Sexual Health D&G
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Abortion: Ending a pregnancy (termination). May happen naturally (miscarriage) or through medical treatment

Abstinence: Making a choice not to do something. Abstinence from sex means making a choice not to have sex, however, this does not mean that you can not change your choice

Adolescence: The stage of your life between going through puberty and becoming an adult.

Age of consent: The age when the law says it's legal for you to have sex. In the UK the legal age is 16, in Northern Ireland it's 17.

AIDS: Acquired Immune Deficiency - the last and most severe stage of HIV. It is when the body has lost its natural defences to fight off a wide range of infections. You can protect yourself from HIV by using a condom when you have sex

Anal Sex: Penetration of the anus. May be risky as the skin inside is delicate and tears easily allowing STI’s to enter. Some people enjoy it others don’t.

Antibiotics: Medicine that is designed to kill harmful bacteria, the tiny organisms that live in your body. They can clear bacterial infections like Chlamydia but not viruses such as herpes and warts. They can affect the effectiveness of the combined pill

Antibodies: Proteins produced by your body to fight off foreign bacteria and viruses in your blood.

Anus: Is the name for the opening between the buttocks necessary for excretion of faeces. Bum-opening between buttocks where solid waste comes out of the body (poop)

Asexual: A person who does not feel sexual attraction or respond sexually to others.


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Bacteria: Tiny organisms that cause infection. Chlamydia, Syphilis and Gonorrhoea are STI’s that are caused by bacteria.

Bacterial Vaginosis: A very common infection of the vagina which can cause smelly, fishy discharge. It is not sexually transmitted.

Balls: A slang word for a man’s testicles.

Barrier method: Contraception that stops a man’s sperm from reaching a woman’s egg. Condoms, cap and femidoms are forms of barrier methods.

Birth Control: All methods of preventing a pregnancy like the pill, condom or coil.

Bisexual: A person who is sexually attracted to both men and women. Can also be known as ‘bi’

Bladder: Balloon type bag in both men and women that stores urine before peeing.

Blood Test: A few drops of blood are taken, from the vein, by a doctor or nurse using a syringe. The blood will be sent to a laboratory to be tested.

Blow Job: When someone gives a man sexual pleasure by putting his penis into their mouth and using their tongue, lips and mouth to arouse him. Also known as oral sex.

Breasts: The main function of breasts is to give milk to babies. Women develop and grow breast during puberty and the size and shape are effected by body build and hormones - everyone will be different. Also known as boobs, tits and bust.

Buggery: A slang term for anal sex.


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C2U: Free confidential Drop in clinics for young people under 20

C4U: Condoms for you - ‘c’ card scheme

Cap: A rubber contraceptive in the shape of a small dish that sits at the neck of the womb to block sperm from reaching a woman's eggs. Must be used with a spermicide which kills sperm. Sometimes also known as a diaphragm

Casual Sex: Short sexual relationship without lasting emotional ties. Can also be known as one-night stand.

Celibate: A person who chooses not to have sex.

Cervical cancer: Cancer of the cervix is a life-threatening disease, but it can be treated and cured if it is discovered in the early stages. Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer in women under 35 but it can affect females of all ages.

Cervical smear: A test to check for cervical cancer. The test spots early changes in the entrance to the womb (cervix) that may indicate that a woman could develop cervical cancer in later years Cells are taken from a woman's cervix using a speculum (a small metal or plastic instrument), which goes inside the woman's vagina. The test is not painful but it might be a little uncomfortable. Women should have a smear test every 3yrs once they are 20 (25 in England ) - 65 years.

Cervix: The cervix is a narrow passage that leads from the womb to the vagina. When a woman has a baby, the cervix opens up to allow the baby to be born.

Chlamydia: A sexually transmitted infection (STI) which is very common among men and women under 25. If untreated, Chlamydia can lead to infertility in women. Pregnant women can also pass it onto their babies. It is easily treated with antibiotics . Partners must be treated as well.

Circumcision: Circumcision is when the foreskin on a man’s penis is removed by a doctor during surgery. The operation can be done on babies for religious reasons, but it can happen at any time in a man’s life if there is a problem with his foreskin. It's a safe operation and makes no difference to a man’s sex life.

