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ABORTION: Interruption of pregnancy before 180 days of gestation, can be spontaneous (natural) or induced.

ADOLESCENCE: The period of human development between childhood and adulthood, including puberty during which sexual desire is largely developed.

AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome): A disease caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV); in which the body loses its ability to defend itself against infectious diseases.

ALLODYNIA: Pain in the penis.

AMENORRHEA: Absence of menstruation.

AMPULLITIS: Inflammation of a blister, especially of the dilated end of the vas deferens of the testicle.

ANAL COITUS: A form of sexual union (heterosexual or homosexual) in which a man inserts his penis into his partner’s anus.

ANALGIA: State of not experiencing pain.

ANDROGEN: Male hormone par excellence, it promotes the development of the sexual organs and male secondary sexual characteristics. They are produced in large quantities in the testicles and to a lesser extent in the adrenal glands of men and women. They regulate the level of sexual desire in both.

ANDROGYN: A person who has both male and female characteristics and incomplete sexual organs of both sexes. Also called a hermaphrodite.

ANDROGYNIA: Simultaneous presence of feminine and masculine characteristics in an individual.

ANDROPATHIA: Any disease of the male sex.

ANDROPAUSE: Period of decline in male hormone secretion, generally in adulthood and usually superior to the female counterpart, menopause.

ANORCHID: Congenital absence of a uni or bilateral testicle.

ANORGASMIA: Lack of orgasm during sexual intercourse. It is also known as frigidity.

ANOVULATORY: Designates a menstrual period that is not accompanied by ovulation; also called an anovulatory cycle.

ANTIHYPERTENSIVE: A drug used for high blood pressure. Prolonged use may cause sexual dysfunction.

ANUS: Outlet of the digestive tract.

APHRODISIAC: Any substance that stimulates or increases sexual desire, such as certain foods, drinks, or drugs, many without a valid scientific substrate.

APHRODISIAC FOOD: Food prepared with ingredients whose purpose is to stimulate sexually. Oysters, celery, nuts, cayenne pepper, hot paprika and other oriental spices are commonly used.

AREOLA: Pigmented area around the human nipple, mammary center, which dilates slightly during sexual arousal.

ASEXUAL: Lacking manifest sex or sexual organs. By extension, this is the name given to people lacking frank sexual desire, without anatomical alterations referring to their sex.

ATOCIA: Infertility in women.


BACTERIA: Microbe consisting of a single cell, which reproduces by cleavage. Bacteria are responsible for numerous diseases. They can live independently, unlike viruses, which can only survive inside a cell, which they parasitize. Bacteria can be bacilli (rod-shaped), cocci (spherical) and spiral (spiral-shaped).

BARRIER CONTRACEPTIVE METHODS: Devices that are inserted into the reproductive organs of the man or woman and prevent sperm from being deposited in the vagina (male or female condoms), or preventing their ascent through the uterine cervical canal (diaphragm, cervical cap) significantly hindering pregnancy.

BASAL BODY TEMPERATURE: A form of natural birth control in which the ovulation period is detected by changes in body temperature routinely measured throughout the menstrual cycle.

BESTIALISM: Sexual activity between a person and an animal. Zoophilia.

BISEXUAL: Sexually attracted to and/or having sexual relations with both genders.

BLENNORRHAGIA: Common contagious disease caused by Neisseria Gonorrhoeae and transmitted mainly by sexual contact; it is characterized by inflammation of the mucosa of the genital tract, genital discharge, purulent discharge and frequent and painful urination; if not treated it can cause complications such as epididymitis, prostatitis, tenosynovitis, arthritis and endocarditis; in women it can lead to sterility, and in men to urethral stenosis.

BLENNORRHEA: Profuse discharge from the vagina or urethra; usually refers to gonococcal origin.


CALENDAR METHOD: A form of natural birth control in which the ovulation period is calculated from the beginning of each menstrual period (Ogino-Knaus Method).

CARRIER: Individual who has no symptoms of disease but retains infectious microorganisms in his or her body and spreads them to others.

CASTRATION: Surgical removal of the gonads (testicles or ovaries), or their functional disabling (by medication, radiation, etc.).

CELIBACY: State of singleness, or voluntary abstinence from sexual union.

CERVICAL CAP: A barrier method of contraception similar to the diaphragm.

CERVICAL MUCUS METHOD: A form of natural birth control in which the ovulation period is detected by changes in the nature of the mucous secretion of the cervix, manifested by vaginal wetness (Billings, or dry and wet days method).

