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kystis, which means “sac.”)




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Cysts

Saclike structures filled with fluid or diseased material.




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Dartos muscle

The muscle in the middle layer of the scrotum that contracts and relaxes in response to temperature changes.




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Douche

Application of a jet of liquid to the vagina as a rinse. (From the Italian doccia, which means “shower bath.”)




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Dysmenorrhea

Pain or discomfort during menstruation.




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Ectopic pregnancy

A pregnancy in which the fertilized ovum implants outside the uterus, usually in the fallopian tube. (Ectopic derives from Greek roots that mean “out of place.”)




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Ejaculatory duct

A duct, formed by the convergence of a vas deferens with a seminal vesicle, through which sperm pass through the prostate gland and into the urethra.




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Emission stage

The first phase of ejaculation, which involves contractions of the prostate gland, the seminal vesicles, and the upper part of the vas deferens.




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Endocrine gland

A ductless gland that releases its secretions directly into the bloodstream.




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Endometriosis

A condition caused by the growth of endometrial tissue in the abdominal cavity, or elsewhere outside the uterus, and characterized by menstrual pain.




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Endometrium

The innermost layer of the uterus. (From Latin and Greek roots that mean “within the uterus.”)




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Epididymis

A tube that lies against the back wall of each testicle and serves as a storage facility for sperm. (From Greek roots that mean “upon testicles.”)




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Episiotomy

A surgical incision in the perineum that may be made during childbirth to protect the vagina from tearing. (From the Greek roots epision, which means “pubic region,” and tome, which means “cutting.”)




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Erection

The enlargement and stiffening of the penis as a consequence of its engorgement with blood.




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Estrogen

A generic term for female sex hormones (including estradiol, estriol, estrone, and others) or synthetic compounds that promote the development of female sex characteristics and regulate the menstrual cycle. (From roots that mean “generating” [-gen] and “estrus.”)




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Expulsion stage

The second stage of ejaculation, during which muscles at the base of the penis and elsewhere contract rhythmically, forcefully expelling semen and providing pleasurable sensations.




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Fallopian tubes

Tubes that extend from the upper uterus toward the ovaries and conduct ova to the uterus. (After the Italian anatomist Gabriel Fallopio, who is credited with their discovery.)




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Fibroadenoma

A benign, fibrous tumour.




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Fimbriae

Projections from a fallopian tube that extend toward an ovary. (Singular: fimbria. Latin for “fibre” or “fringe.”)




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Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH)

A gonadotropin that stimulates the development of follicles in the ovaries.




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Follicle

A capsule within an ovary that contains an ovum. (From a Latin word that means “small bag.”)




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Foreskin

The loose skin that covers the penile glans. Also referred to as the prepuce.




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Frenulum

The sensitive strip of tissue that connects the underside of the penile glans to the shaft. (From the Latin frenum, which means “bridle.”)




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Fundus

The uppermost part of the uterus. (Fundus is a Latin word that means “base.”)




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Germ cell

A cell from which a new organism develops. (From the Latin germen, which means “bud” or “sprout.”)




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Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (Gn-RH)

A hormone that is secreted by the hypothalamus and stimulates the pituitary to release gonadotropins.




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Gonadotropins

Pituitary hormones that stimulate the gonads. (Literally, “that which feeds the gonads.”)




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Gynecologist

A physician who treats women's diseases, especially of the reproductive tract. (From the Greek gyne, which means “woman.”)




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Homologous

Similar in structure; developing from the same embryonic tissue.




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Hormone replacement therapy (HRT)

Replacement of naturally occurring estrogen or estrogen and progesterone with synthetic equivalents, following menopause.




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Hormone

A substance that is secreted by an endocrine gland and regulates various body functions. (From the Greek horman, a verb meaning “to impel.”)




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Hymen

A fold of tissue across the vaginal opening that is usually present at birth and remains at least partly intact until a woman engages in coitus. (Greek for “membrane.”)




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Hypothalamus

A bundle of neural cell bodies near the centre of the brain that are involved in regulating body temperature, motivation, and emotion.




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Hysterectomy

Surgical removal of the uterus.




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Infundibulum

The outer, funnel-shaped part of a fallopian tube. (A Latin word that means “funnel.”)




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Interstitial cells

Cells that lie between the seminiferous tubules and secrete testosterone. (Interstitial means “set between.”)




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Introitus

The vaginal opening. (From the Latin for “entrance.”)




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Isthmus

The segment of a fallopian tube closest to the uterus. (A Latin word that means “narrow passage.”)




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Labia majora

Large folds of skin that run downward from the mons along the sides of the vulva. (Latin for “large lips” or “major lips.”)




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Labia minora

Hairless, light-coloured membranes, located between the labia majora. (Latin for “small lips” or “minor lips.”)




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Leydig's cells

Another term for interstitial cells.




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Lumpectomy

Surgical removal of a lump from the breast.




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Luteinizing hormone (LH)

A gonadotropin that helps regulate the menstrual cycle by triggering ovulation.




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Malignant

Lethal; causing or likely to cause death.




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Mammary glands

Milk-secreting glands. (From the Latin mamma, whhic means both “breast” and “mother.”)