Clap: Slang word for Gonorrhoea

Clitoris: The clitoris is a small bud shaped bit of skin at the front of a woman's vagina. It gives women feelings of intense sexual pleasure when it is touched by becoming swollen and erect.

Coil: A contraceptive device usually made of plastic or copper, also known as an IUD. It is inserted into the womb and stops fertilised eggs from settling and growing.

Cold sore: A scabby or crusty sore patch, usually found near the mouth or nose, caused by the Herpes virus.

Combined pill: A contraceptive pill that is taken every day and prevents pregnancy by stopping a woman from producing eggs. It contains 2 hormones - oestrogen and progestogen.

Come / cum: A slang term for ejaculation of sperm

Coming out: When someone tells their friends and family that they are gay (homosexual or lesbian).

Conception: A process that begins with fertilisation and ends with implantation. A women’s egg has to meet a man’s sperm usually through a man and a woman having sexual intercourse.

Condom Female: A contraception made of thin polyurethane. It is placed in the vagina and prevents sperm reaching a woman’s egg.

Condom: A thin, rubber sheath (cover) worn over the penis. it protects against unplanned pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Sometimes known as johnnies, French letters.

Confidentiality: If something is confidential then it is secret and private. Even if you are under 16 you have the same right to confidentiality as adults. This means that doctors and nurses should not pass on any information about you to anybody else unless they think you are in serious danger. Even then they should discuss the issue with you first

Consent: Another word for permission. It is against the Law for anyone to have sex with another person without their consent. It also against the law to have sex with a young person under 16 (17 in Northern Ireland ) This is known as the age of consent.

Contraception: The word used to describe the prevention of conception (pregnancy) by artificial means. There are many different contraceptive methods and different methods suit people at different times of their lives. Speak to your GP or nurse at your local C2U who can offer you advice on all the different methods.

Contraceptive injections: An injection which protects against pregnancy for 12 weeks.

Crabs: Lice that live in the pubic hair and can be spread from person to person during sex or close contact.

Crush: A passion for someone that can fade over time. It is a normal part of growing up but can happen at any age in life. You may feel you are in love with the person who could be your own age or older.

Cunnilingus: When someone uses their mouth and tongue to touch and stimulate a woman's vagina and clitoris. Also known as oral sex.

Cyber sex: Talking about sex with someone on the Internet, in a chat room or by email. Be aware of the dangers of this type of sex.

Cystitis: Inflammation of the bladder. It may make you feel that you want to pee all the time and it can be painful when you do so. Drink plenty of water and see a Doctor or nurse at the C2U


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Dam: A small sheet of latex which acts as a barrier between the vagina or anus and mouth, used during oral sex. Comes in assorted flavours and non latex.

Date rape: When someone goes on a date and then are forced to have sex. It usually involves alcohol and/or drugs.

Diagnosis: Finding out the exact cause of an illness

Diaphragm: See Cap

Delivery: The act of giving birth to a baby. A delivery can happen naturally (through the vagina) or through an operation called a Caesarean Section.

Diarrhoea: The passing of frequent and watery stools (poop) when you go to the toilet.

Dildo: An artificial penis usually made from rubber or plastic that people can use to give themselves, or their partner, sexual pleasure.

Discharge: A wet secretion or fluid that comes out of a penis or vagina. For women, discharge from the vagina is normal and will happen from puberty through to the menopause. It is produced by little glands in the vagina and the cervix. It will change during the month and can make sex more pleasurable. If the discharge is a funny colour or smells unpleasant, women should visit their local NHS Sexual Health clinic, GP, nurse or C2U clinic in case of an infection. For men, discharge from the penis is not normal (unless ejaculation takes place) and quite likely indicates an STI. The quicker it is checked out the better.

Doggy style: A sexual position where one person is kneeling on all fours and their partner penetrates them from behind.

Dyke: A slang name for a lesbian woman who fancies other women.


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Ectopic pregnancy: When the egg gets fertilised anywhere other than the womb, like the fallopian tubes. It is not common but pregnancy is not safe unless it is in the womb. It requires urgent medical treatment.

Egg: The female sex cell produced by a woman's ovaries. If the egg is fertilised by a man’s sperm it grows into an embryo (tiny baby).

