Birth Control Types (Effectiveness and Side Effects) Glossary of Terms

The following are health and medical definitions of terms that appear in the Birth Control Types (Effectiveness and Side Effects) article.

Abdominal: Relating to the abdomen, the belly, that part of the body that contains all of ...

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Abdominal pain: Pain in the belly. Abdominal pain can be acute or chronic. It may reflect ...

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

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

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Acetate: A molecular ion derived from acetic acid. The formula of acetate is CH3COO-.See the entire definition of Acetate

Acne: Localized skin inflammation as a result of overactivity of the oil glands at the bas...

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Allergy: A misguided reaction to foreign substances by the immune system, the body system ...

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

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Anesthesia: Loss of feeling or awareness, as when an anesthetic is administered before sur...

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Anticipation: The progressively earlier appearance and increased severity of a disease fro...

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Anxiety: A feeling of apprehension and fear, characterized by physical symptoms such as pa...

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Benign: Not malignant. A benign tumor is one that does not invade surrounding tissue or sp...

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Bilateral: Affecting both sides. For example, bilateral arthritis affects joints on both t...

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

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Blood clots: Blood that has been converted from a liquid to a solid state. Also called a t...

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Blood pressure: The blood pressure is the pressure of the blood within the arteries. It is...

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Bone density: Bone density is the amount of bone tissue in a certain volume of bone. It ca...

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Breast cancer: Cancer of the tissue containing or involving the milk glands (mammary tissu...

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

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Cancer: An abnormal growth of cells which tend to proliferate in an uncontrolled way and, ...

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: The US agency charged with tracking and invest...

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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 cancer: Cancer of the entrance to the womb (uterus). The cervix is the lower, na...

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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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Cesarean section:See C-section.

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

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Cholesterol: The most common type of steroid in the body. Cholesterol has a reputation for...

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Coagulation: In medicine, the clotting of blood. The process by which the blood clots to f...

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Coitus: Sexual intercourse.

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

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Complication: In medicine, an unanticipated problem that arises following, and is a result...

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Conception: 1. The union of the sperm and the ovum. Synonymous with fertilization.
...

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Cysts: Cysts are abnormal, closed sac-like structures within a tissue that contain a liqui...

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Deep vein thrombosis: A blood clot within a deep vein, typically in the thigh or leg. The ...

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Depression: An illness that involves the body, mood, and thoughts and that affects the way...

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Diabetes: Usually refers to diabetes mellitus or, less often, to diabetes insipidus. Diabe...

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Dizziness: Painless head discomfort with many possible causes including disturbances of ...

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Douche: Usually, a stream of water applied into the vagina for cleansing purposes. A douch...

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

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Ectopic: In the wrong place, out of place. For example, an ectopic kidney is a kidney that...

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Ectopic pregnancy: A pregnancy that is not in the uterus. The fertilized egg settles and g...

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Ejaculate: To ejaculate is to release semen during an orgasm in a male.

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

Electrocoagulation: A procedure that uses an electrical current to stop bleeding.See the entire definition of Electrocoagulation back to top

Electrocoagulation: The coagulation (clotting) of tissue using a high-frequency electrical...

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Embryo: An organism in the early stages of growth and differentiation, from fertilization ...

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

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Erosion: An erosion is an eating away of a surface. ("Erodere" in Latin means to eat out.)...

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Estrogen: A female steroid hormone that is produced by the ovaries and, in lesser amounts,...

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Fallopian tube: One of the two Fallopian tubes that transport the egg from the ovary to th...

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Fatigue: A condition characterized by a lessened capacity for work and reduced efficiency ...

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FDA: Food and Drug Administration.

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

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Fertile: Able to conceive and bear offspring. Also known as fecund....

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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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Fertilization: The process of combining the male gamete, or sperm, with the female gamete,...

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Food and Drug Administration: An agency within the US Public Health Service that provides ...

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Gonorrhea: A bacterial infection that is transmitted by sexual contact. Gonorrhea is one o...

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Headache: A pain in the head with the pain being above the eyes or the ears, behind the he...

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Heart: The muscle that pumps blood received from veins into arteries throughout the body. ...

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Heart disease: Any disorder that affects the heart. Sometimes the term "heart disease" is ...

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High blood pressure: A repeatedly elevated blood pressure exceeding 140 over 90 mmHg. Chro...

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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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Human papillomavirus: HPV. A family of over 100 viruses including those which cause warts ...

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Hypertension: High blood pressure, defined as a repeatedly elevated blood pressure exceedi...

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Hysterectomy: An operation to remove the uterus. Hysterectomies are most commonly performe...

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Immune: Protected against infection, usually by the presence of antibodies.definition of Immune

Immune response: Any reaction by the immune system. For example, poison ivy can cause an i...

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Implant: 1. To embed; to set in firmly. In embryology, the fertilized egg implants ...

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Implantation: The act of setting in firmly.

Incision: A cut through skin or other tissue performed by a health care professional. ...

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Infection: The invasion and multiplication of microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, an...

