Birth Control Methods Glossary of Terms

The following are health and medical definitions of terms that appear in the Birth Control Methods article.

Abortion: In medicine, an abortion is the premature exit of the products of conception (t...

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Abstinence: The voluntary self-denial of food, drink, or sex. Today, abstinence most commo...

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Amenorrhea: Absence or cessation of menstruation. Amenorrhea is conventionally divided ...

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Birth control: Birth control is the use of any practices, methods, or devices to prevent p...

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Breastfeeding: Feeding a child human breast milk. According to the American Academy of Ped...

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Cervical: Having to do with any kind of neck, including the neck on which the head is perc...

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Cervical cap: A soft rubber cup with a round rim designed to fit snugly around the cervix...

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Cervix: The cervix is the lower, narrow part of the uterus (womb). The uterus, a hollow, ...

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Chlamydia: The agent of a sexually transmitted disease, a type of bacteria found in the ce...

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Coitus: Sexual intercourse.

Coitus interruptus: A method of contraception, also called withdrawal, in which the man wi...

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Douching: Using water or a medicated solution to clean the vagina and cervix or any other ...

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Ejaculation: Ejection of sperm and seminal fluid during an orgasm in a male.

Emergency contraception: The prevention of pregnancy after unprotected vaginal intercourse...

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Endocrinology: The study of the medical aspects of hormones, including diseases and condit...

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Female condom: Although the word "condom" usually conjures up the male condom, there is a ...

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Fertility: The ability to conceive and bear children, the ability to become pregnant throu...

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Fertility awareness: Also known as natural family planning, periodic abstinence and the rh...

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Genetics: The scientific study of heredity. Genetics pertains to humans and all other orga...

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Genital: Pertaining to the external and/or internal organs of reproduction.

Genital herpes: An infection by human herpes virus that is transmitted through intimate co...

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Gynecology: The branch of medicine that is particularly concerned with the health of the f...

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Herpes: A family of viruses. Herpes also refers to infection with one of the human herpesv...

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HIV: Acronym for the Human Immunodeficiency Virus, the cause of AIDS (acquired immunodefi...

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Hormone: A chemical substance produced in the body that controls and regulates the activit...

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Intrauterine: In the uterus.

Lubricant: An oily or slippery substance. A vaginal lubricant may be helpful for women who...

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Male condom: The male condom is a sheath placed over the erect penis before penetration, p...

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Mifepristone: The French abortion pill, also known as RU-486.

Mucus: A thick fluid that is produced by the lining of some organs of the body.

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Natural family planning: Also known as fertility awareness, periodic abstinence and the rh...

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Obstetrics: The art and science of managing pregnancy, labor, and the puerperium (the time...

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Ovulation: The release of the ripe egg (ovum) from the ovary. The egg is released when the...

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Penis: The external male sex organ. The penis contains two chambers, the corpora cavernosa...

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Pharmacy: A location where prescription medications are sold. A pharmacy is constantly sup...

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Plan B: Brand name for a progestin-only emergency contraceptive designed to prevent pregn...

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Pregnancy: The state of carrying a developing embryo or fetus within the female body. Thi...

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Pregnant: The state of carrying a developing fetus within the body.

Prescription: A physician's order for the preparation and administration of a drug or dev...

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Rape: Forced sexual intercourse; sexual assault; sexual intercourse between an adult and a...

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Rhythm method: Also known as fertility awareness, natural family planning, and periodic ab...

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RU-486: The French abortion pill, also known as mifepristone.

Sexually transmitted disease: Any disease transmitted by sexual contact; caused by microo...

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Sperm: A sperm is the male "gamete" or sex cell. It combines with the female &qu...

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Uterus: A hollow, pear-shaped organ that is located in a woman's lower abdomen, between th...

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Vagina: The muscular canal that extends from the cervix to the outside of the body. It is ...

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Vasectomy: A surgical procedure designed to make a man sterile by cutting or blocking both...

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Voluntary: Done in accordance with the conscious will of the individual. The opposite of i...

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Medical Dictionary