpes, you always
have it. You may not always have symptoms, but the virus lives in your
body until an outbreak is triggered by stress, illness, your period or other
factors. The symptoms of the first outbreak usually occur within 2 to 20
days of infection. Symptoms can be tingling and itching at the infected site,
pain in your legs, buttocks, or genitals, followed by the appearance of red
bumps. Within a day or two these bumps become watery blisters, which
eventually break open and leave a shallow ulcer that may ooze or bleed.

HIV: Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is passed from person to person, by

the transmission of body fluids (semen, vaginal secretions, blood, and
mother's milk). You can get it by having unprotected vaginal and anal sex
with an infected person. Or by sharing the needle of an infected person to
inject drugs. An infected woman can also pass it to her unborn child during
the pregnancy, or to her infant through breast milk. The HIV virus attacks
the body's immune system.

Hormones: A hormone is a substance made in different organs in your body which is

then carried to another part of your body where it takes effect. In family
planning we talk mainly about your sex hormones. Women naturally
produce estrogen and progesterone. Men naturally produce testosterone.
Hormones are important as an person goes through adolescence, causing
their body to change. In girls, hormones cause breast to develop and make
their periods start. In women, hormones play a major role in the menstrual
cycle each month. In boys, hormones cause the voice to lower and facial
hair to grow.

Human Papillomavirus: Also called HPV. HPV is a slow growing virus that is a sexually transmitted
disease. HPV is the primary cause of cervical cancer among women.
Currently there are more than 30 types of HPV that can be passed from one
person to another through sexual contact. Of the 30 types, most are called
"low-risk" because they rarely become cervical cancer. Several are called
"high-risk" because they have been linked to cervical cancer.

Human Papillomavirus A test that can be done by the lab, either on a swab specimen or using the
(HPV) Testing: specimen collected for a Thin Prep Pap Test. This test will let your clinician
know if you have a high risk type of HPV .
Human Papillomavirus In June 2006, the HPV vaccine was approved by the Federal Food and Drug
(HPV) Vaccine: Administration (FDA) for women between the ages of 9-26. The vaccine
was created to prevent 4 of the most common types of HPV viruses from
infecting a woman’s body. 2 of these viruses cause 70 percent of cervical

cancer. This vaccine also prevents 2 types of HPV viruses that cause 90
percent of genital warts. It will not help treat or cure men or women who are
already infected with HPV, and it will not prevent the spread of other types
of HPV. The best time for women to get the vaccine is during puberty and
before any sexual contact. on the HPV vaccine, click here or visit The
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
IUD: Intrauterine Device also called The Coil is a small piece of plastic a clinician
puts in your uterus. It may have copper or hormones attached to it. Although
doctors are not entirely sure how the IUD works, they think it makes it hard
for the sperm to swim through the uterus to reach the egg and it may prevent
a fertilized egg from implanting in the uterus.

• Advantages: Works for up to 10 years once inserted. No need to

remember a pill every day.
• Problems: Can make periods heavier and longer, with more cramps.
If you have an STD with an IUD in place, you increase your risk of

Latex: A man-made synthetic rubber, used to make male condoms.

LMP: LMP is shorthand for Last Menstrual Period. In the world of family
planning and gynecology, the start date of your last menstrual period is
important and a woman will be asked for the date every time she sees her
clinician. LMP is used to decide if a woman needs a pregnancy test. It can
also be important in deciding when to start on a birth control method.

Lubricant: A substance (like K-Y Jelly, saliva) that reduces or prevents friction and
rubbing between two surfaces. In the world of family planning, lubricant is
used to reduce friction and rubbing during sex. Use only water based
lubricant with latex condoms, or the condom will fall apart during sex.

Lunelle: In 2000 the Food & Drug Administration approved Lunelle, a monthly
contraceptive injection. Lunelle is one shot, which contains both estrogen
and progesterone. You get the shot from your doctor or clinician once a
month. It works like Depo Provera, but you need to get a shot each month.
Like the pill, it prevents pregnancy by stopping the release of an egg and
thickening the cervical mucus.

• Advantages: One shot works for 1 month. No need to remember a

pill every day.
• Problems: You have to return to the clinic or doctor's office every 4
weeks to get the next shot. Lunelle has the same side effects as birth
control pills.

Mammography: A special x-ray used to detect breast cancer, a mammography is an

important part of good healthcare for women. Depending on her age, family
history, and health history, a clinician will talk with a woman about her need

for a mammography. It is often painless and quick, but must be performed in
a medical setting or special mobile van by trained staff..