Ejaculate: When a man reaches climax his penis releases sperm, also known as 'coming'.

Embryo: The first name for an unborn baby in the very early stages of pregnancy, before it becomes known as a foetus.

Emergency contraception: Pills that can be taken up to 120 hours after unprotected sex to prevent pregnancy. The earlier it is taken the more effective it is. Also known as Emergency Hormonal Contraception (EHC) and the morning after pill.

Endometriosis: A condition affecting women in which the tissue that normally lines the womb grows on other organs outside of it. It can cause pain and fertility problems.

Erection: When a man gets sexually aroused or excited his penis swells and becomes hard or erect. A man’s penis needs to be erect so he can have penetrative sex. Also known as hard-on, boner, stiffy

Erogenous zone: Areas on your body that are sensitive to sexual stimulation, places where it feels nice to be kissed and caressed. Common erogenous zones for both sexes are the ears, lips, neck, breasts, inner thighs and genitals.


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Fallopian tubes: The tubes that attach a woman's ovaries to her womb. The eggs travel down the fallopian tubes to the womb each month when they are released from the ovaries.

FPA (formally the Family Planning clinic): A nationwide network of clinics where you can go for free and confidential advice about sex and contraception. You do not have to be over 16 to attend and they will not tell your parents.

Fantasy: Creation of the imagination - often in a sexual way.

Fellatio: Another word for oral sex (a blow job), where someone stimulates a man's penis by using their mouth and tongue.

Female condoms / femidom: A form of birth control. Similar to a male condom it is a soft sheath that lines the woman's vagina and stops any sperm from getting into it. It protects against pregnancy and STI’s. It is non latex.

Fertilisation: If a man's sperm gets into the vagina it can travel up the cervix and meet an egg. If the egg becomes fertilised by a sperm an embryo can start to grow. If this happens the woman has become pregnant.

Fertility: When a woman or man has a healthy reproductive system and they are able to get pregnant or to produce healthy sperm, they are known as fertile.

Fertility problems: If a man or woman is not fertile they may have fertility problems. There are many different types of fertility problems, but many can be treated by doctors. Some STIs can lead to fertility problems if they are left untreated

Fetish: A particular thought, activity or object that sexually arouses someone. e.g. leather

Fingering This means touching or exploring a women’s genitals with your fingers.

Flavoured condoms: Novelty condoms tasting of fruit, chocolate or mint. Popular for oral sex. Condoms can also be ribbed and come various sizes and colours

Foetus: The medical term for a baby in the womb from 8th week of pregnancy until birth.

Folic acid: A vitamin that can be taken by women to reduce any risk to a baby’s spine.

Foreplay: Sexual activity like kissing, stroking, oral sex, masturbation before penetration It does play an essential role in preparing the body for sexual intercourse – men get an erection and a women’s vagina becomes lubricated. However, it does not have to lead to sex.

Foreskin: A hood of skin that covers the tip of a man’s penis (unless he has been circumcised and the foreskin has been removed).

French Kissing: When you kiss someone with an open mouth and put your tongues in each others mouth.

French Letters: Condoms

Frigid: A slang term for someone who can not become sexually aroused.

Fuck: A slang term for having sex.


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Gay: A word meaning homosexual or lesbian. Someone who fancies people of the same sex; a men who is sexually attracted to men and women who are sexually attracted to women.

Gay sex: People of the same sex stimulating each other sexually.

Gender: Identifying a person as male or female.

Genitals: The sex organs that you find between your legs. In a woman these are the vagina and vulva and in a man these are the penis and testicles. Also called genitalia.

Genital examination: When a doctor or nurse examines the, vulva, vagina, penis or testicles.

Genital warts: Small growths on or around the genitals caused by a virus.

GP: General Practitioner or Doctor.

Gestation period: The time it takes for a baby to grow in the womb. Usually 40 weeks

Gonorrhoea: A sexually transmitted infection, also known as The Clap, drip or sting. Can also infect the throat following oral sex and the rectum (bum) following anal sex. It can be easily treated with antibiotics, but can get serious if it is left untreated.

G-Spot: An area inside a woman's vagina which may create lots of sexual pleasure for her. It can be difficult to locate.

GUM clinic: (Genito-Urinary Medicine) A common name for an NHS run clinic that can help both men and women with free confidential sexual health advice and treatment. Also known as STI clinics.