CERVIX: Neck of the uterus.

CHANCRE: Dermal lesion, usually visible, of primary syphilis and generally located on the external genitalia.

CHLAMYDIA: A sexually transmitted disease caused by a germ (Chlamydia Trachomatis).

CIRCUMCISION: Surgical intervention, with the purpose of partially or totally removing the foreskin; it can be performed for religious or hygienic reasons, or to correct phimosis, a disease characterized by a foreskin that is not very elastic and which causes difficulties in sexual intercourse in the male.

CLIMACTERIC: Physical and psychological changes that accompany menopause in women.

CLIMAX: Climax of sexual arousal, usually preceding orgasm.

CLITORIS: Small organ situated at the upper end of the labia minora of the vulva. Given its erectile structure, it increases in volume when the woman is sexually stimulated. It is very sensitive to touch because of the large number of nerve endings it contains and plays a fundamental role in the process that leads to female orgasm.

COITUS: Genital contact, specifically the insertion of the penis into the female genitalia or anus, followed by orgasm.

COITUS INTERRUPTUS: Voluntary removal of the penis from inside the vagina before ejaculation has occurred. Used as a contraceptive method, it produces psychic tension in the couple and is not very effective, due to the lubricating secretion of Cowper’s glands, which precedes ejaculation and contains a variable number of spermatozoa.

COITUS RESERVATUS: Prolonged intercourse in which ejaculation is intentionally suppressed.

COLPOSCOPY: Visual examination of the cervix and vagina, using a colposcope.

CONCEPTION: Fertilization of an egg by a sperm, naturally occurring inside the fallopian tube.

CONDOM: Contraceptive. A thin latex tube, closed at one end, that is placed over the erect penis before intercourse to prevent sperm from entering the vagina.

CONTINENCE: A state of exercising self-restraint, especially with regard to sexual compulsion.

CONTRACEPTIVE: Any device or medication, such as a condom, pill, intrauterine device, etc…, used to make intercourse possible without risk of conception.

CONTRACEPTIVE DIAPHRAGM (CAP): Thin latex barrier contraceptive method, placed over the cervix, impregnated with spermicidal cream, and before intercourse to prevent sperm from entering the uterus.

CONTRACEPTIVE GEL: A non-greasy substance containing a sperm-toxic ingredient that is inserted into the vagina before intercourse and thus prevents conception. Its true effectiveness is through its complementary use with other devices, such as the diaphragm.

CONTRACEPTIVE PILL: An oral contraceptive drug that contains synthetic hormones that prevent pregnancy. See oral contraceptive.

CORPORA CAVERNOSA: They are two components, one on each side of the penis structure. They are the erectile apparatus par excellence. It is spongy tissue that, when filled with blood, tends to erection.

COPROPHILIA: A sexual inclination in which satisfaction is associated with the act of defecation; morbid interest in feces.

COPULATE: Union of man and woman during sexual intercourse.

COWPER’S GLANDS: Glands located near the prostate. They produce an alkaline substance that neutralizes the acidity inside the urethra (which could kill sperm) and is part of the seminal fluid. It also helps lubricate the end of the penis and makes it easier to slide the foreskin.

CUNNILINGUS: A form of oral sex based on the stimulation of the female sexual organs with the mouth and tongue by the partner.

CYSTITIS: Inflammation of the bladder, usually caused by a bacterial infection, may or may not be related to sexual transmission.


DEFERENTIAL CONDUIT: Ducts that carry spermatozoa from the testicles and lead to the verumontanum of the urethra.

DETUMESCENCE: Physiological process opposite to tumescence. It means regression of a blood congestion. The term is applied to the phenomenon of emptying of the corpora cavernosa of the penis, simultaneous or immediately following orgasm. Usually, detumescence occurs after orgasm but not necessarily, as there can be blood emptying after reflex erections at any time of the day or night, with or without erotic motivation.

DILDO: Object that has the approximate shape and size of an erect penis; used to produce sexual pleasure through vaginal insertion.

DRUGS AND SEXUALITY: There are many drugs that interact with sexuality, depressing or arousing sexual activity, legal and illegal, including some medications such as sildenafil.

DYSMENORRHEA: Very painful menstruation, often with cramps, nausea, headache and other abdominal discomfort.

DYSPAREUNIA: Pain experienced during intercourse, regardless of sex, for example: in women due to involuntary tension of the vaginal muscles, or in both due to vaginal dryness.

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