Menstrual Cycle: Put simply, from on menstrual period to the next, a woman's body goes
through several changes called the menstrual cycle. These changes are
caused by the hormones in her body. As one hormone level, estrogen,
increases, the lining of the uterus develops and prepares for a possible

Menstrual Period: Also called period, menses, and your "monthly". The bleeding that occurs
through the vagina at the end of the menstrual cycle. It's actually the body
getting rid of the lining of the uterus. This lining is renewed each month
during the menstrual cycle. Every woman's period is different; some bleed
for 2 days, some for a week. Many women have no symptoms prior to or
with their menses, others have cramps, backaches, headaches, PMS, and/or

Midwife: A registered nurse who has gone on for additional education and training. A
midwife can only specialize in obstetrics (delivering babies) and
gynecology. A midwife must have a current license to practice medicine.

Mirena: A new Intra Uterine System (IUD), Mirena has been available in the U.S.A.
since December 2000, but has been used in Europe for over 10 years.
Mirena is T-shaped, contains a progestin and is made of plastic. It is inserted
into a woman's uterus by a clinician. Mirena works by thickening the
cervical mucus, which makes it hard for the sperm to swim through the
uterus to reach the egg and it may prevent a fertilized egg from implanting
in the uterus. Mirena is good for 5 years and is 99% effective.

• Advantages: Works for up to 5 years once inserted. No need to

remember a pill every day. Progestin makes most women bleed less
and get fewer cramps during their menstrual period.
• Problems: Can make periods heavier and longer during the first 3 to
6 months after insertion. Not recommended for women who are

Monogamous: This term literally means that two people are in a sexual relationship only
with each other. Most people use the word when they talk about an
exclusive relationship with their partner. "My boyfriend and I have been
monogamous for 6 months," meaning for the last 6 months, this person has
only had sex with him and he's only having sex with this person.

Nonoxynol 9: The active chemical agent in spermicidal products such as foam, film,
sponge, diaphragm cream or jelly and condoms. It kills sperm on contact.

Some people are allergic to Nonoxynol-9.

Norplant: This birth control method involves the placement of six small capsules
under the skin of your upper arm by a trained clinician. The capsules
constantly release small amounts of hormones that prevent pregnancy by
stopping the release of an egg and thickening the cervical mucous.

Options Counseling: This counseling takes place at a family planning clinic after a woman has
had a positive pregnancy test. A trained counselor talks with a patient about
her feelings about the pregnancy and the decisions that need to be made.
During an options counseling session the patient may receive information
and referrals for prenatal care, adoption, abortion, and available medical
coverage. To read a Pregnancy Options Counseling Fact Sheet click here.

Pap Smear: A Pap smear is a procedure where cells are scraped from the surface of the
cervix and examined in a laboratory, under a microscope. It is used for the
early detection of cervical cancer and some infections. If detected early,
cervical cancer can often be cured. A sexually active woman should have a
Pap smear once a year. A Pap smear can be performed by a clinician in a
family planning clinic.

Pregnancy Test: Also called boyfriend, girlfriend, and lots of other things. In family
planning, a partner is any person(s) with whom you are having sex.

Pelvic Exam: See Gynecological exam.

Pelvic Inflammatory
Known as PID, or simply "pelvic infection", PID is a general term for an
infection that affects the uterus, fallopian tubes, and/or the ovaries. PID is
often the result of an untreated sexually transmitted disease (STD) like
Chlamydia or Gonorrhea. The most common symptom is pain in the lower
abdomen. The pain can be sharp or dull and last until you seek treatment.
Physician Assistant: An individual who has gone through a special educational program to
become a physician assistant (PA). A PA can specialize in many areas of
health care, from obstetrics (delivering babies) and gynecology to working
with the elderly, working with children, and providing family medicine care.
A PA must have a current license to practice medicine.

Pituitary Gland: The gland at the base of the brain that produces many hormones including
those important to human reproduction.
Polyurethane: This is a type of man-made, synthetic rubber. It is used to make male and
female condoms and contraceptive sponges. Fewer people are allergic to
polyurethane than latex.

Partner: A test that can tell if you are pregnant. A pregnancy test can be performed
on a woman's blood or her urine. The test checks for an elevated human
chorionic gonadotropin (HCG), which occurs when a woman is pregnant.