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Hand job: When someone stimulates a man's penis using their hands until he ejaculates (cums).

Hard-on: Slang term for an erection.

Hepatitis A: An infection that affects the liver which is usually associated with poor hygiene. It can be caught through sexual activities like rimming, or by sharing infected needles used to inject drugs. Vaccination is available

Hepatitis B: An infection that affects the liver which can be caught through unprotected sexual contact or by sharing infected needles used to inject drugs. Vaccination is available

Hepatitis C: A disease that affects the liver which is transferred through blood. It is most commonly passed on by sharing infected needles used to inject drugs. It is less commonly passed on sexually

Herpes: A common viral infection of the skin on the face or genitals. It causes tiny painful sores that can re-occur months or years after first infection. It can be passed on through unprotected sexual activities, or other close contact. There is no known cure for Herpes and you will always carry the virus, but it can be treated.

Heterosexual: feelings involving sexual attraction to people of the opposite sex. Also known as straight.

HIV: Human Immunodeficiency Virus, - the virus that causes AIDS. HIV can be transmitted during unprotected sex as well as through blood and blood products. When the virus enters the blood stream it begins to destroy the body’s defence system against infection. There is no cure but it can be treated.

Homophobia: Hating or disliking or abusing or bullying people for no reason other than that they are gay or lesbian. It may also be because people are ignorant of homosexuality. Homophobia can be in the form of verbal or physical abuse or discrimination.

Homosexual: Someone who is sexually attracted to people of the same sex.

Hormones: Naturally occurring chemicals that guide the changes that take place in the body. As well as causing physical changes, hormones cause emotional changes too. Hormones cause sexual developments such as puberty to start in men and puberty and periods in women.

Horny: Slang term for feeling aroused or in the mood for sex. Also known as randy

HPV: Human Papilloma virus - The virus that causes genital warts and can contribute to cell changes in the cervix or anus. A vaccination is now available.

Hymen: A thin layer of skin that partially covers the entrance to a woman's vagina. It breaks naturally by sex, use of tampons or various sporting activities. It sometimes involves a small loss of blood.


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Implants: A very reliable type of contraception where the hormone is in a small, plastic rod, which a specially trained doctor, or nurse inserts under the skin on the a woman's arm. The implant works for 3 years and is over 99% effective at stopping pregnancy.

Impotence: Word used to describe a man who cannot be sexually aroused to get an erection. May only be temporary. As well as medical illnesses and prescribed medication it can be caused by alcohol, drugs, and a fear of being laughed at. Consult your GP if this is a problem.

Incest: This is strictly against the Law. It is when people who are related, like brothers and sisters, dads and daughters have sex with each other.

Infection: An illness caused by a bacteria or virus.

Infertile: A woman who is unable to have a baby or a man who cannot fertilise a woman's eggs. It may be a problem in the woman or man. Some STI's such as Chlamydia can cause infertility in women.

Intercourse: When the penis is put inside / penetrates the vagina during sex

Internal pelvic examination: This is when a woman's internal genitals are examined usually in a doctor's surgery, hospital or specialised clinic. It carried out by a trained nurse, midwife or doctor where they put some gloves on and examine the inside of your vagina with their fingers while they press on your abdomen. It might be slightly uncomfortable but not sore. You can always ask for a female doctor. Occasionally they may use a small plastic instrument called a speculum which is inserted into the vagina to see the cervix

Intimacy: Being close with someone.

Irregular periods: Irregular periods are periods that change each month and do not happen every 28 days. Periods are controlled by hormones and irregular ones are usually part of the normal changes that happen to teenagers.

IUD: (Intrauterine Device) A very reliable type of contraception. The IUD is another name for the coil. It is a small device made of plastic and copper which is inserted into the womb to inactivate the sperm and stop fertilised eggs from settling and growing. Lasts up to ten years and is over 99% effective at stopping pregnancy. It can be used up to 5 days following unprotected sex to stop unwanted pregnancy.

IUS: (intrauterine system) A very reliable type of contraception similar to IUD. It is a small, plastic T-shaped device containing hormones. It sits in the womb and works for five years. It is more than 99% effective at stopping pregnancy.


