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PAP Smear or VAGINAL CYTOLOGY: A cytological laboratory study or cervical exudate, used to detect diseases of the vagina or uterus, especially cervical cancer. A sample of the mucosa is taken from the opening of the cervix and a smear is made on a slide for microscopic examination.

PARAPHILIA: Compulsive sexual behavior; psychoanalysis calls it perversion.

PEDERASTY: Sexual practice with children. Sexual attraction of the adult person to children of the same or different sex.

PEDOPHILIA: A paraphilia that consists of the sexual excitement or pleasure an adult gets from engaging in sexual activities or fantasies with children, usually between the ages of 6 and 11.

PELVIC INFLAMMATORY DISEASE: An infectious disease of the female internal genitalia that is potentially serious because it affects young women and can reduce their chances of future pregnancy. It is usually the result of untreated sexually transmitted diseases such as gonorrhea.

PELVIS: Segment of the human body comprising the lower part of the trunk. Inside are the final portion of the digestive tract and the urinary bladder, together with the reproductive apparatus and external genitalia of each sex.

PENETRATION: The act and effect of penetration. In a sexual context, the insertion of the penis into the vagina or anus during conventional sexual intercourse.

PENIS: Virile member. External male genitalia, organ of copulation and urination, erectile structure, composed of the corpora cavernosa and the corpus spongiosum at the level of the body of the penis and the second only at the level of the glans, which is an extension of the corpus spongiosum and surrounds the penile urethra along its entire length. This erectile structure is covered by skin, whose anterior prolongation is the foreskin.

PENIS SIZE: The main measurements of human penises are length and girth in the flaccid and erect state. There is a natural variability of human penises among different people, and also factors that lead to variations in the same man, such as the level of arousal, time of day, ambient temperature, level of anxiety, sporting activity and frequency of sexual activity. Compared to other primates, the human penis is thicker, both in absolute terms and in relation to the rest of the body.

PERINEUM: Rhomboidal anatomical area formed between the pubis and the coccyx, subdivided into posterior (anus) and anterior (genitals). In women, area of the vulva and vagina. In men, area of the penis and scrotum.

PEYRONIE’S DISEASE: Formation of dense fibrous tissue in the corpus cavernosum of the penis causing painful erection; associated with sclerosis of other parts of the body; also called Peyronie’s disease and fibrous cavernitis.

PHALLIC: Relating to the penis, usually in its erect state.

PHALLIC PHASE: Also called genital phase. Stage of psychosexual development (generally between three and six years of age) during which the child becomes aware of his or her genitals and the pleasure obtained from their stimulation; it is also called the phallic phase (regardless of sex) and the genital stage.

PHALLICISM: Adoration or worship of the virile member.

PHALLOCAMPSIS: Any curvature of the penis in erection.

PHALLOPLASTY: Plastic surgery of the penis.

PHALLUS: Another name for the penis, usually in reference to a state of erection.

PHALOPIUM TRUMPS: Organs that make up part of the female internal genitalia, they are tubules that connect the peri-ovarian area with the uterus and in which the fertilization of the eggs or conception occurs.

PHEROMONES: Substances secreted by the body that possess an odor, not always perceptible, that stimulates sexual desire in the opposite sex. They have been studied in animals and indicate the state of heat and acceptance for copulation.

PHIMOSIS: Abnormal narrowing of the edge of the foreskin that prevents the glans penis from being exposed. It can often be corrected by gentle massage during infancy, but surgery (circumcision) may be necessary.

POLYANDRY: Marriage between a woman and two or more men at the same time.

POLYGAMY: Marriage between a man and two or more women at the same time.

POSTHIOPLASTY: Plastic surgery of the foreskin.

PREMATURE EJACULATION: Sexual dysfunction in which the man ejaculates before the usual time, or in more severe cases immediately after inserting his penis into his partner’s vagina.

PREMATURE EYACULATION TECHNIQUE: Method, (stop and start) by which a man can learn to avoid premature ejaculation by temporarily ceasing all stimulation when he feels he is reaching the point where ejaculation is inevitable.

PROGESTERONE: Female sexual hormone, produced by the yellow body of the ovary, after ovulation and that prepares the uterus to receive and support an eventual fertilized egg, if this does not happen, the secretion of the yellow body is exhausted in approximately 15 days and menstruation occurs.

PROSTATE: Glandular organ that surrounds the neck of the urethra as it leaves the urinary bladder in males. It secretes a substance that nourishes the sperm. A gland that surrounds the male urethra and blocks the exit of the bladder preventing urine from flowing out while the penis is erect and produces one of the main components of seminal plasma.

PROSTITUTE: A woman who provides sexual services in exchange for money.

PUBERTY: The beginning of adolescence, a period of secondary sexual development, during which the boy begins to ejaculate and the girl begins to menstruate.

PUBIC HAIR: Hair around the genitals, in the pubic area.

PUBIC LICE: Eggs or nits that live in the pubic hair, product of an infestation of a parasite variant of pediculosis (pediculosis pubis). They are usually acquired through sexual contact with an infected person. Commonly also called crabs.

PUBIS: Anterior portion of the coccyx bone in the lower part of the abdomen, forming a triangle between the two thighs, covered with hair in adults.


CYST: A closed cavity or sac containing a fluid or semi-solid material.


RAPE: Sexual intercourse carried out by force, without the consent of one of the partners.

