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abortion: Expulsion or removal of an embryo or fetus from a pregnant woman’s uterus early in pregnancy before the fetus can survive on its own.
abstinence: The voluntary avoidance of coitus.
acquaintance rape: Rape in which the assailant and the victim know each other.
acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS): A fatal disruption of the body’s immune mechanism caused by viral infection of the lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell.
acrosome: The caplike structure in the head of sperm that contains chemicals that “digest” a hole into the ovum allowing penetration by the sperm.
adolescence: The period of life extending from puberty to adulthood.
adrenal gland: A triangular-shaped gland located on the top of each kidney, producing many types of hormones.
adrenogenital syndrome: A condition caused by excess activity of the adrenal glands. May cause masculinization of a female fetus.
adultery: Sexual intercourse between a married person and an individual other than the married person’s legal spouse.
amenorrhea: Absence of menstrual periods.
amniocentesis: The surgical penetration of the abdomen to the uterus to obtain amniotic fluid. This is used to assist in the diagnosis of prenatal disease.
amnion: The innermost fetal membrane containing amniotic fluid and commonly called the bag of waters.
amniotic fluid: The fluid contained in the amnion that protects the fetus from injury.
amphetamines: Drugs that stimulate the central nervous system.
anal intercourse: Sexual intercourse by inserting the penis into the anus.
anaphrodisiac: A chemical agent or substance that diminishes or depresses sexual desire or function.
anatomy: Relating to the structure of the body.
androgen-insensitivity syndrome: When the cells of a genetic male (XY) lack androgen receptor sites, resulting in development of an XY female.
androgens: Hormones that promote the development of male or malelike sexual structures and characteristics.
androgyny: Showing some characteristics of both sexes.
aneurysm: A bulge in the wall of a blood vessel.
anilingus: Oral stimulation of the anus.
anorgasmia: The inability to reach orgasm; more commonly used in reference to female sexual dysfunction. It may be classified as primary (has always existed), s (the person was once orgasmic), or situational (existing in certain situations only). See orgasmic dysfunction.
anovulatory: Without ovulation.
antibody: A protein substance that reacts with an antigen.
Apgar test (score): A numerical rating of the condition of a newborn infant. The sum of points gained on assessment of the heart rate, respiratory effort, muscle tone, reflex irritability, and color; usually determined sixty seconds after birth.
aphrodisiac: A chemical agent or substance that is supposed to increase or stimulate sexual desire.
areola: The area surrounding the nipple of the breast.
arousability: The speed with which a person can be sexually aroused.
artificial insemination: The introduction of semen into the vagina or uterus of a woman by means other than sexual intercourse.
asymptomatic: Without symptoms.
aural sensations: Perception or awareness of sound.
autoerotic activities: Activities that produce sexual gratification in one’s own body through self- stimulation of the genitals or other body parts.
autonomy: Independence and self- direction.
autosomes: The numbered chromosomes; chromosomes other than the sex chromosomes X and Y.