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Jack Off: A slang term for masturbation

Jap's eye: Slang term for the small opening at the end of a man's penis where urine and sperm comes out.

Jism: Another word for semen, cum or sperm.

Jonny / Johnny: A slang term for condoms


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Kissing: When two people put their mouths together for pleasure. It is a safe pleasurable activity and you can not get pregnant from kissing.

KY Jelly: A water based lubricant you can buy which may make sex easier or more pleasurable. You can use this with condoms.


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Labia: The lips on either side of the entrance to a woman's vagina. Everyone’s will look different.

Labour: Contractions of the womb that women have giving birth. The contractions open the cervix so that the baby can be pushed down the vagina into the world. Labour usually lasts between 12-24 hours but can be shorter or longer.

Lesbian: A woman who is sexually attracted to another woman.

Lewd: Indecent lustful comments or words

LGBT: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender

Libido: People’s sex drive

Licking out: Slang term for oral sex performed on a woman.

Love bite: When someone sucks or gently bites the skin of another person leaving a red mark. Usually on the neck or breasts.

Lubrication: A slippery fluid you can use to make sex easier and more fun. Some oil-based lubricants can damage the condom so make sure you use a water-based lubricant and read the instructions.


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Masculine: Describes characteristics and behaviors that are traditionally associated with being male.

Masturbation: Touching or stimulating your own or someone else's genitals for sexual pleasure. Masturbation is a natural and normal way of exploring your own body or your partner’s body. When two people do it together it is called mutual masturbation. In heterosexual couples there is a small risk of pregnancy if the man ejaculates close to the vagina. It goes by lots of other names such as, wanking, frigging, jerking-off and tossing-off.

Menarche: The name given to a woman’s first period

Menopause: When a women’s period stop. This can happen between 45-55 years of age and average age is 52

Menstruation: Another word for periods.

Menstrual Cycle: This cycle starts on the first day of a girls period until the day before the next period starts. The average cycle is 28 days but this may vary from woman to woman

Midwife: A healthcare worker who looks after pregnant women and helps to deliver babies

Mini Pill: Also known as the progestogen-only pill. It prevents pregnancy by changing a woman's mucus making it difficult for sperm to reach the egg. This pill has to be taken at same time everyday and there is no break every 3 weeks.

Miscarriage: An other word for spontaneous abortion - when a foetus (unborn baby) naturally comes out of a woman's womb before it is old enough to survive

Morning after Pill: Proper name is emergency hormonal contraceptive pills. It can be taken up to 120 hours after unprotected sex to prevent pregnancy. However, the sooner it is taken the more effective it is.


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Negotiation: Talking to make a decision - it might be whether to use a condom or not or whether to have sex or not.

Nipples: The raised bits of skin at the centre of each breast. Nipples are usually harder and darker in colour than the rest of a woman's breast, or a man's chest. They can vary in shape, size and colour from person to person.

Non-specific urethritis: A sexually transmitted infection that only affects men. There is no detectable bacteria causing it.

Non-penetrative sex: Sex that does not involve a man’s penis or sex toy entering their partners vagina or anus.


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Oestrogen: One of the female hormones that controls reproduction. It allows eggs to grow in a woman’s ovary every month.

One-night stand: When you have sex with someone but do not go on to have a relationship with them.

Oral Contraception: A hormonal form of contraception which is taken by the mouth in tablet form.

Oral sex: Using the mouth and tongue to pleasure and stimulate a man's penis or a woman's vagina. Cannot lead to pregnancy BUT can pick up an STI. You can protect yourself by using condoms or dams.

Orgasm: The peak of sexual pleasure for men and women. A serious of muscular spasms followed by relaxation and in men usually involves ejaculation. Orgasms are different for everyone and not everyone has an orgasm every time they have sex.

Ovaries: The female reproductive glands - a pair of organs in a girls body that stores and develops eggs. Girls are born with over a million unripe eggs. After puberty some of these eggs are ripened and released from the body.

Ovulation: Release of eggs from the ovaries usually 10-16 days before the start of a period. However, this varies from woman to woman.


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Paedophilia: When a grown up has unlawful sex with a child under 16.

Peer Pressure: Feeling pressured to do things (for example have sex) simply because your friends say they have or you feel you should just to impress them.