Premenstrual Syndrome: Also called "PMS". Premenstrual syndrome is a set of physical and
emotional experiences associated with the menstrual cycle and usually
occurs during the 2 weeks prior to a woman's menses. Symptoms include
breast tenderness, headaches, and bloating, increased appetite, cravings for
sweets, salt, and alcohol, acne, lower back pain, cramping, lower abdominal
pain, irritability, tiredness, depression and mood swings. Many women have
some level of PMS.

Prenatal Care: The care pregnant women should receive during her pregnancy to assure a
healthy baby. It is important to go to a doctor or family planning clinic as
soon as you suspect you are pregnant. If your pregnancy test is positive and
you plan to continue the pregnancy, you will be sent to a prenatal clinic. The
staff will talk to you about how to take care of yourself and your baby.

Progesterone: A hormone produced in the ovaries of women that are important in puberty,
menstruation, and pregnancy. Called Progestin when it is manufactured for
use in birth control methods like the pill.

Rape: Sexual intercourse against a person's will. Rape is considered an act of

violence rather than a sexual act.

Rape categories can include:

• Acquaintance rape- when a person rapes a person he or she knows

• Marital rape- Rape of a person's spouse
• Statutory rape- sexual intercourse with a person who has not reached
the age of consent

Reproductive System: This is a term used to describe all the body parts in both men and women
that are involved in the process of sex, pregnancy and having a baby.

RU486: This is the research name of Mifeprex. It is the medication used in some
medical abortions.

Select Plan for Women: Safe Sex: This is a phrase that means protecting yourself and your partner
from Sexually Transmitted Diseases and HIV. Safe sex means you don't let
any of your partner's body fluids (semen, vaginal fluid, blood) enter your
body. Ways to have safe sex include:

• Always use a condom during vaginal, and anal sex,

• Always use a condom &/or dental dam during oral sex,
• Enjoy activities other than oral, vaginal, or anal sex.

Semen: A program that is available to women who are Pennsylvania residents and
who meet certain eligibility requirements. It covers selected family planning
services and supplies, so most of the services you normally receive at our
family planning clinics will be free-of-charge! Click here for more

Reproductive System: Also called ejaculation or cum, Semen is the whitish fluid a man ejaculates.
It contains sperm.

Sexual Intercourse: Also called sex, making love, and "being together". It is the sexual joining
of 2 people. In family planning, intercourse usually means penetration by
the penis into the vagina, anus or mouth of another person.

Sexually Transmitted Also known as STDs, sexually transmitted infections, STIs, venereal disease
Disease: and VD. An STD is any disease that is passed from person to person mainly
through sexual contact. You can get an STD in different places in your
body. The most common places are the vagina, vulva, urethra, penis, anus,
mouth and throat.

Speculum: An instrument used to check the health of your vagina and cervix, a
speculum is a metal or plastic instrument shaped like a duck's bill, and about
5 inches long.

Sperm: The mature male reproductive cell that joins with a woman's egg and causes
pregnancy. Sperm travels in semen.

Spermicide: Any substance that kills sperm. The word spermicide is also used to
categorize a type of birth control method. Spermicides are sold over the
counter and are found in foam, cream, jelly, film, suppositories and
contraceptive sponges. Inserted deep into the vagina 10-15 minutes before
intercourse, spermicides contain chemicals that immobilize sperm without
harming vaginal tissue. Sponge: See Contraceptive Sponge.

Syphilis: Caused by a small spiral-shaped bacterium that gets into the blood stream,
Syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease that spreads through open sores or

rashes and enters the mucous membranes of the genitals, mouth and anus.
Left untreated, syphilis is a very serious disease. The disease has 4 stages.
The first symptom of syphilis is painless sore called chancres.

Tampons: A bullet or tubular shaped product made of a cotton-like material. The

tampon is inserted into a women's vagina during her menses, and the tampon
absorbs her menstrual blood. The tampon has a string attached to its bottom
part, to allow a woman to remove it. Tampons should be removed regularly
and should be used only when a woman is having menstrual bleeding.

Testosterone: An androgen or sex hormone that is produced in the testes of men and in
smaller amounts in the ovaries of women.

Thin Prep Pap Test: The Thin Prep pap test is a recently developed test that, like the Pap Smear
test, is designed to test for changes in cells that may lead to cervical cancer.
To perform the Thin Prep the clinician scrapes cells from the surface of the
cervix with a swab. The swab is then rinsed in a special container that has
liquid in it. The container and the liquid are sent to a laboratory where the
test is performed. Unlike the conventional Pap Smear, a Thin Prep sample
can also be used to test for high risk Human Papilloma virus (HPV), the
virus that causes cervical cancer.