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Insertion: A chromosome abnormality that is due to insertion of a segment from one chromos...

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Intrauterine: In the uterus.

Labia: Lips, the fleshy folds that surround the opening of the mouth (oral labia) or the v...

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Laparoscopic: 1. Pertaining to the procedure of laparoscopy.
2. Pert...

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Laparoscopy: A type of surgery in which small incisions are made in the abdominal wall thr...

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Last menstrual period: By convention, pregnancies are dated in weeks starting from the fir...

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Levonorgestrel: A progestin. Named levonorgestrel because it is the levorotatory form of n...

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Libido: 1. Sexual drive. 2. In psychoanalysis, the psychic energy from all ...

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Lipid: Another word for "fat." (Please see the various meanings of fat.) A lipid is chemic...

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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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Menstrual: Pertaining to menstruation (the menses), as in last menstrual period, menstrua...

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Menstrual cramps: Cramping in the lower abdomen, usually in the first or second day of the...

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Menstrual cycle: The monthly cycle of changes in the ovaries and the lining of the uteru...

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Menstruation: The periodic blood that flows as a discharge from the uterus. Also called me...

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

Migraine: Usually, periodic attacks of headaches on one or both sides of the head. These ...

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Miscarriage: Inadvertent loss of a pregnancy before the fetus is viable. A considerable pr...

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Morning-after pill: A form of contraception used after rather than before sexual intercour...

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Mouth: 1. The upper opening of the digestive tract, beginning with the lips and con...

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

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

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Nausea: Stomach queasiness, the urge to vomit. Nausea can be brought on by many causes, in...

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Navel: The umbilicus, the former site of attachment of the umbilical cord, usually found i...

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Nursing: 1) Profession concerned with the provision of services essential to the maintena...

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Obesity: The state of being well above one's normal weight.

Occlude: 1 To close, obstruct, or prevent the passage. To occlude an artery is to o...

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Occlusion: The act of occluding. See: Occlude.

Off-label use: In the United States, the regulations of the Food and Drug Administration (...

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Onset: In medicine, the first appearance of the signs or symptoms of an illness as, for ex...

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Oral contraceptive: A birth control pill taken by mouth. Most oral contraceptives include...

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Outpatient: A patient who is not hospitalized, but instead comes to a physician?s office, ...

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Ovarian: Of or pertaining to the ovary.

Ovary: The female gonad, one of a pair of reproductive glands in women. The ovaries are lo...

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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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Ovulatory: Relating to ovulation, the release of the ovum (the egg) from the ovary.See the entire definition of Ovulatory

Pain: An unpleasant sensation that can range from mild, localized discomfort to agony. Pa...

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Pap test: A screening test for cervical cancer that involves the microscopic examination o...

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Pelvic: Having to do with the pelvis, the lower part of the abdomen, located between the h...

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

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Periodic abstinence: Also known as fertility awareness, natural family planning, and the r...

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Placenta: A temporary organ that joins the mother and fetus, transferring oxygen and nutri...

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

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Postpartum: The period just after delivery, as with postpartum depression. Postpartum refe...

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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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Progesterone: A female hormone, the principal hormone that prepares the uterus to receive ...

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Progestin: Any one of a group of steroid hormones that have the effect of progesterone....

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Regimen: A plan or a regulated course, such as a diet, exercise, or treatment, that is des...

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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.

Semen: The fluid that is released through the penis during orgasm. Semen is made up of flu...

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

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Shock: In medicine, a critical condition that is brought on by a sudden drop in blood flow...

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

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STD: Sexually transmitted disease.

Steroid: One of a large group of chemical substances classified by a specific carbon struc...

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Substance: 1. Material with particular features.
2. The material that...

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Surgery: The branch of medicine that employs operations in the treatment of disease or inj...

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Suture: 1. A type of joint between the bones of the skull where the bones are held ...

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Syndrome: A combination of symptoms and signs that together represent a disease process....

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Testicles: The testicles (also called testes or gonads) are the male sex glands. They are ...

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Thrombosis: The formation or presence of a blood clot in a blood vessel. The vessel may be...

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Toxic shock: See Toxic shock syndrome.

Toxic shock syndrome: A grave condition occurring predominantly in menstruating women usin...

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Tubes: The "tubes" are medically known as the Fallopian tubes. There are two Fallopian tub...

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Urinary: Having to do with the function or anatomy of the kidneys, ureters, bladder, or ur...

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Urinary tract: The organs of the body that produce, store, and discharge urine. These orga...

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Urinary tract infection: An infection of the kidney, ureter, bladder, or urethra. Abbrevia...

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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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UTI: Urinary tract infection.

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

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Vas deferens: The tube that connects the testes with the urethra. The vas deferens is a co...

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

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Vein: A blood vessel that carries blood that is low in oxygen content from the body back t...

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Viable: Capable of life. For example, a viable premature baby is one who is able to surviv...

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Virus: A microorganism that is smaller than a bacterium that cannot grow or reproduce apar...

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X-ray: High-energy radiation with waves shorter than those of visible light. X-ray is used...

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Medical Dictionary