Pelvic inflammatory disease: A disease affecting women which causes pain in the lower tummy. It can lead to an increased risk of eptopic pregnancy and infertility. Untreated Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea can cause this.

Penetrative sex: When a vagina, or anus is penetrated by a man's penis, or some sort of object (such as a sex toy).

Penis: A man's sexual organ - has many other names such as a prick or willy . The name comes from the Latin for tail - man's sexual organ.

Period: Once a woman reaches puberty she will have a menstrual bleed, or period, each month. The bleeding happens when an egg is not fertilised and comes out of the vagina. Periods can start from 8-16 years old but it is usually between 12 -13 years old.

Petting: Another word for foreplay.

Pharmacist: A person who works in a chemist and is qualified to prepare medicines and drugs and give some medical advice.

Pill: Oral contraception

Pornography: Books, films or pictures of a sexual nature - to make you feel sexually excited or aroused.

Pox: Slang term for Syphilis

PMS / PMT: Short for premenstrual syndrome or premenstrual tension, it is caused by hormonal changes in the body during the days leading up to a woman's period. It can make some women feel moody, sad, irritable and tired. May have other symptoms such as a bloated tummy, swollen or tender breasts and spots.

Pre-cum: A small amount of semen escapes from the end of the penis before a man ejaculates. There can be up to two million sperm in pre-cum so the withdrawal is not a good form of contraception.

Pregnancy: When a baby is growing inside a woman's body, she is pregnant.

Pregnancy test: A test which shows whether or not you are pregnant. You can buy a test from a chemist or supermarket and it will usually contain two sticks which you pee (urinate) on. The tests detect a hormone that is only in a woman's system if she is pregnant. Different tests have different indicators to show if you are pregnant, so make sure you read the instructions carefully. Be wary of inexpensive test kits.

Premature ejaculation: When a man ejaculates (cums) too soon or before he wants to. Lots of different things can cause this to happen, including over-excitement, performance anxiety, inexperience, etc. It can also happen at any age.

Progesterone: One of the female hormones that controls reproduction.

Prophylactic: An old-fashioned word for a condom.

Prostate gland: A walnut-sized gland just below a man's bladder. It produces the fluid that is called semen or cum.

Puberty: A period of time when boys’ and girls’ bodies go through rapid, physical and emotional changes and become sexually mature. Puberty usually starts between the ages of 9 and 13, but can be older. Puberty takes a long time and is triggered by certain hormones or chemicals, inside your body. Girls develop breasts and begin their periods while in boys the testicles enlarge and the voice deepens. In both sexes pubic hair grows around the genitals and under the arms. Spots can appear.

Pubic hair: The hair that starts to grow around the genitals of both boys and girls at puberty.

Pubic lice: Also known as ‘crabs’. Pubic lice are tiny insects that live on genital hair. They are passed on during sex or through close physical contact.


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Queer: Slang term for person of a gay or homosexual orientation


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Rape: When a man has sex with someone against their will and without giving permission (consent). Rape is against the law and is taken very seriously by the police. In England and Wales rape includes vaginal, oral or anal sex with either a man or a woman. In Scotland rape is defined as vaginal sex with a woman. In Northern Ireland rape can be vaginal or anal sex with either a man or a woman.

Rhythm method: An unreliable form of contraception that depends on working out the times of the month when a woman is not fertile.

Rimming: When a person uses their mouth and tongue to stimulate or pleasure another person's anus. Dams can protect against STIs


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Safe Sex: Ways of having sex that lowers the risk of pregnancy and catching an STI e.g. kissing, mutual masturbation and using condoms

Sanitary towels: Sanitary towels / pads are used when a girl is having her period. They are cotton pads that fit into your pants and soak up blood, but need to be changed every few hours.

Scabies: An itchy and contagious skin infection that can be passed on through non-sexual and sexual contact - even hand holding.

Scrotum: The soft bag of skin that holds a man's testicles.

Semen: Fluid that contains a mixture of secretions from a man's reproductive glands and sperm cells. Semen comes out from the man's penis when he ejaculates.

Sexual activity: Having sex or doing things of a sexual nature with another person (like oral sex).

Sexual arousal: Something happens to make you feel in the mood for sex, you could be alone or with a partner when this occurs. Getting turned on or being horny.