Toxic Shock Syndrome: An Illness that occurs in women, often if a tampon or diaphragm is left in the
vagina for too long. Symptoms are a fever, vomiting, diarrhea, aches, and a
sunburn-like rash. If you have any of these symptoms, call your doctor or

Trichomoniasis: Also called Trich, it is a sexually transmitted disease. Symptoms include a

bad smelling discharge from the vagina that is often yellow-green or
whitish-grey. There may also be itching and irritation. Men often have no
symptoms. Trich can be treated by a doctor or family planning clinician..
Tubal Ligation: Known as "having your tubes tied" or female sterilization. A tubal ligation is
a surgical procedure in which the fallopian tubes are cut, tied, or burned to
prevent the sperm and the egg from meeting. This is a permanent way to
prevent pregnancy. A tubal ligation does not interfere with menstruation or
sexual pleasure. A tubal ligation is 99.8% effective in preventing pregnancy.

Urinary Tract Infection: Also known as a UTI, cystitis, and honeymoon cystitis, a urinary tract
infection involves infections of the urethra, bladder, uterus or kidneys (all
the parts of your body involved when you urinate or pee). Both women and
men get UTIs.

Urologist: A doctor who specializes in the care and treatment of the urinary tract of
both men and women, plus the genital tract of men.

Urethritis: Inflammation of the urethra (the tube through which the urine travels from
the bladder to the outside during urination). The most common symptom of
urethritis is pain during urination (dysuria).

Vaginal Discharge: Every woman has a vaginal discharge that is normal and healthy for her.
This discharge may change in thickness and amount throughout her
menstrual cycle, but usually is the same color and odor. If a discharge
becomes a different color or develops an odor, she should be examined for a
possible STD.
Vasectomy: Known as male sterilization, a vasectomy is a surgical procedure in which a
segment of the vas deferens is removed and the ends tied, or burned to
prevent the sperm from leaving the scrotum. This is a permanent way to
prevent pregnancy. A vasectomy does not interfere with a man's ability to
ejaculate or with his sexual pleasure. A vasectomy is 99.8% effective in
preventing pregnancy.

• Advantages: Permanent. No lasting side effects. Same day, out-

patient surgery.
• Problems: May not be reversible. Some men get infections &/or
have discomfort after the operation.

Withdrawal: A not very effective form of birth control that means a man pulls his penis
out of the vagina before he ejaculates. Withdrawal, when used every time a
person has sex is 82% effective in preventing pregnancy.

• Advantages: No medical side effects.

• Problems: Requires great self-control. Pre-ejaculation fluid may
contain sperm, causing pregnancy.

(related glossary terms indicated in bold)


Penis: The organ from which a man ejaculates and urinates.

Scrotum: The pouch suspended from the groin that contains the testicles. The
scrotum helps regulate the temperature of the testicles.

Anus: The opening in the buttocks from which body waste is expelled.

Testicles: The male sex gland that sits inside the scrotum. Sperm is produced

Epididymis: The network of tiny tubes that connects the testicles with the vas

Vas deferens: The tube that carries sperm from the epididymis to the urethra.

Urethra: The tube through which urine and semen pass to leave the body.

Glans penis: The head or tip of the penis.

Cowper's Gland: Glands on either side of the urethra that makes a discharge which
lines the urethra when a man gets an erection. The discharge makes
the urethra less acidic so it won't kill the sperm as it passes through
the urethra.

Urinary bladder: The organ where urine is stored until you urinate.

Prostate: A gland that produces the milky fluid that, along with the sperm
makes up the semen.

Rectum: The lower part of the large intestine, that ends at the anus.


Clitoris: A small band of erectile tissue that forms a sensitive bud.

Anus: The opening in the buttocks from which body waste is expelled.

Labia: Two folds of skin that cover and protect the clitoris, urethra and
vaginal opening. When we become a teen, the labia become covered
with pubic hair.

Vulva: The external parts of the female reproductive organs.

Urinary bladder: The organ where urine is stored until you urinate.

Urethra: The tube and opening that carries urine from the bladder to exit the

Vagina: The canal which extends from the labia to the cervix. It receives the
penis during sex and a baby passes through the vagina during birth.

Cervix: The narrow bottom portion of the uterus that opens into the vagina.

Uterus: The womb. A hollow pear shaped organ.

Rectum: The lower part of the large intestine, that ends at the anus.

Fallopian tubes: The tube that extends from the uterus to each ovary. They carry the
egg from the ovary to the uterus.

Ovary: The female sex gland. The eggs are produced here.

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