RECTUM: Distal end of the large intestine, located after the sigmoid colon and ending at the anus.

REFRACTORY PERIOD: Period following orgasm in which, for most men and for some women, further sexual response is temporarily inhibited.

REINFECTION: A second infection with the same pathogen after recovery or during the course of the primary infection.

REPRODUCTIVE SYSTEM: The parts of the human body directly related to reproduction, regardless of sex.

RETROVIRUS: Virus whose genetic material consists of RNA, but which is transcribed into DNA within the cell by a specific enzyme, reverse transcription. The AIDS virus, HIV or HIV, is a retrovirus.


SADISM: Paraphilic sexual behavior, in which one person takes sexual pleasure in inflicting pain on another.

SADOMASOCHISM: A form of sexual behavior in which a person takes pleasure in a variable combination of sadism and masochism. See also Sadism, Masochism.

SAFE PERIOD: Days of a woman’s menstrual cycle when pregnancy is least likely to occur as a result of intercourse.

SAFE SEX: Forms of sexual activity that have a relatively low level of risk of acquiring a sexually transmitted disease through condom use (especially AIDS).

SCROTUM: Multilayered epithelial sac that also contains a muscular part. Extension of the abdominal wall that covers the testicles and provides them with protection and thermoregulation.

SECONDARY SEX CHARACTERISTICS: Physical features other than external genitalia that develop during puberty and distinguish males from females.

SELF-STIMULATION: Masturbation, onanism. Sexual stimulation of one’s own body. Autoeroticism.

SEMEN: Mixture of sperm and seminal fluid ejaculated during orgasm.

SEMINAL FLUID: One of the main components in making up the volume of semen, it is produced mainly by the prostate with nutritional functions for the spermatozoa.

SEMINAL VESICLE: Glands that form small pouches located behind the prostate, which discharge seminal fluid into the urethra.

SEX AND PREGNANCY: During pregnancy there are no restrictions regarding sexuality unless there is a threat of miscarriage and therefore the continuity of gestation is at risk.

SEX HORMONES: Hormones secreted by the sex glands, are responsible for the secondary sexual characteristics and behavior of women and men. Sex hormones include androgens, estrogens, and progesterone.

SEXUAL ABSTINENCE: Total or partial deprivation of satisfying sexual desires, can be for religious reasons, voluntary (contraception), compulsory (seclusion), etc…

SEXUAL DYSFUNCTION: Any problem that interferes with normal sexual activity.

SEXUAL FANTASY: Sexual situations or events that are products of the imagination involving real or imaginary people.

SEXUAL INTERCOURSE: A sex act that involves penetration of one person’s vagina, anus, or mouth by another person for the sexual gratification of one or both parties.

SEXUAL ORGANS: Internal and external genitalia that differentiate males from females. They include the genitals and the gonads.

SEXUAL PASSIVITY: Absence of initiative to maintain sexual relations.

SEXUAL POSITIONS: Different ways in which the couple relate to each other, generally referring to penetration during sexual intercourse.

SEXUALLY TRANSMISSIBLE DISEASE (STD): A disease that is transmitted through sexual activity. Sexually transmitted diseases include gonorrhea, syphilis, AIDS, etc. The term has been replaced by STD.

SIXTY-NINE: Vulgar term to designate two people who reciprocally practice oral sex.

SLEEP-RELATED ERECTION: Erection that occurs when man sleeps. It is produced by brain action where the nervous movement is cyclical, with periods of sleep with images (REM periods) and periods of sleep without images (Non-REM). Nocturnal erection is attributed to cerebral REM periods.

SMEGMA: A yellowish-white, odorous substance that accumulates under the foreskin of an uncircumcised man (or under the covering of a woman’s clitoris) because of poor hygiene.

SODOMY: Anal intercourse.

SPASM: Involuntary contraction of certain muscles. In this context, it accompanies orgasm.

SPERM: Semen. Liquid secretion secreted during ejaculation. It is produced by the testicles, prostate and secondary sex glands and contains the sperm cells in a seminal plasma.

SPERMATORRHEA: Involuntary and abnormal spillage of semen without orgasm.

SPERMATOZOA: Male reproductive cell. Its function is to fertilize the egg by providing the missing genetic information to initiate gestation. Millions of sperm are produced in the testicles and mixed with seminal fluid prior to ejaculation.

SPERMICIDE: A substance placed in the vagina before intercourse, or used in combination with a condom or diaphragm to kill sperm, thus preventing conception.

SPERMICIDE CREAM: A chemical product in the form of a cream that is inserted into the vagina a few minutes before sexual intercourse to cause death or a significant reduction in sperm motility.

STERILIZATION: Any mechanism that renders a person incapable of procreation. It may be voluntary, by means of a surgical intervention such as tubal ligation or vasectomy, or occur as a result of surgery for another cause or as a complication of a sexually transmitted disease, if its treatment is not performed or is delayed.

STIMULATION: Action of stimulating or inciting. To arouse sexual desire in different ways or even provoke orgasm.

SYNDROME: Association (set) of symptoms and signs that can serve as a common denominator of certain diseases. For example, the immunodeficiency syndrome is the core of AIDS, but it can be found in different conditions, such as congenital (congenital immunodeficiency), tumour (leukaemia) or drug (immunosuppressive treatment of grafts).

SYPHILIS: A sexually transmitted disease caused by bacteria. (Treponema Pallidum).

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