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Mammography

A special type of X-ray test that detects cancerous lumps in the breast.




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Mastalgia

A swelling of the breasts that sometimes causes premenstrual discomfort.




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Mastectomy

Surgical removal of the entire breast.




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Menarche

(“men-AR-kee”) The first menstrual period.




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Menopause

The cessation of menstruation.




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Menstrual phase

The fourth phase of the menstrual cycle, during which the endometrium is sloughed off in the menstrual flow.




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Menstruation

The cyclical bleeding that stems from the shedding of the uterine lining (endometrium).




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Mittelschmerz

Pain that occurs during ovulation. (German for “middle pain,” reflecting the fact that the pain occurs midway between menstrual periods.)




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Mons veneris

A mound of fatty tissue that covers the joint of the pubic bones in front of the body, below the abdomen and above the clitoris. (The name is a Latin phrase that means “hill or mount of Venus,” the Roman goddess of love. Also known as the mons pubis, or simply the mons.)




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Myometrium

The middle, well-muscled layer of the uterus. (Myo- comes from the Greek mys, which means “muscle.”)




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Orgasm

The climax of sexual excitement.




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Os

The opening in the middle of the cervix. (Latin for “mouth.”)




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Osteoporosis

A condition caused by estrogen deficiency and characterized by a decline in bone density, such that bones become porous and brittle. (From the Greek osteon, which means “bone,” and the Latin porus, which means “pore.”)




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Ova

Egg cells. (Singular: ovum.)




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Ovaries

Almond-shaped organs that produce ova and the hormones estrogen and progesterone.




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Ovulation

The release of an ovum from an ovary.




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Ovulatory phase

The second stage of the menstrual cycle, during which a follicle ruptures and releases a mature ovum.




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Oxytocin

A pituitary hormone that stimulates uterine contractions in labour and the ejection of milk during nursing.




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Pap test

A test of a sample of cervical cells that screens for cervical cancer and other abnormalities. (Named after the originator of the technique, Dr. Papanicolaou.)




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Paraplegic

A person with sensory and motor paralysis of the lower half of the body.




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Parasympathetic

The branch of the ANS most active during processes that restore the body's reserves of energy, such as digestion. The parasympathetic ANS largely controls erection.




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Penis

The male organ of sexual intercourse. (From the Latin for “tail.”)




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Performance anxiety

Feelings of dread and foreboding experienced in connection with sexual activity (or any other activity that might be judged by another person).




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Perimetrium

The outer layer of the uterus. (From roots that mean “around the uterus.”)




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Perineum

The skin and underlying tissue that lies between the vaginal opening and the anus. (From Greek roots that mean “around” and “to empty out.”)




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Peyronie's disease

An abnormal condition characterized by an excessive curvature of the penis that can make erections painful.




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Phallic symbols

Images of the penis that are usually suggestive of generative power.




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Phimosis

An abnormal condition in which the foreskin is so tight that it cannot be withdrawn from the glans. (From the Greek phimos, which means “muzzle.”)




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Pituitary gland

The gland that secretes growth hormone, prolactin, oxytocin, and others.




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Premature ejaculation

A sexual dysfunction in which the male persistently ejaculates too early to afford the couple adequate sexual gratification. (Yes, what is on time in one relationship may be considered premature—or late—in another.)




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Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD)

A diagnosis used by the American Psychiatric Association to describe cases of PMS that are characterized by severe changes in mood and impairment of functioning at work, at school, or in social relationships.




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Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)

A combination of physical and psychological symptoms (such as anxiety, depression, irritability, weight gain from fluid retention, and abdominal discomfort) that regularly afflicts many women during the four- to six-day interval that precedes their menses each month.




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Prepuce

The fold of skin covering the glans of the clitoris (or penis). (From Latin roots that mean “before a swelling.”)




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Primary amenorrhea

Lack of menstruation in a woman who has never menstruated.




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Primary dysmenorrhea

Menstrual pain or discomfort that occurs in the absence of known organic problems.




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Progesterone

A steroid hormone secreted by the corpus luteum or prepared synthetically that stimulates proliferation of the endometrium and is involved in regulation of the menstrual cycle. (From the root pro-, which means “promoting,” and the words gestation, steroid, and one.)




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Prolactin

A pituitary hormone that stimulates production of milk.




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Proliferative phase

The first phase of the menstrual cycle, which begins with the end of menstruation and lasts about 9 or 10 days. During this phase, the endometrium proliferates.




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Prostaglandins

Hormones that cause muscle fibres in the uterine wall to contract, as during labour.




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Prostate gland

The gland that lies beneath the bladder and secretes prostatic fluid, which gives semen its characteristic odour and texture.




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Prostatitis

Inflammation of the prostate gland.




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Pubococcygeus muscle

The muscle that encircles the entrance to the vagina.




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Radiotherapy

Treatment of a disease by X-rays or by emissions from a radioactive substance.




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Reflex

A simple, unlearned response to a stimulus that is mediated by the spine rather than the brain.




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Retrograde ejaculation

Ejaculation in which the ejaculate empties into the bladder. (From the Latin



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