Sexual development: Also called puberty.

Sexual history: The people you have had a sexual relationships with during your life.

Sexual intercourse: The insertion of an erect penis into the vagina or anus. Also known as penetration

Sexuality: How we feel about ourselves as a sexual being and how others see us. Emotions, feelings, behaviour and culture can shape our sexuality and it develops throughout our lives.

Sexual orientation: Whether we prefer sexual relationships with opposite sex or same sex.

Shag: A slang word for having sexual intercourse.

Sheath: Another name for a condom

Smear: A medical test to detect any changes in a woman’s cervix

Smegma: A smelly creamy substance that can build up under a man’s foreskin if he does not wash

Sperm: The male sex cells that are carried in the semen. Under a microscope they look like a tadpoles with a head and tail.

Spermicide: Jelly that is used along with diaphragms, caps to kill the sperm

Spunk: Slang for semen

Sterilisation: When a man or a woman has an operation to prevent getting pregnant, or getting their partner pregnant. It is a permanent method of birth control. Male sterilisation is known as vasectomy

STI: Short for sexually transmitted infection. The best way to protect yourself if you are having sex is to always use a condom or a dam.

Sting: Slang term for gonorrhoea

Straight: Common word for heterosexual.

Syphilis: A sexually transmitted infection which causes a painless sore. It may go unnoticed and can spread without either partner knowing. It is passed during sex or sexual activity and can be serious if left untreated. Sometimes known as the ‘pox’.


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Tampons: A plug of cotton wool which is inserted into the vagina to absorb the blood when a woman is having her period.

Termination: Another word for abortion. Operation or procedure to end a pregnancy.

Testicles: Two balls under a man's penis where sperm is produced.

Testosterone: The male hormone

Thrush: Also known as Candida - a genital infection caused by a fungus. It causes soreness and itching in the genital area in both men and woman

Toxic Shock Syndrome: Toxic Shock Syndrome or TSS is associated with use of tampons - forgetting you have a tampon in place. TSS is rare but serious and causes high fever, faintness and muscle problems.

Trichomoniasis: A sexually transmitted infection (also known as T.V.). It can cause green, frothy discharge in women and green/yellow discharge in men. It is easily treated.

Transgender: Someone who views themselves as one gender but is seen by others to be another. Transgender people do not always have surgery to change their bodies.

Transsexual: A person who views themselves as the opposite sex and wants to become the opposite sex.

Transvestite: A person who likes to dress in clothing usually worn by the opposite sex.

Trimester: Pregnancy is talked about in trimesters. There are 3 trimesters in a full term pregnancy-first, second and third. Each last approx 3 months and they are all different.


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Unplanned pregnancy: A pregnancy that is not planned

Unprotected sex: Sex without a condom or contraception - carries the risk of pregnancy and catching an STI

Urethra: The tube that carries the urine from the bladder in both men and woman. It also carries semen in a man.

Urine: Also called wee or pee, and is produced in the kidneys

Urine sample: When you pee in a bottle and give it to a nurse or doctor to examine for infection. Now a common test for Chlamydia.

Uterus: Another word for the womb where the foetus develops for 9 months


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Vagina: The passage that runs from a woman's genitals up to her womb. Where the penis goes during sexual intercourse.

Vasectomy: Male sterilisation also known as the snip

VD: An old fashioned name for sexually transmitted infections

Vibrator: A battery operated sex toy, sometimes in the shape of a penis, which can give girls an orgasm by vibrating against their clitoris or inside their vagina.

Virgin: Someone who has never had sexual intercourse / penetration.

Vulva: Another word for a woman's external genitals.


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Wanking: Slang for masturbating.

Warts: Small growths caused by a virus which can be found on the genitals.

Wet dreams: Ejaculation when men are asleep. Usually starts at puberty and you may not remember it happening

Willy: Slang term for penis

Withdrawal method: An unreliable method of contraception where a man takes his penis out of the woman's vagina before he ejaculates (cums).

Womb: Another name for the uterus


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X-rated: A term usually used about films that are only suitable for adults due to sexually explicit or very violent scenes.


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Youth drop-in clinic: See under C2U.


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Zits: Slang for spots or pimples