Department of Public Health
- Glossary List

Term Definition
ABDOMEN The lower belly
ANAL SEX Occurs when a penis is inserted into a person's anus
ANTIBIOTICS Medicine used to kill or stop the growth of bacteria; antibiotics are used to treat diseases such as chlamydia or gonorrhea
ANUS The opening to the rectum, where bowel movements leave the body
AUTOINNOCULATION Transmission of an infection from one part of the body to another. Infection is transmitted by failing to wash one's hands after touching an infected area and then touching another part of the body.
BACTERIUM (PL. BACTERIA) Germ which can enter the body and cause an infection or illness. Infections caused by bacteria can usually be cured with antibiotics. Some STDs caused by bacteria include gonorrhea, syphilis, and chlamydia.
CERVIX The narrow, bottom part of the uterus which connects the uterus to the vagina
DISCHARGE A drip or flow from the vagina (females) or urethra (males)
ECTOPIC (TUBAL) PREGNANCY A pregnancy which occurs outside of the uterus, usually in the fallopian tubes. Ectopic pregnancies can be life- threatening to the mother and the fetus.
EPIDIDYMIS The squiggly tubes located behind the testicles where sperm are stored until ejaculation.
EPIDIDYMITIS Infection of the epididymis, usually caused by untreated chlamydia or gonorrhea. Symptoms include pain in the scrotum, tenderness, swelling of the testicles, and fever.
FALLOPIAN TUBES The two tubes which carry from the ovaries to the uterus
INFECTIOUS Able to be passed from one person to another
INFERTILITY Inability to have children
MUCOUS MEMBRANE The moist lining which covers many areas inside the body such as the mouth, vagina, and anus
ORAL SEX Occurs when one person puts his or her mouth on another person's genitals
OVARIES The female reproductive glands which release eggs and produce hormones
PELVIC INFLAMMATORY DISEASE (PID) Infection of the female upper reproductive organs (fallopian tubes, ovaries, uterus), which can cause scarring and inflammation. Symptoms may include lower stomach pain, fever, chills, abnormal vaginal discharge, unusual bleeding or spotting, and pain during periods. PID can lead to infertility, ectopic or tubal pregnancies, and chronic pelvic pain.
RECTUM The end part of the large intestine where bowel movements are released from the body
REPRODUCTIVE ORGANS In females, the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and uterus; in males, the penis and testicles
SCROTUM The loose sac of skin which holds the testicles
SEMEN (CUM, EJACULATE) The milky, white fluid that contains sperm released by males during sex
STERILITY When a person is not able to have children
TESTICLES, TESTES (BALLS, NUTS) Male glands which produce sperm and hormones
URETHRA The tube in males and females which transports urine from the bladder out of the body. In males, it is also the tube which carries semen out of the body during ejaculation.
UTERUS (WOMB) The female reproductive organ which carries the fetus during pregnancy
VAGINA Canal or passage which connects the uterus to the outside of the body. The vaginal opening is directly beneath the opening of the urethra.
VAGINAL SEX Occurs when a penis is inserted into the vagina
VIRUS Germ which can enter the body and cause an infection or illness. Viruses usually cannot be cured. Some common viruses include HIV (the virus that causes AIDS), herpes simplex virus II (genital herpes), and human papillomavirus (genital warts).
Public Health has made reasonable efforts to provide accurate translation. However, no computerized translation is perfect and is not intended to replace traditional translation methods. If questions arise concerning the accuracy of the information, please refer to the English edition of the website, which is the official version.
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